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[Drama 2013/2014] ♚ Empress Ki (기황후) ♚

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Okay so Chingus, I couldn't write about my thoughts and recap last week, since I was very busy with RL stuff. This week also it is the same so I will go with my thoughts instead. 


Episode 37 did start with the rebellion or better say coup of El Temur, but it was good to see it failing, mostly because he was trusting Wang Yoo too. One of the main things that got him killed was his trust to Wang Yoo, although he always had doubts about him, Wang Yoo always proved otherwise. Not to forget that El Temur was also becoming mentally unstable in the previous few episodes. 


Finally Talahai got killed, by Bayan. El Temur got arrested, Tanashiri got house arrested in her chambers. 


Everything was great, until El Temur spoke before his death. He sowed the seeds of "don't let that Goryeo woman fool you and she'll come after you too" and many similar things. Of course, when he asked Toghon now that he got him, he shouldn't think he become ruler suddenly, he'll still be controlled, I think El Temur actually meant it. Saying that would not really save his neck, so whatever he told Toghon was right about him being ruler, because well, Toghon cannot become a ruler overnight. Plus El Temur does know there is Dowager Queen who was waiting for this moment to happen. 


Anyway, power is a dangerous thing, and El Temur does tell Bayan that even he will turn like El Temur soon. But well, he was finally killed, relief for everyone? Dream about it, now there will another major power struggle happening since one side of power was removed suddenly. 


In episode 38 we see Tanashiri is sentences to death, while her elder brother Tangqishi is looking for El Temur's secret treasure in order to raise an army for revenge. 


Nyang's popularity is sky-rocketing in the palace, she is getting gifts from officials, another concubines, just so they can be on her good side, since she is most likely to become the Queen. But well, sudden fame is dangerous, and is not that good thing. Dowager is not really liking things happening like this. 


Bayan is changing, or maybe showing his true colors here, the first one to realize it is Wang Yoo, when calls Goryeo dependent on Yuan and says they need to work closely when he becomes a king, something, which even El Temur never said. Anyway, Bayan is a dangerous guy, he is a warlord, is not really so good in politics, and does not understand those stuff well. That's why he's got Tal Tal with himself, who uses his head more. 


Wang Yoo does warn Nyang about Bayan not being much trustworthy as he is true Mongol, but well it is not really well received by Wang Yoo. One of the main reason for this is the testimony Wang Yoo had given in favor of El Temur when they had tried to kill Nyang and Toghon back during the hunt. Another more important reason is that Bayan had stayed a very close ally of her, and there was no reason for him to not trust him. Which is actually right from Nyang's POV. But, not really taking the advice of more power brings more enemies is a bit wrong on her side. It seems like in all this stuff going on, Nyang did forget her Goryeo lineage could hurt her, and also trusts people a bit too much. 


What else Nyang is a bit not really careful with is her political influence and involvement. She meets up with the governors who ask her for favors. She actually sets up the position for the new officials when Toghon asks her, while she actually should have asked him to take inputs from Dowager Queen too. Taking things like this for granted is what Nyang will hurt from, lose allies and be cornered. This actually also shows that no matter how much you study, experience matters in practical and this shows Nyang's lack of experience in politics. 


Bayan is given Regent's position, but there are similar positions re-assigned to some more governors which means he'll have to actually share his power. Plus well Dowager Queen is master in manipulating and well all she does is tell him that it came from Nyang. Tal Tal also meets up with Nyang and tells her that she shouldn't have done it, and Bayan being not really pleased about it. This is where Nyang loses an important ally, and also her position as Queen since both Dowager Queen and Bayan oppose it. They want a true Yuan Queen and not a Goryeo one, and for this Bayan proposes his niece to be the Queen.


Well, coming back to Tanashiri, many may not agree with this. But she was supposed to be poisoned as per the castle customs, even the infamous Jang Hee Bin of Joseon was killed by poisoning. Yes, they tried to and she didn't really follow it, still poison has been the execution method for the royals. Public execution even though she was evil, was not supposed to happen. Toghon actually agreeing to it, shows how much he hated her. But well, she got what she deserved to. If there was one person who actually deserved public execution, it was El Temur, who was also stealing from the public. 


Anyway, realizing that she was betrayed by her closest allies, Nyang teams up with Wang Yoo again. 


Dowager Queen is taking care of Maha and now wants him to be the crown Prince (despite knowing he is not really Tanashiri's son). Power struggle has reached the princes, when there is an attempt to poison Ayu, Nyang's son. Bayan Khutugh is named the new Queen, and now for her own son, Nyang moves to new chamber, which has a secret room and plans to get her hands on El Temur's secret treasure with the help of Wang Yoo. 


Episode 39 is all about Nyang and Toghon drifting away. With the new Queen around, Dowager Queen and Bayan against her, and Maha still a candidate for Crown Prince because he is elder son, we see Nyang try to get her hands on secret treasure of El Temur, in order solidify her son's position. But she does not trust Toghon in this, as she believes he would use it to fill the palace coffers. This actually leads to them drifting away. In my opinion, in this the main responsibility is on Nyang. Yes, she does want to concentrate on secret treasure thing, but, she does know how emotionally dependent Toghon is on her, suddenly ignoring him is right.


Tal Tal sure is something. He is so perceptive, just on knowing someone trying to poison Ayu, he knew it was the new queen. This dude is really my favorite character in this one along with Batulo. Anyway, Queen sure is talented in playing victim, manipulating others and scheming stuff. 


In Episode 40, Bayan now wants to attack the neighboring countries including Goryeo once he gets his hands on secret treasure and Toghon approves this plan. Now this is actually motivates Nyang more to find the secret treasure, not for herself, but because Goryeo will be in danger if Bayan finds it. One thing she did really great was not actually telling Toghon about her plan on finding secret treasure. But well, seeing their relationship suddenly going downhill, and Toghon really trying his best, she should have put more effort in it too. 


@Nodame its great to know that you are still on board in this re-watch event. 


Hopefully next week onward I will be posting my comments on time, but I really doubt that I will be doing the recaps on the episodes, because the story from episode 40 onward is not really that good. It will have many boring parts, and I don't think I would love to recap them, since I forwarded almost half of the episodes sometimes in the final 11. Anyway Chingus, I really hope now that we have reached 40th episode, no one will drop and complete the re-watch together :wow1:

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we get finally see el Temur and Tanashiri seeing their end.  The thing I liked was El Temur final speech. About that there is going to more power hungry people and Toghon is not yet the real emperor. Even thought Temur was real evil he was right about that. 


when the first empress is gone then we have the second one. 

When people get taste of power they don´t want to lose it. 

manipulation, playing victim and trying the kill the prince.  nice qualities of the new queen. 


Tal Tal is rocking. It looks like he the smartest guy. I so like this dude. :wub:


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Hi Friends!  @joccu @partyon @Sleepy Owl @Nodame @chickfactor @the8dark8angel  @faithwalker


I am now very slow. I just watched up to ep 30-35.  (Started a bunch of other dramas and real life happened).


But I agree with @joccu and others love Tal Tal.


I am not going to talk about the plot recap as others did a great job before me and with pics etc.


So Nyang got death curse by the Empress and smart Tal Tal found out. He helped her try to go a race against time to stop it! She gave birth to a son. The shaman was sharp saying her son (Maha) is prince and that the Empress had no son. LOL. Cannot hide the truth from the shaman. Even Nyang had a sharp sense when she met all the shamans the final one was THE one who cast the curse.


Glad that the lady who was pretending to be Batalou parted ways and helped Wang Yoo with the cooked up books for Eagle House and El Temur. Exposed El Temur to the governors and though  Toghon did not get the seal, he won their loyalty. I loved his hiding his ability to read and speaking confidently gave a boast of confidence in others in him. He wanted to say it was Nyang (but glad he did NOT ) and covered is almost faux pas.


I was happy that Wang Yoo saved Tal Tal from being killed when El Temur found out that General Banyan /Liaoyang Governor "betrayed" him. Also RickRoll'D roach was saved and now doing the other errand and not "killed" smart they covered his head so they were able to pull off the switcheroo scenario.


Right now Nyang is working well with Toghon and the Empress. Her finally deciding to go to Toghon after he covered her from being hurt during the hunt and then she took the poison from his arrow shows they both care. When he was delirious and was not doing well, Nyang realized she does care about him. I am glad that Toghon DID not force Nyang. Instead he waited for her to come to him. So that in itself he KNOWS she did it willingly.


Cockroach talking to Lady Yun if he does well he wants to MARRY HER. OMG two peas in a pod. LOL.


Felt bad for the governor lost his life bing framed when El Temur wanted to frame Nyang for being a traitor.  Always a struggle power play in deed.


 I will still watch it but I will still trudge along LOL.

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So Chingus, here are my thoughts on EK episodes 41-44. I got to admit though, the best episodes were 28-38,39. After that the plot is constantly going downhill. Nyang and Toghon also drifting apart, because of many things. 


Episode 41 was all about Nyang continuously drifting away from Toghon and also continue the search for the secret treasure. Now Nyang very smartly understands where the treasure is hidden thanks to the songs the Goryeo kids used to sing at the mine. 

Toghon is blinded by the glory the war could bring, and despite Nyang’s protest on it, he trusts Bayan in this more. The episode 41 was all about Nyang finally getting her hands on the Secret Treasure and beating Tal Tal in finding it. 
The first scene of episode 42 actually showed how much Toghon cares about Nyang. When the shipment came for her and she claimed it to be items for the pavilion, and the first chest was full of gold, he actually tried to hide it because he was worried about her. Poor him that he is feeling like there something like a wall between them, and Kolta, you are not helping him with bad mouthing Nyang more. 

Bayan even without the secret treasure wants war and Toghon supports it. This is actually foolish. This actually shows how inexperienced Toghon actually is when it comes to administration and he trusts Bayan too much. Being an Emperor he actually needs to consider the thoughts of all officials, who actually were totally against the war. The fact that they didn’t even have funds for it and had just dealt with famine and plague also was a big factor here. But Toghon is blinded by glory here. Which actually shows how easily he can be manipulated and that he still is not the actual Emperor who he was supposed to be.

Bayan also does not know anything. That’s why it is important to have Tal Tal and listen to him, and this time he does not listen to him. Bayan is a war lord and does not really care about other things, sometimes not even war strategies where Tal Tal is supposed to use his head. But this time even he did not listen to him. This also shows how much Bayan has changed and he is power hungry too. Nyang thinking “he is worse than El Temur” is actually right, since El Temur knew politics too, and wouldn’t really make decisions like this. This is also the second time Bayan is seen to be worse than El Temur, Wang Yoo did it a couple of episodes ago too. 

The new Queen is manipulative one. She is using rumors against Nyang, almost had her with Maha’s fever case, but then Nyang being too smart saved herself, also came to know she was behind Ayu’s poisoning too. She asks Lady Yeon to work for her since she knows the secret behind Maha. 

Wang Yoo back on this throne, gets rid of all officials working for Yuan and does not really follow the Yuan orders. This forces Toghon to impose sanctions on him through the sea route, but Wang Yoo intends to trade through land using Batulo, and this does not really affect Goryeo. 

Yeon Byung Soo the cockroach is now sowing seeds of doubt in Toghon’s mind by sending love letters from Wang Yoo to Nyang proving them still loving each other. 

We see a time jump. Grown up Maha sure is a spoilt kid, thanks to Dowager Queen filling him with hate for Nyang. And well, after some initial victories, Yuan is now facing defeats, Toghon is alcoholic too. 

In Episode 43 we actually see Toghon in a really bad state. He is alcoholic, has hallucinations and also totally under pressure with the recent defeats. But well, I actually did not like that fact that he was evil towards Maha. But this actually shows that Toghon like all others is not totally good but also not totally evil. But his total treatment of Maha was really harsh and the fact that he does not want him to learn anything, stay illiterate, after knowing how it actually feels like to be in that situation is something really harsh for the poor kid. He actually gives him more reason to hate Nyang and Ayu since he treats Ayu totally differently. I do understand it comes from the fact that Maha is Tanashiri’s son, but it still is totally wrong. 

And Wang Yoo, how can you be foolish enough to be fooled again and lose your throne. 


Episode 44 is all about Wang Yoo being tortured about who was behind him in assisting the enemies of Yuan in the war. Of course Dowager Queen and Bayan want things to be pointed towards Nyang. But well, Nyang does help Wang Yoo get out of this situation using Batulo’s help. 

With every episode it really is very sad to see Nyang and Toghon drifting away. Toghon already has got doubts about Nyang and Wang Yoo, despite doubting the overall authenticity of those letters. And then we have Kolta who is also not holding himself back when it comes to speaking about Nyang. 

The only good thing about Wang Yoo being captured and tortured was, that he told Maha that to avenge his mom, he needs to kill everyone from Dowager Queen to the Emperor himself. IT is proved that Bayan was all behind fake ledgers and letters. Wang Yoo and co. are saved for this. 

But Toghon, you don’t really know that as an Emperor you really don’t have to trust anyone blindly. Especially when they try to deceive you like this. But this dude Toghon trusts Bayan too much and instead of punishing him, he gives him the court seal increasing his power. Doing anything in the name of doing it for nation and actually seeing that excuse being accepted is a big achievement. Now this actually gives Bayan more reason to do things behind Toghon’s back and then report them to him. This much power is too much, and now it seems like he wants to kill Wang Yoo first and inform

Toghon next. But it does not really end well, when in between Wang Yoo and Bayan’s fight, Tangqishi attacks them both. Wang Yoo is saved by his people, but is presumed dead by everyone and so is the case with Nyang too.

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20 hours ago, Sleepy Owl said:

So Chingus, here are my thoughts on EK episodes 41-44. I got to admit though, the best episodes were 28-38,39. After that the plot is constantly going downhill. Nyang and Toghon also drifting apart, because of many things.


I 100% agree with this! The drama has been going downhill after ep 39, and I was not as invested anymore in the last 10 episodes. :cry:

Nyang's and oppa's relationship just deteriorates so much, it's sometimes hard to watch.

My post will therefore be fairly short this week.


1) Tal Tal is unbelievably smart - I just love how he has taken a larger role as the story has progressed. It's great to see what a strong friendship he has with Nyang.


2) Oppa is becoming more power hungry as the drama progresses. I think he had such a bad staTrt as an emperor, he's trying to make up for it. He's very insecure in his role as the emperor. His words:

"I need power to be a ruler".

I think he doesn't realize that to be a ruler, you need to be on the citizens' side. That's why Nyang tried to earlier steer him to be the ruler of the people. Unfortunately, he's listening to Bayan more and is doing all he can to assert his power. Yet internally he's struggling, because I don't think it's a role he's totally comfortable with. But with the wedge that has been forced between Nyang and oppa, he doesn't dare to trust her anymore and get sound guidance from her.

He truly is lost, and he has an increasingly hard time from letting his disappointment and rage go out on his subjects.

The scene in ep 42 when he kills people in his court, is especially horrific.



Kudos to Ji Chang Wook! He does a wonderful job of portraying an unstable emperor with both mental and alcohol problems!  He can go from laughter to rage to tears within one minute - it takes great acting skills to achieve this. :kiss_wink:


3) The new empress is so ugh! She finally started showing her true colors in ep 42, and I'm glad that Nyang was suspecting her from the get-go.


4) I felt really sorry for poor Maha in these episodes. :cry:


5) In ep 44 we see oppa going against his wife openly. He is at his wits end with regard to Wang Yoo, not allowing him to have any rice and water. Nyang wants to save Wang Yoo but oppa is enraged at her.

We finally see how little trust is left between our couple, and at this point in time I started having doubts if there even was a possibility for them to mend their relationship anymore. You see that there is love between them, but the mistrust is larger.

There were times where I felt that Nyang was enabling the mistrust too by not being open with oppa about her plans and actions.


The only positive thing I have to say about these episodes is that Tal Tal is awesome!

snl ok GIF


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@partyonNoona you totally right here, Nyang is also equally responsible here for them drifting apart. But well, seeing Toghon sort of being controlled by Bayan and Dowager Queen, she did it to protect her son and ensure that he becomes the Crown Prince. I think in the hunt of secret treasure, Nyang's first priority was Ayu and also the will to protect Goryeo and stop a useless war happening. 


Also yes, Toghon being a weak emperor here, felt like if he could expand Yuan borders, he would be known as a true and strong ruler and not just a puppet emperor which he was for some years. Bayan totally blinded him with the thirst of glory, which Nyang could not really do anything. The last time she tried to dissuade him, he warned her firmly, saying it is take scale of dragon, which he would not let even Nyang touch.


I think this thirst for glory was what both Bayan and Dowager used against Toghon and used him. Although I got to say, Bayan was true in his desire for glory here, won't say the same for Dowager, who as I said, is very much similar to El Temur all she wants is absolute power in the inner palace, and also some control over Toghon. It's always the inside people who destroy nations. 

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41-44. I really did not like these episodes.


Tal -Tal was the only thing that kept me clued in these episodes. :wub:


the scene were the emperor kills people in the court was amazing performance from JI chang wook. 


the emperor and N relationship having it hard days. not telling he others stuff and emperor not trusting Ki. 


poor kids. it really hard to have good sibling relationship when you have an power hungry grandmother. 


It was nice that emperor tried to protect maha for the bad future. he saw himself in him. :criesariver:





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HI Friends


 @joccu @partyon @Sleepy Owl  @chickfactor @the8dark8angel  @faithwalker

Still on catch up watched ep 35-41 over last weekend and rest of last week.


Gosh ok I can see what others said @partyon after ep 39/ ep 40 I am kind of losing interest too in the plot as well. But I will PERSERVERE as well. Since others before me wrote great recaps already. I will just write some thoughts.


-YESH Love Tal Tal. He is the savior in the drama right now for me. The fact he found out that Nyang stole the treasure and he knew she looked through his stuff. He didn't tell his uncle she took the treasure but is watching over her. Or his checking in on his Cousin the new Empress. He knew she was the mastermind of of poisoning Ayu. Dang his brains are sexy. I loved how he knew quickly the kids singing the song was the key to finding the treasure. 


-Nyang now finished her revenge over El Temur, the younger brother and the former Empress who all died. I agree that it seems like I will see Banyan go for more power but unlike El Temur a former warlord handled Politics well which the latter does not. I can see that. He called Nyang being someone to watch and is he NOT wrong.


-Nyang is initially loyal to Bayan as she is his foster daughter and all what he did for her. But once he installs his niece and wants to conquer Koryo and oust Nyang's chances as Empress. He got an enemy. She still has respect to Tal Tal. I mean the fact I liked how she did not want to go against her teacher (him). Or the fact he is like, the student outsmarted me but don't forget fool me once it won't happen again. Makes me sad they are at odds. They were such a great working duo. Both are smart and he admires her for her brains and vice versa.  


-Tal Tal helping her defeat the death curse from the old Empress. Tal Tal when he instructed her how to beware of the common tricks to the maidens when trying to be chosen as a consort by Toghon--avoiding drinking/eating/washing and learning smells of certain herbs to avoid hives etc.  Just an amazingly smart fellow, Bayan is smart to have him but very UNSMART later it seems from what others say he just lets his thirst and lust for POWER and fighting get the best of him and not THINK Of the welfare of the people.


-Loved how Tanaquisis was injured and blinded. He should have died. 


-I concur with others about Wang Yoo and Nyang (I am over and wasn't 100% onto their ill fated relationship.) His constant calling her not by her name but how he called her is true. He never wants to show his TRUE self to her. So the talks how Toghon being real and showing his vulnerable side up until now is true. Though he has many great qualities, he cannot always be perfect . I mean when he met Prince Maha--he says a real man doesn't cry. They only cry over other people not himself. Dang. Glad he regains his crown and helps Nyang.


-Yon Feisu/Batalou admits she loves Wang Yoo but knows his heart will not open to another. I am glad she said she did not want to work with Nyang. (Why would she, she knew that she is the reason Wang Yoo cannot move on in this life time with another.) Or the fact to get back into Eagle House's good graces she is whipped but she refuses to let him know. Wang Yoo knew it was not easy to estabilsh trust again once lost. But I don't think to what extent what they did to her. For a king that is folly to not try to have an heir. Ironically he does but his cronies will not let Wang Yoo or Nyang know that Maha is their kid. Hmm.


-Bayan led by Empress Dowager to maintain a PURE Yuan/Mongol line to not be tainted making sure he has his niece marry Toghon. I agree the Empress Dowager just wants power. Bayan just wants glory and doing it by fighting.

Toghon getting caught up in their ways and trying to lift himself out of the puppet position with El Temur to only it seems like to a NEW ONE.


-I know that Toghon and Nyang will have the ICE WALL soon. But when i saw how he protected Nyang after seeing the treasures she was trying to take out he still cared for her. He is very NEEDY. Dang constantly wanting him with her. i can see why the Empress Dowager warning of others in history did that and they had to rid the palace of those women. 


-I TOO loved that the former Empress lackkeys were demoted and got a harsh taste of their own medicine for being unkind. What goes around comes around.


-Cockroach with his new getup, dang going all (non Korean but more Mongol) outfit. HIs wanting to get the treasure but we know he doesn't have a chance.


-So I have 10 more episodes left and I guess I AM going to finish this SECOND rewatch party for sure. 

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Few random thoughts:


Great performance by Baek Jin-Hee who played Danashri! She was deliciously hateful and feisty until the end - refusing to drink her poison!


El Temur was quite an amusing villain. This actor often plays these kinds of evil dude, but his hair in this show was magnificent!


I don't know why I care about hair so much, but Wang Yoo looks much hotter with that moustache. And I like his character - stolid hero. Like when he stared down Danashri at the hunting tournament and she couldn't bring herself to shoot him. He's all about that "blue steel" look.


I love the new empress Bayan! This actress is awesome.


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@Nodame Good job for almost catching up! :kiss_wink:@chickfactor Glad to see you still going strong with the re-watch ! :kiss_wink:


We're getting closer to the end people! It's time for ep 45-48.


These last 10 episodes were difficult to watch as the plot had deteriorated so much by then. In any case, I will share some thoughts.


Let's get the worst part over with first...

In ep 45 it was alluded that oppa r*ped his wife.... I think we can all agree that that was a new low for their relationship. :cry:Now I acknowledge that times were different back then, but this was just so out of character and I really felt sad that they included a scene like this in the drama.


I also understand that by doing what he did, he was trying to assert his power over Nyang, but still.... :cry: He looked very shameful the next morning, but it does not excuse his behavior.

She also said something interesting while he was sleeping:

"My greatest fear is that you'll be done with me...."


Now these two clearly love each other and are dependent on each other. If they would just COMMUNICATE with one another about their thoughts and feelings, they would probably not have this huge wedge between them. If Nyang could only tell oppa that she loves him, a lot of these issues would be resolved.


In ep 45 the empress continued to be sneaky and mean. Kolta continued to speak badly about Nyang every chance he got.


The big thing that happened was that Nyang finally learned that Maha was her son!

Only to see him poisoned in the next second (ep 46) by the empress and cockroach Yeom. Despicable people!

I was so glad that Lady Soh (the evil lady in waiting) spoke up against the empress and revealed what they had done.

Poor Maha had to learn that he was a foundling, and the evil Empress Dowager refused to even see him before he died because he wasn't of "royal blood".

My blood was boiling at this point! :rage:

I was glad that oppa at least said goodbye to Maha and told him it wasn't his fault.


Yon Feisu died too, revealing that she loved Wang Yoo. Wang Yoo really was a fool in a way for holding onto his "Seungnyang" for so long. He couldn't accept that he had lost her, and therefore, wasn't able to see what he had in front of him... What a pity.


And in the end, he also found out that Maha was his son and was luckily able to meet him in ep 47.


By ep 47 I was starting to be quite certain that oppa was being poisoned. Oppa's delirious dreams, deteriorating health and erratic behavior couldn't only be due to mental or alcohol problems...



And my guess was Kolta because he had been bad mouthing Nyang since 15 episodes back.


Finally it was revealed that Kolta was the leader of Eagle House. Not a surprise! It was just a pity because I quite liked Kolta in the first 25 episodes.


Nyang's and oppa's relationship deteriorated even further in this episode, but they had a nice moment riding together until oppa collapsed and Nyang was so worried about him even Wang Yoo could tell how much she loves her husband. Hah!

She was really worried about oppa for the rest of the episode - she didn't even know that her son Maha passed away.


Until ep 48 that is. She cries over her dead son, and goes on a revenge rampage after that! This by drugging her husband and keeping him away from everyone, so she can depose of the people who have killed her son and who are standing in the way of her and her husband.

The empress is killed. Yay!


Lots of drama in this episode. Nyang tried to get rid of Bayan, but oppa kept stopping her because he was still really dedicated to Bayan. In the end, she succeeded with the help of Tal Tal who had finally had enough of his uncle's shenanigans and power hunger.

It was a powerful scene when Tal Tal took to the sword and with tears in his eyes struck his uncle with it... :cry:



And that's what makes Tal Tal so special! He's not only smart, he knows right from wrong. :glasses:


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So Chingus, here are my thoughts on Episode 45-48 and now we are in the final week of Re-watch. Time flies so fast. @Nodame Chingu, its good to see you catching up and also deciding to continue, despite it getting a bit meh from here on. :approves:


@chickfactor I totally agree with you that Baek Jin Hee did a great job portraying Tanashiri. 


So Episode 45 starts with Nyang promising to make Bayan pay for it, if he really was behind Wang Yoo’s death. The new Empress is playing a 3D chess, using both Dowager Queen and Nyang for herself. But she does not really know that Nyang sees through her now. Bayan and Dowager want Maha to be the Crown Prince since he is Mongol from both ends and not half Goryeo descendant since his mom is from there.

It really is very sad to see Toghon still struggling. He has been struggling since the start, but always had supporters on his side. There was Dowager Queen, Bayan and even Nyang. But now with almost all three of them fighting amongst themselves for power, Toghon feels powerless and also lonely. He was no one left to share his true feelings with and get over his frustrations. Thanks to the fake letters, the distance between him and Nyang has been the farthest. And well, all Kolta does is to bad mouth Nyang. 

Empress is smart enough to know about Maha’s secret too. Got to say, Tanashiri was not even half as smart as her. And well, she got the info from Lady Yon, and when she was happy that she would released finally, the Empress has her killed and blames Nyang for her apparent suicide. I didn’t like Lady Yon or Yeom Byung Soo, but I felt sad when he saw her dead body and grieved over her. This Empress is so manipulative that after having his future wife killed, she now starts using Yeom Byung Soo for her plans against Nyang. 

“Maha, I wish you had never been born”, now this is the harshest thing one can tell to their child, especially to a kid, who struggles to understand why his father does not look at him like he does to his younger brother. I don’t really care about the reasons behind it, but Toghon has been really very cruel to this kid. 


In Episode 46, Maha gets attacked, and even though Nyang saves him, he still gets shot in the back is critically injured. All doubts are cast on Nyang for being behind it. But well, Nyang overturns the tables in front of everyone, proving that it was the new Empress who was actually behind it. So with all this, Nyang also proves Maha is not Tanashiri’s son. Knowing he is her son, but she cannot say it, she leaves him. 

Got to feel for the poor kid. Was never loved by someone he thought to be his father, was fed with hate for almost everyone by Dowager and now everything around him turns out to be false, including his own identity. If I were to say there was one person who genuinely loved him, it was Tanashiri (along with Nyang). But Tanashiri even knowing he is not her son, made herself believe otherwise, and got too attached with him. 

And well, the best girl (I usually don’t count the FL in it, since she is the best by default usually) dies. Batulo, I really loved her character and she really loved Wang Yoo a lot. Nyang becomes Emperor Ki, finally and Wang Yoo now knows Maha is his son. 


Episode 47 starts with Toghon still having hallucinations and nightmares. And well, Bayan continues to play “Please kill me”, “Please banish me” card to win over Toghon and every time we see him tricked by it all. Toghon is blindly trusting Bayan and this dude is doing exactly what El Temur had done, removing people who support Nyang and put his men there, and well now Toghon does not even mind to look at what he does with his seal. He is busy being alcoholic. 
Kolta you shady fellow, I had doubts about him being the head of Eagle House seeing how he was suddenly against Nyang and trying to sow seeds of doubts in the mind of Toghon. And well, turns out he was the ultimate baddie who was messing up the country big time till now.

With Toghon down, now Nyang has taken the throne as Queen Regent and well I got to say, she does do a good job by removing the corrupt officials. But it also increases the tensions among Nyang and Bayan. If there was power struggle between Dowager Queen and El Temur, the same is happening here, but I’d say in a more intense manner. 
By the looks of it, we will see deaths in each episodes now. Deaths of some major characters. Episode 46 we saw Batulo die, and now in this one we see Maha dead. But Lady Suh now knows who his real parents are.

The best thing Nyang does in episode 48 is, take Toghon to her chambers, and actually check what is wrong with him and his condition. In this one they also take care of Bayan Baghatur, mainly because Maha died, and I got to say, she deserved it. 

We now see Tal Tal in dilemma. Who should he side with? His uncle who he has been serving for a long time, or Empress Ki who seems to be the right one this time. Toghon even sees that Bayan is ready to kill Empress Ki, still he forgives him if Bayan does take one step back in front of Nyang and acknowledge as his Queen. Well, he does it. But this again shows Toghon is not really the Emperor Material. He is too good and naïve for an emperor. That fact that he said he’d either have both of them by his side, or none of them, kind of shows he still does not want to let go of one, the wrong one. But well, can’t really blame him here too, since Bayan and Nyang have been by his side since the start, but this has also clouded his judgment. I’d say he does trust Bayan more maybe, given the number of times he forgave him and the amount of power he gave him. But well, it is hard to tell right now. Still, he does favor Bayan, even after knowing the number of acts he did on his own without his permission and still being forgiven. 

Bayan is so much drowned within his thirst for power that he now no longer listens to Tal Tal his closest and most trustworthy ally and relative. It was Tal Tal because of whom Bayan could reach this far, and no sir, you cannot simply by using sword, and this even the method which El Temur followed. He would only display his true power, when it was needed and usually played politics and went forward by using diplomacy. But well, now Bayan wants to kill Nyang, and then again he plans to use “I did this for Yuan and you” card in front of Toghon.

The final fight scene was really sad to see. Bayan being the good guy initially got blinded by power and glory, and gets killed. But seeing him fight all of them alone, while calling out for Tal Tal and with Tal Tal crying out, knowing what he has done, but it had to be done, and he is the guy who finally kills him too. 


Tal Tal is the guy, who knows what is right, and does it, even if it means killing his own uncle. This is what makes him the best character for me.




But I got to say, it was the master plan by El Temur, who just before dying sowed seeds of doubts, and hate in the minds of Bayan and Dowarger Queen, which led to all this mess happening, just when it was really not needed. Well played El Temur



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Hi Friends!  


@joccu @partyon @Sleepy Owl @Nodame @chickfactor 


Are you still with us @the8dark8angel  &@faithwalker?


Thanks for your posts on ep 45 - 48 friends @partyon @Sleepy Owl


@chickfactor @Sleepy Owl Yes the actress Baek Jini as Tanashiri was great. I first saw her in 2014-2015 Pride and Prejudice and then later in Jugglers  2017-2018.  She is great. 


OMG @Sleepy Owl The pic you have of Tal Tal as MVP ---Yeah I totally love a smart man. Though I have not watched 45-48, he make a hard choice indeed family or country. Definitely not easy and makes me appreciate him MORE. Not only is he handsome, smart, athletic, he is righteous and wise.


So last night I got to add in more episodes after doing my usual WED drama rotation were done.

I caught ep 42-44.


-I know from all that Wang Yoo is not dead but at the point I saw end of 44 , Ki is told he is dead by Tal Tal


-Maha is poisoned by the venom of Empress Dowager and to see his confusion when Wang Yoo told him killing only me and Ki will not avenge your mom. You must add Bayan and Empress Dowager. 


-Maha being abused to frame Ki and using Lady Yom to do it, dang. Ki was smart to say the child cannot talk but knows who hurts them. So when passed to her, he burst out crying was so smart. 


-Glad that KI is FINALLY onto the Empress. To grant Lady Yom life to say later that Maha is NOT Tanashiri's bio son. They tell the Empress that Lady Yom said the Empress Dowager got Maha hurt. (Well played, Lady Yom is not mistrusted by the Empress and ok, Empress lets known to Ki that she is behind Ayu's poisoning stupidly thinking Ki cannot figure it out).


-Ayu liking his hyung Maha and to have Toghon outrightly be unkind to Maha is sad.  Granted he had so much hate for his "adopted"/fake bio mom, still to him it is still his son.


-Bang Shin Woo knowing that Wang Yoo is the dad of Maha and going back to Koryo to watch Maha with him

(Poor Wang Yoo not knowing his son with his beloved Seung Nyang is Maha.)

The script having both Ki and Wang Yoo as people the baby NATURALLY wants to be with soooo telling to remind us that those are his real parents.


-Toghon in his rage, hallucinations and delusions fueled by alcohol with the voices he THINKS he hears is crazy scary. When he killed the general for losing (come on it was like what 2k of his troops to 20K of the enemy with no reinforcements no DUh he was going to lose--he is outnumbered. Plus the enemies have explosives as we know Wang Yoo sells to all Yuan enemies) 


-Kolta further fanning the fuels of discord with Nyang with Toghon who initially is adamant Nyang is not that way. But like anything when constantly told to you the lie can become the truth the MORE it is said to you.


-Yon Feisu having Nyang tell her that Wang Yoo was ok and status, her acknowledgement was nice.  Also Nyang appreciated the money from profits to fuel her way to power for the famines (Tal Tal approved her actions as long as she did not collude with selling to the enemy --makes sense). She did more for the people than Bayan and Toghon.  Both are draining the coffers and in a waging battles but not addressing the peoples issues of lack of food.


-When Dok Man told Bool Hwa---we are people with no country. Bool Hwa was upset with him saying that was his last time helping Ki. But later they realized his words. When they found out Wang Yoo sold supplies to the enemies of Yuan. She was like--but I am a consort of Yuan. My allegiance is to Yuan. They are countryless with Koryo abandoning them at the court is true, then in  Yuan Court they are just foreign blood not full blooded Mongol as they are reminded. 


-Smart of Ki to tell her alliances when they were turning their backs on her to not defend Wang Yoo, she told them that Maha was not even REAL royal Mongol blood with Toghon. At least Toghon's other son (hers) is half Mongol and is LEGIT son of Toghon. Timing is EVERYTHING when you need to have your trump card. This was IT the timing for her.


-Tal Tal saving Ki when they were going to hang "Wang Yoo" and with Eunuch Bang and loyal Moo Song having people say Ki saved us giving us food to fight the famine. (We know Ki did it without anyone knowing. So the fact that they were saying it was not the doing of her alliance but of Tal Tal. ) YESHHHHH thanks Tal Tal. He seeing how Toghon is and his Uncle Bayan is as well, he knows that he needs SOMEONE who is still worrying about the people even if she is having power struggles.


Ok glad that are down to the wire and I got caught up to ep 44 last night.


Thanks all for the kind words of encouragement and I DO want to finish my second rewatch party.



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Yes, I am still here and reading comments.  Working from home is proving to be a real challenge, with little time for "fun" stuff. Reading some of the comments have caused me to reflect on them from the perspective of a parent.  I am a mother and I must say the most touching parts of this drama have been those that impact parenting and/or the loss of it.  From Nyang losing her mother (actually witnessing her being murdered) and having to survive alone.  This meant living as a boy and assuming the role of the Jackal.  I am impressed by her transformation from The Jackal to Empress Ki, but it was a journey filled with pain and loss.  One of her most painful moments came with the loss of her son Maha -- again something she personally witnessed and had to live with for years.  She finds joy in the birth of another son, only to soon find out that Maha is still alive. As has been mentioned Maha was never really loved by anyone in the palace, but his true identity is eventually discovered.  But Nyang/Lady/Empress Ki cannot acknowledge him as her son, given her position and the fact that it would mean death for both of them.  She finds a solution (she thinks) by having him sent away to his true homeland, where ironically he will live with his real father, Wang Yoo.  Tragedy strikes again and Nyang has to relive the pain of a mother's loss when Maha dies.  Throughout this drama we see how parenting and/or the loss of it has impacted the characters.  The Jackal's original group/band were homeless, seeking parents, including the Jackal who was looking for her father.  She finds him only to lose him to a tragic death.  Servants in the palace were forcibly separated from their parents/homes, were made to live lives that would even prevent them from having their own families.  


I had to find happy moments in this drama, amid all of the pain and suffering.  It was good to see the survival skills of those who were oppressed and how despite their circumstances that became family to each other.  And again to see Nyang to rise and transform from a homeless, disguised boy to Empress Ki!  And how she used her "power" to effect change that would benefit others.


I have watched/re-watched this drama many times and each time I discover something different and/or reflect on a different aspect of it.  I was so pleased to see there would be this forum to discuss Empress Ki, since I have wanted to hear other's thoughts about the drama.  I regret not having time to post comments as I had hoped, but I have read the comments.  Thank you for your comments.  The holiday season is approaching and I will have more free time and though this forum/discussion will have ended by then, perhaps there will be another one I can join.

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Nothing really to say except that Maha is seriously the most tragic character. From the moment of his birth, he was used, scorned, banished, then died a lonely death never knowing who his parents were. OMG, too sad.


Also, this makes Yeom Byeong Soo the one who killed Nyang's father and her son (twice, sort of). Although other forces were behind their death, Yeom Byeong Soo is always the one that physically kills them.


It was genuinely sad when Yon Feisu (Yeon Bisoo) died, too.

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Hi Everyone!


Grateful for this rewatch part idea and I concur with @faithwalker having others to watch it and hear their thoughts have kept me going. The same when I was in the Moon Embraces the Sun, glad to have been part of that one.  


Glad to FINALLY finish this journey! It has been long since this summer while juggling real life and my other drama rotations. But GLAD I finished this classic drama.


@joccu @partyon @Sleepy Owl @chickfactor 


Thanks for sharing your thoughts @faithwalker I really liked your perspective and talking more of the mother/parents dynamic from Nyang and Maha and the Jackal group to the Palace Koryo people (losing not only their family but homeland). Wow you saw it many times? Bless your heart. Like mom my watching Dae Jang Geum Multiple times. I have seenJumong 2x and Dae Jang Geum 1x. I think 1x for Empress Ki is enough, if anything I would go to HIGHLIGHTS on what parts I like instead. Before joining this rewatch  party I saw ALOT of Tal Tal and Wang Yoo scenes with a smattering of Toghon scene with Nyang. 


Are you still with us @the8dark8angel  ? Hope you are taking care even if you are lurking.


So this is the last week ep 49-51.

I actually caught up! OMG crazy I know right? :cutekitty:


As for ep 46-48 many already wrote good recaps on it and thoughts. So I am just going to write thoughts a little for 49-51 and overall final thoughts on this drama. Please bear with me. Plus I cannot wait for everyone else's write ups!

-I was upset with Toghon's actions to Nyang to 'force' himself on her. NOT HAPPY with that at all. :Furious: He was able to hold himself back so long before but with alcohol and I guess his mental state SHOULDN'T still be an excuse. He was a complicated character throughout the drama. Sent as a prisoner hostage to Koryo. He almost died a few times but later the one sent to kill him did not (Bayan). He grew to like Seung Nyang as he was starved for friends. I mean he bent over backwards to save Nyang (the scene in the bath will always be memorable. Also him asking Nyang to rub /scrub clean his feet LOL. The LONE Koryo person who is assigned to care for him, he gets attached.  I admit I liked their interactions and they were honest and raw and reel. When he got Nyang's dad killed (he did not KNOW that) but that got him on her "bad list". But later that SAVED Nyang's neck when the Bayan's Niece tried to frame Nyang for her evil deeds as he KNEW Nyang would NEVER work with Cockroach as he killed her dad. Later when he was comatose with grief when she was released from service to go with Wang Yoo back to Koryo he was heartbroken. But he perked up and came back from being MUTE when Nyang decided to return but this time for REVENGE over Lady Park and her other Koryo friends to her enemies in particular Tanashiri. Then later when he learns to read (thanks to Nyang) but it was more for Nyang than himself--in secret he was happy to have all that time together. Later when he is free from El Temur, he is on ride trusting Bayan and with Nyang working on her power base for her and Ayu, he is hurt she is pushing him away. He hardens his heart and decides to be not as close as well (though he did whine). When she was hurt/or sick he always came running (cause despite it all he cares). I was shocked when he was tough on her over Bayan's death blaming her and Tal Tal wanted to help her. (Nyang was right his showing the book of Bayan's goals did NOT change Toghon's punishment of Tal Tal's actions.)  His having her beaten daily 100 times was HORRIBLE. Then the remorse he felt hearing her prayers despite his horrible treatment to have her beaten daily was for HIM. HIM. 


-Later when Toghon learned he was dying by Kolta's poison (reminded me when he overheard El Temur wanting to take his power while drugging him) made me a bit sad for a hot minute. He manipulated and got more stable power for Ayu and Nyang. Then to hear that Cockroach wrote those FAKE letters from Nyang and Wang Yoo (he did not believe it initially but even after awhile something you know is not true becomes true to your mind as it is brought to your attention too much). So he knew Nyang NEVER betrayed him in that sense as Kotlta wanted Nyang OUT. His constant chattering about her--he knew it was unfounded, but Kolta NEVER let up. So even when Toghon corrected or cut off Kolta's toxic venomous words, they still made an impression on him over time despite his resistance. He got her to be Empress (despite opposition by Empress Dowager and Kolta.)  They had a relationship so fraught with drama. Definitely a crazy roller coaster ride. HIs dying not surprising (so many deaths in this drama).


-Tanashiri--I felt a little smidgeon of sympathy (not really). She reminds me of the Queen longing for the King's love but it was not to be in The Moon Embracing the Sun.  Both cared for their husband but BOTH were unable to get their love due to their heart was with ANOTHER the FL in both dramas. The timing was off and both the ML fell in love way before they got married and just could not give up on that love (METS) was crazy as he thought she was dead and lived like a MONK. But when he got married with his true love --we KNEW he was not disinterested in women JUST his own wife and other women were NOT Nyang. He was so ready to go be close with his LOVE of his life) Each women did evil things-- Tanashiri killing Lady Park and her servants, trying to slowly poison/kill the new Consorts, death curse on Nyang. fake a son (using Maha) to keep the secret burn the Temple and all those who knew of the secret. Evil. Then METS the gal also did a death curse on the FL and tried to kill the FL many times.


-Yes TAL TAL is the MVP. To choose your country despite your loyalty to your clan. He did the ULTIMATE sacrifice to kill his uncle Bayan. Again great photo @Sleepy Owl TOTALLY love Tal Tal. Was happy that he helped Wang Yoo (when he was messing with Eagle House). Plus his standing up to Toghon to refuse to bow down to him when threatening to kill them all (he did look menacing with the sword.) he killed that general for "losing" being sorely outnumbered with no backup. AAAAAHHH. Then him siding with Nyang and not revealing into to people by just observing. If there was a love line I would be ok with Tal Tal and Nyang. But since she already had Wang Yoo and Toghon it would have been messy. When I was reading up on the actor as Tal Tal, he was close to Ha Ji Won on set (they were same age) and people had rumors they were dating. Initially the writer in the story outline wrote in a love line that later got ditched to Teacher/Student situation. Tal Tal had no wife and family, sad he had none to call his own to have a new generation.  So him respecting Nyang (was my fave) then he was tutoring her. I am glad she did not tell Nyang that Wang Yoo was still alive (when she thought he was killed off by Bayan) it was a smart move. One of the highlights in this latter half were THEIR interactions truth be told. From the military startegies, training Nyang to be a consort (and avoid the iinner palace hijinks) to helping her with the Death Curse from the former Empress Tanashiri--he was pretty dang awesome in my book. His brain was SOOO sexy. Of course his visuals and velvety voice don't hurt either.  :heart3:So when he died fighting (not showing him) very upsetting.


-Yon Feisu --sad to see her die. :bawling: She got to die in Wang Yoo's arms. I agree with others he was so BLINDED about Nyang that he had a worthy and lovely woman RIGHT in front of him. When they showed her asking to live in Koryo, he was wondering why she was asking him for permission. Sigh Wang Yoo love you but you can be a dunce in this sense.  (She was by far WAY better than Tanashiri for him who was full of herself.  But got to say again kudos to Baek Jin Hee in that role. She gave life and she definitely must had fun making those "evil" expressions LOL. Yon Feisu was beautiful, a warrior, smart and had many similar qualities of Nyang (she even dressed as a "man" as her deceased uncle Batalou). Just her timing to have met him was off and TIMING is everything. 


-Maha poor MAHA. :criesariver: To have been taught venomous thoughts and be poisoned for revenge--to live to learn to hate. Not knowing his BIRTH parents were RIGHT In front of him. Smart Maha, thirsting for attention and love from Toghon but NEVER getting it. To be smart enough to questions Empress Dowager (doubt her) after chatting with Wang Yoo and Nyang---he realizes not all is what it seems. Then later to be kicked out for not even having ROYAL blood by the person who proclaimed to PROTECT him Empress Dowager must have slayed his heart. Her refusal to see him before leaving the palace. Then later when LEECH was trying to murder him and have Nyang try to save him (luckily he trusted Manbok) to go to Nyang and NOT Leech (even though he spouted his FAKE uncle's name). I was sad he slowly died and NEVER got a chance to live happily in Koryo with his dad or have Wang Yoo be able to DECLARE him his rightful heir and son. (On top of that, when Eunuch Bang knew all along and did not tell them. But I cannot fault him though.) Glad Wang Yoo overheard and spent quality time with Maha before he died. (Maha was made up for the drama I read too.)


-Bayan---he was true to his instincts. He was very transparent---for his clan. If he could achieve his goals he would partner with others. He was smart to initially trust TAL TAL and later when he went off and did not listen to reasoning. Only being obsessed with gaining the former glory of power led him astray to not CARE for their current people who NEEDED their care and were under famine and starvation. It was folly to use that rare money not for grains but military forces. To have Toghon believe him and follow him blindly was follow. He drank the Bayan punch as he felt powerless his whole life. So when El Temur died and Bayan who saved his life in Kory and he knew well --he had Toghon's trust. But when Bayan said to Tal Tal if I turn out like El Temur kill me. It was sad that Tal Tal had to do it.


-Wang Yoo---I think I read somewhere he was not a real character but a composite? Anyways, DANG he did encompass all that Toghon was not. Manly, noble, righteous, loyal and helpful to his love (even if it meant losing his life) and even if she did not want to be with him--he still helped Nyang (even saving her and Toghon from death). He was not flawless as he thought as a young prince releasing Nyang and others from being forced to Yuan would be ok. There are repercussions and all (except Nyang) were killed by Tanaquishi.  The early scenes while at Yuan, the ladies swooning at seeing him and later the love starved Empress Tanashiri joining them. Kind of funny seeing her ingratiate her way to see him ANY way she could.  Later when she realized she was wrong on him liking her but actually Nyang she was upset. LOL


Even when he knew Nyang's real name but the instance of keeping to call her Seung Nyang (I did not get it. You could say that is how you met them that was their name but HELLO she was dressed as a guy. Why you want to use that name? Not her proper name?)  He got his ONE moment of happiness with Nyang (after she accept her pin) and when he realized she was a woman (boy he was relieved as everyone thought he might not be "straight". But HELLO SN was too feminine and I admit here Tanaquishi was SMART to know right from the get go. Jackal is a WOMAN but his sniffing her later was a bit creepy. (Then he TOO fell in love with her.  I mean smart, brave, beautiful I cannot blame him. He is ruthless, good fighter and brave just not so brainy in some sense in terms of politics. But tracking people for example when Seung Nyang (when on the run with her baby Maha/Star/Byul).


Wang Yoo was a tragic character and he died. But at least he got some love, son (but he had to die and he luckily knew of him before he died). I mean the scenes of baby Maha liking Wang Yoo holding him and Nyang and later when Maha was in Koryo, he was impressed by Prince Maha audacity for one so young. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. If he was able to live with is birth parents, oh how his life would have been.


-El Temur--- my the guy you love to hate. I appreciated he was cunning/savvy in the Politcal Game. He was not ONLY about the military power an acumen but he also know what was needed to be done and achieve his goals without messing up the current systems too much. So when he foresaw what would happen at his death, he was very future oriented and a bright man. I mean come ON the guy was the power behind a few Emperors. He had something going.  Love to hate him but he was a good "evil" guy.


-Empress Dowager, she too was always on the hunt for power. She would be RUTHLESS and she was no different from El Temur. He respected her as his equal though she was a woman. She definitely used the palace and her brain to manipulate and get what she wanted when NEEDED. Ie when she saw her Ward thriving and learning to read under Nyang -it served her purposes so Toghon could get out UNDER El Temur.  When Nyang was against Tanashiri it was advantageous for her with her rivalry with El Temur. When she held back Maha's birth info --she knew the baby did not look like his parents. (So I did not GET that Nyang did not notice that too for someone so bright and same for Tal Tal. Also Tanaqishi did not know too and he is observant. Hmmmm. ) When Nyang was going to be Empress then that was when her alliance with Nyang ended. Still a Yuan person, no mixing of pure blood Yuan so her push for Bayan's niece. She was an interesting character too in the drama.


-Finally getting to Seung Nyang/Jackal/Nyang the main female lead and the person this drama is based on. I read that they don't know the details of her death. But this fictionalized account of her life adding fake Maha and Wang Yoo definitely made the plot interesting. This drama during its time was amazing costumes/sets though at times JARRING OST was interesting. I loved learning of her grit and determination of learning to shoot a bow and arrow. Later learning her "master" had a hand in killing her loved ones. Her being Jackal was one of my fave arcs.  She was active and using strategy and just plain bad RickRoll'D. Then later when she is stuck with whiny immature prince from Yuan Toghon, I felt bad for her. I did like her interactions with Wang Yoo (when she did not know he was a Prince later king). He should have killed her but he couldn't.


-Her revenge to get Tanaquishi was interesting he KILLED her mom. So when he tried to get her to be his concubine and seduce her it was satisfying for me to see her CONSTANTLY reject him. But I have to give him credit, he wanted to force himself on her but he NEVER succeeded after that first attempt nor forcibly tried later on.


-Working with Bayan and Tal Tal when they helped her be consort she was his god daughter. But that alliance was changed when she wanted to be Empress and he said NOPE. My niece will be the Empress (with prodding by Empress Dowager). Tal Tal was amazing as her tutor/mentor and teacher. Their dynamic was my fave. From the --fool me once when she found El Temur's treasure -you cannot fool me again. He was so knowledgeable of the books and when he saw Nyang read about strategies and later giving her other books to read. Then asking for a summary--she was so accurate and succinct, he was impressed. (We know he doesn't suffer fools and to get him impressed is NO simple feat.)  Also whenever he felt something was amiss, Nyang was involved he was NEVER wrong. From her taking his maps /booklets (as she was the only person who saw them in front of him) nothing went past him. To the death curse by Empress Tanashiri, that one time he knew of it  (as he read about it) and how to TRY to to counter it to HELP her was amazing.


-Nyang with Wang Yoo and Toghon, I was more thinking equal footing with Toghon and with Wang Yoo though she cares for him --he will always be "king" and she is his "subject". Later when they get together and he wants her as his queen, that never happens and that one NIGHT of happiness got them their only child Maha /Star/Byul led a sad and tormented life as the ignored son of Empress Tanashiri. UGggh. No matter how evil she was, she DID love Maha sincerely. Toghon and her was complicated. When she finally decided to be with Toghon (I marveled as his self restraint for wanting her and WAITING that long to be with her even after she was his consort. I can understand his wanting her to WANT to be wtih him for HIM not the situation.  When she felt his sincerity and protecting her and he got shot in her stead with poisoned arrows, she felt gratitude and a bit more. So def she let her feelings for him come to fruition. But theirs was never smooth sailing union as we know.


Other characters that I enjoyed 

Kolta (the actor in real life is a sweetie pie) and I thought he was on Toghon's side. He really was sneaky and I did think he was a bit much later throwing horrible barbs at Nyang while whispering into Toghon's ear. To find he was the leader of Eagle House. Dang!


Yom Byung Soo---cockroach the character you love to hate. He was always back stabbing left and right. No wonder he had nine lives.


Eunuch Bang loyal to Wang Yoo but he always would keep secrets and do tasks for his good--even if meant going against this orders (which occurred a lot) especially when concerning Nyang.


Manbok though from Koryo had loyalty the Palace and Yuan. I am glad he kept Nyang's secret being pregnant (he could have blown her cover or chances to be a consort). When he was upset with Nyang and later realized he was wrong about her --ended up saving briefly Maha's life. He brought the words more time here you are people with no country. He wasn't wrong. 


Ok this is getting too long. If you read this far thanks for your patience in trudging through my messy thoughts. Glad and a bit relieved to have FINISHED this on time. (I Made myself speed up to finish last weekend.) Thanks again for the rewatch journey.:wow1: Thanks for the invite and info to  @Lmangla @partyon  :getmygrooveon:


See you all in other drama forums! 



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EVENT: Guess the k-drama (game)


Chingus, it's time for a little friendly game. Your Event Organizers "I Love Gossip" and "Give Me the Goss" have written clues, you guess which dramas we are referring to.


Come on over and test your k-drama knowledge!:kiss_wink:


re: @Lmangla


Will post my thoughts later this week! :kiss_wink:

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So Chingus, I am really late with my post here but I was too busy with the RL stuff. I finally could write my thoughts on this drama today. This drama had a promising start but kind of lost its way in between. It did become really interesting and good when Nyang entered the palace again, but it had sudden downfall after 39-40th episode. Still I am really happy that we all could finally end this drama. It was a great journey with you all. 


@Nodame, @joccu, @chickfactor and @partyon Noona, it was really fun and interesting reading your posts. It actually made me look at the drama from different perspectives, and it actually made this drama really enjoyable. I was always looked forward to your posts and thoughts on the episodes. With this re-watch finally ending, I hope to see you all in other drama threads and continue our discussions on other dramas :heartxoxo:


So with Bayan dead, Toghon seems to be really sad, and also cannot really forgive Nyang for it. I wonder what he would do if Bayan would have killed Empress Ki. While Nyang did try to defend herself saying he was using Toghon, I wonder would Bayan again play his “I did it for you and country. Please kill me” card and get away with it? Well I think he could do it, although Toghon would end up depressed, he still would be convinced not to hurt Bayan by those close to him, especially the snake Kolta. 


Anyway, Nyang is sent to a temple where she will receive 100 lashes each day. With Nyang gone, Toghon hurt by both her actions and also with his decision to send her away, and of course with Kolta around, he has been drinking all day now. Because of this he has become much crazier now. Did he call Tal Tal an Uncle Slayer? I could not help but think of Jamie Lannister who was called King Slayer, and also the parallel between their reason to do it was also quite similar which was They did what was right to do. The best thing about this dude is that he continues to do the right think. 

Dowager Empress had shown her true colors but she is now showing newer side of herself. She never was in support for Toghon, she wanted to be the one behind the King, just like what El Temur was. She wants to be a Kingmaker and seeing Toghon not in a stable mental state, she now plans to bring a new heir and control the new King again. And again Tal Tal does the right thing, proving his uncle’s wrong doings and suggesting Toghon to bring back Nyang as she is the most loyal person he can have on his side, while also telling about his retirement. 


Finally seeing Nyang pray for his wellbeing, Toghon decides to being back Nyang to the palace. Wang Yu on the other hand has been sabotaging Eagle House’s plans. Finally with Nyang back to her right place, we also see the Best person possible become the regent, Tal Tal. 


Tangqishi also dies, Toghon is saved thanks to Wang Yu, but then just before dying he reveals Wang Yu and Nyang being Maha’s real parents. Damn you Tangqishi, just like his father he also did what he wanted to do before dying. Toghon also kills Lady Soh for knowing and now he also plans to kill Wang Yu. 


Wang Yu is told that he is being given his throne back thanks to the services he did for Yuan and Toghon. Finally we get to see the first scene of episode 1 happening. Nyang finally becoming Empress Ki and with the celebrations happening, Wang Yu leaves for Goryeo. Later that night Toghon rides to kill Wang Yu. Now many could disagree, and while I do understand why Toghon wanted to have him killed, I think he was really a bad judge of character here. Firstly he wanted to kill Wang Yu since he knew that Wang Yu knows about being Maha’s father and wanted to ensure the rumor does not go around on that. With Wang Yu going to his nation to get his throne back, with Maha dead and seeing what all services Wang Yu did for Yuan and its people, I think he never deserved to be killed like that. This actually makes me wonder, did Toghon kill Wang Yu only because of Maha’s secret? Even Tal Tal was against it, although well he didn’t know the actual reason for it.


Toghon could be a good guy throughout (not so good guy though), but we have seen him plotting to have Wang Yu killed at least once before and the second time when Bayan got him apparently killed, he did not do anything against him too. His hate for Wang Yu was from before, and well while he could reason with killing him for keeping him silent, but as I said, he kept a person like Bayan close to him who openly was doing wrong stuff and forgave him even his attempt to kill Nyang, while killed Wang Yu who was the guy behind Eagle House’s failed plans and also saving his life. I also really wonder, this actually is a direction mistake, but well Toghon saying “I know Maha is your son” with many soldiers being quite close to him I really wonder, did he even get those guys killed? Still as I said, this is a direction mistake, nothing more. 


So while I do understand the reason he did it for, I still do not really approve him killing Wang Yu like that. Anyway, unlike Maha, Nyang could be with Wang Yu and grieve over him. Once again good guy Tal Tal stops the possible rift between Nyang and Toghon happening, by telling her that he did it for her. Finally back in the her rightful place, it was good to see Nyang finally work for the country and not be involved in useless power struggle with others like she did with Bayan and Dowager Queen.


Finally learning about Kolta I think really hurt Toghon. He was his head Eunuch and also close friend. But seeing him being the one betraying him like that also showed how lonely Toghon actually was. Bayan was loyal to him, but sold his soul for his thirst for glory and power. Dowager Queen seemed to be on his but proved otherwise. Nyang initially too got drifted away from him for some time in her power struggle with Dowager Queen and Bayan. And now it is Kolta. The only loyal people around him are Nyang and Tal Tal. 


So Toghon is also going to die now. Wow, not many characters will end up being alive in the end I guess. Spitting blood means he is beyond saving, and he is now planning to sabotage their plans, while not really revealing anything to Nyang. It was also good to see him finally realize those letters from Wang Yu being fake too. 


Toghon’s master was actually really a good one. He very smartly fooled Dowager Queen and Kolta, got them cornered in the court, killed all of their supporters and finally killed Kolta himself. Damn you Kolta, he was never on his side from the start. The guy who manipulated almost everyone from El Temur to Dowager Queen finally got killed by the schemes of a person who he thought to be a fool. Dowager Queen too chose to kill herself over being sent to the temple. 

The moment we all have been waiting for, for like the past 40+ episodes finally came and the cockroach got killed. It was interesting to see him not really repenting. He did claim it was all because he was born in Goryeo and blamed other things, but I don’t really think he can blame it all for all the actions he did. Yes he could be opportunistic and power hungry because of the humble background he had and being a person from Goryeo, but it does not justify the killings he did for it and people he betrayed for it. But seeing Nyang shed a tear even for a cockroach like him did show that she somehow understood that even though those things cannot be justified, but had Goryeo been a better place to live, we could see lesser people turning out like him. 


We see a time jump happening. It starts with the news of Nyang’s brothers being killed by King Gongmin the new ruler of Goryeo. And even though they were abusers of powers, Empress Ki was asked to take action against the new King since he got the throne thanks to her. But Yuan is also facing an incoming civil war with the rebels starting a rebellion. We see another time jump happening and Nyang getting the news of Tal Tal being killed. IT was really sad to hear that news, but seeing Tal Tal being an actual historical figure well they could not change much about it (although they pretty much changed everything else involving Empress Ki). And then we see Toghon also dying while resting his head on her laps and confessing his love to her with she doing the same. So they pretty much killed everyone. 


Talking about the final scene where we see Nyang in dilemma of choosing who to ride with and we all know who she choose, I already had a discussion long ago, on it with some of my friends whom I first watched it. They said that it was actually showing that Nyang chose Toghon from the start and she was confused with her feelings for him after Toghon had betrayed her. Well it actually could be the case given we never saw a proper development happening between Wang Yu and Nyang happening. IT was like they were each other’s first love and that love just happened without any of us happening. For me it is not really important who she loved first or second. She in the end chose Toghon and loved him genuinely, that is what I think is important. Her relationship with Wang Yu was a thing of a past now, and even though Wang Yu couldn’t move on with his feelings, we did see her moving on. All the things that happened between them and their involvement together after her marriage with Toghon were all for Toghon or her son Ayu, and the feelings she had for Wang Yu later on were more like being grateful to him for all the things he did for her and also some guilt in the end that he had to die because of her. 



The post is already quite long, but since this is on the last group of episodes, I will comment on the top four characters of this drama too. 

First I’ll start with Toghon. We all see him as an easy going prince, totally opposite of the initial central character Wang Yu. He was everything that a royal should not be and nothing that a royal should be. Even after becoming the Emperor nothing much changes, and we see him struggling a lot with being under El Temur, and also Nyang not loving him back and having feelings for Wang Yu. 


We did see a significant character development happening in him when Nyang finally entered the palace as his consort. Nyang made him the type of person a ruler shall be. But I’d still say he was never an Emperor material. He as ruler was trusting some of his people a bit too much, like he did with Bayan. He also was still unable to possess true power he had since Bayan, Dowager Queen and even sometimes Nyang would try to meddle in the palace affairs and he would give in to their demands. It was like he wanted to keep all three of them content and wanted them to stay with him, but choosing one or two was inevitable. His unlimited trust in Bayan brought Yuan close to destruction. So well, he did the right things in the end, did make some really wrong reasons too, but in the end it was really sad to see him only have Tal Tal and Nyang on his side.


Nyang. She was the central character here, and even though I would have loved to see her more as Jackal, it was good seeing her finally understand that things don’t require brute force sometimes and you got to play with your brain too. I enjoyed her character more after she entered the palace as Royal consort. Although I didn’t really like her meddling in Royal affairs a bit too much, and also initially drifting away from Toghon, giving him cold shoulder all for because she was too busy ensuring that her son’s position in palace is not taken away and also trying to step apparent war between Goryeo and Yuan. But finally she came back to him, and loved the fact that she was with him in his final moments and confessed her love to him before he could pass away. 


Wang Yu. Although I still believe that if we remove his character from the plot, it would not really affect it much, what he actually did was significant but not easy to really recognize I guess. If we see his contribution to the plot, he was actually actively involved in El Temur’s death, directly involved in finding his secret treasure, also the guy who ruined the plans of Eagle House. He helped people of Yuan, Toghon and Nyang, but while being behind the curtains and given the fact that those arcs were kind of boring, I think at least I couldn’t really appreciate his character much. But seeing the big picture, I could say that his help to Toghon was not lesser than Nyang and Tal Tal. Because he saved Yuan from Eagle House which was ruining the whole nation, saved them from El Temur who wanted to kill him. So I really did find it a bitten end to his character who did it all mainly for Nyang, but also for the people of Yuan. I don’t think whatever he did was mostly to get his throne back. 


Tal Tal. Simple the MVP of this drama for me. I would actually choose Wang Yu for this if and only if we didn’t have Tal Tal in the drama. But well, this guy did the right things which were really difficult to do sometimes. He killed his own uncle, the person he was closest to and served for many years. Supported Nyang from back whenever it was needed. So he was a smart guy, but also knew what was right and wrong, and was strong enough to choose the right path almost every time. In my opinion he could actually be the smartest character of this drama too, or maybe smartest on the same level as Wang Yu. I really loved those episodes where they kind of worked together. So this guy here, was my most favorite character of this drama, along with Batulo. 



Thank You Chingus for reading this long post, hope to see you all in other drama threads :heartxoxo:

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Chingus, we made it to the end! Yay! :wow2:


Awesome posts @Sleepy Owl  dongsaeng and @Nodame chingu! :kiss_wink:


Here are my thoughts about the last 3 episodes (49, 50, 51):


Ep 49 started off where Tal Tal had just killed his uncle. There was proof that Bayan had planned to kill his own people. Tal Tal being the awesome person he is, couldn't allow that and honored his beliefs!


The deadlock between husband and wife continued in this episode. There was no trust left between them, and oppa went so far as to exile Nyang because of his self-destructiveness. Yet, oppa didn't understand that he was shooting himself in the foot because deep down he loves his wife and is suffering from this situation as well.
He was wavering as he wanted to rule the world, yet he felt so empty inside.

Nyang went to a temple to repent while she got lashes on her back every day. Despite her harsh fate in the temple, she was super worried about her husband and kept praying for him.


Sigh. Why can't these two people communicate with each other when they clearly care about the other? :sad1:
So many of these things would have been resolved had they just shared their feelings honestly!

Once oppa hears Nyang pray for him in the temple, he finally relents. I think he needed to hear her actually say that she cares for him deeply. Again, had she just shared that she loves him earlier on, all of these issues could have been resolved.


Finally Nyang becomes empress and we go back to episode 1. But this time when I see Nyang's tears fall when she sees Wang Yoo, I don't think she's actually crying for him or because she lost him. I think seeing him makes her recall all the hardships she has endured to get to this point, and the fact that she is finally abandoning fully her own country. Wang Yoo's and Nyang's love was based on their love for their country (this became apparent in ep 50 when Wang Yoo died).


Tangqishi dies, but not before he tells oppa: "You will always be Seungnyang's second choice."

Uh oh.


In ep 50 we see oppa kill Tangqishi before he was able to say anything more...
Lady Soh came clean to the emperor about Maha's heritage which set many balls in motion...


In order to protect his wife, he would have to kill EVERYONE who knew of the birth secret.... So he kills Lady Soh and he kills Wang Yoo, along with some other people.


Now I know that there were discussions on the necessity to kill Wang Yoo, but I feel strongly that there was no other choice. Back in the day, it was key that the empress would be a virgin when she married and that she may not have any relations outside her marriage. Otherwise she would automatically be executed.
Since oppa loved Nyang so much, he wouldn't have been able to bear to kill her even though that is what should have been done. So his only other choice was to kill everyone around them who knew about this secret, including Wang Yoo.
I felt that this was the only logical outcome for this story line.

Also, back in the day, anyone who "disrespected" someone's wife, would have been killed. That is why it was clear even to Wang Yoo that he should give up his life.


In ep 51 oppa found out he was dying because Kolta had been slowly poisoning him. He ultimately sacrifices himself so that he can save Nyang and Ayu. He also found out that all those letters were fake. Tal Tal dies, finally cockroach dies.


The last scene was just unbelievably sad when oppa dies in Nyang's arms and he finally hears her tell him that she loves him right before he passes away. From his reactions it is cleared that he already knew that she loved him. :heart:

My thoughts about this drama:

Now many of you know I had NEVER watched a sageuk before this, so it was quite an adventure to start off my sageuk journey with a 51 episode drama. :joy: Here is what I thought.


1) The music sucked! Majorly!

2) The overacting was hilarious in the beginning, but I got used to it.

3) There were too many palace intrigues and villains in this drama. I especially disliked cockroach and Tanashiri.... Also way too many fight scenes and useless plot lines.

4) The plot took too long time to develop and didn't get really interesting until oppa started gaining self-confidence. The plot took a major downfall, though, after ep 39. But I pulled through!


5) Loved the costumes.


One major thing was of course Nyang's love for two men and how that influenced her choices in the end. Before I watched the drama, I read that there were many discussions whom she loved more and it seemed to me that most people were on Wang Yoo's side.

Yes, he was the more stable and stronger man but in the end I don't think he was who Nyang ultimately loved with all her heart.


As many chingus have pointed out the end scene was telling because we went back to the beginning and saw Wang Yoo, Toghon and Nyang on the beach:


and we know who she chose back then:



Now I have said many times throughout this drama that the love between Nyang and oppa was truer, because both were much more themselves with each other. With Wang Yoo, he could never show his true self to her and he could also never really let her go despite her marrying oppa.
The most telling part for me was the fact that he called her Seungnyang to the end, instead of with her real name.


Oppa was not the perfect husband. He was whiny, clingy and at times just unpredictable. But he was always true and clear about his own feelings towards her, and that meant that Nyang could trust him on a totally different level. Wang Yoo always wanted to protect her (even behind her back), whereas she was much more equal to oppa.


Looking back at oppa's and Nyang's journey together, I am quite certain now that she fell in love with him already when she was protecting him during his exile in Koryeo. Despite the fact that he was really annoying :joy: (I think we can agree on that fact), while she was dragging him around, I think she fell for him already then and felt the need to protect this vulnerable man. When they ended up in the cave together in ep 5 and oppa was very hurt, that was the first time I felt that she had developed feelings for him.



Hadn't he betrayed her trust unknowingly by implicating her father in order to save himself, I think it's likely they would have become husband and wife fairly quickly. Their hardships without Nyang's huge burden to avenge would have been much lesser. It took a very long time for Nyang to forgive oppa after that.

But in the end, they were together for a long time. I'm not exact about the timelines, but it would seem like they knew each other for at least 10-15 years.


Thank you all for this wonderful journey together! :dorakiss:


I put up a final poll @Nodame @Sleepy Owl @joccu @faithwalker @chickfactor @Lmangla @corey @the8dark8angel

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  • partyon changed the title to [Drama 2013/2014] ♚ Empress Ki (기황후) ♚

First I want to thank for everyone for the comments. It been really nice to read everyone's amazing insights. 

It's been really busy couple of weeks and sometimes I don't remember to comment. :wub::loolz:

Too many people died. It was good that bad people died but why did they had to kill Tal tal or batolu? 

Cockroach had really deserving dead. 

Tal tal was one of the only reasons that I survived to the end. 


This drama should have ended in the episode 40 or they should have moved the plot faster in the beginning. 



There where too many misunderstood and mistrust between the lead. I would have loved if they could have just trusted each other. 


KOLTA. What you can say about him. It always the closest people that will betray you. You  know I liked him at first but somewhere long they I saw thing that made me think that maybe he was not a good person. 


Power is the worst enemy. Everyone want it and you don't want to share it. 


Killing Wang yoo was the only choice. 


The love triangle for me never was a real triangle. Never really felt that W and N were really in love which each other even though there was Maha. 

The poor kid never knew his parents. His life was one of the most pitiful. 


There could have been maybe few villain but with long sageuk that is always the case. Many villain, few good people. 


Overall I did like this drama. It was my second time watching this. There was so much I did not remember. 


@partyon @Sleepy Owl @Nodame @chickfactor  thank you!  And see in another threat. :heart2:


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I know I'm late to this game but right now I feel writing down my thoughts about this Drama is the only way I will be able to let it go- and I need to let it go because my addiction to it is slowly driving me insane. It is like a 51 hour long torture to my soul and me enjoying the pain. 


Let me begin with my first impression, after watching Secret Garden the famous horse riding scene appeared in my youtube suggestions and I was like: 'Ok, I can't even decide who's the boy and who's the girl, not gonna' watch this one.' I wish I stuck to this or I don't know. Needless to say that certain scene has been already replayed on my screen so many times I'm surprised it did not burn into my screen. 


Now, when I decided to watch it I had my reservation after the first scene, because it told clearly: no one is going to be really happy in this drama, but the archery match got me hooked. Ep 1 was the only ep where I thought the chemistry could work between SN and WY, so you could guess which ship I've boarded after all.

As I'm a rather impatient person and I did not want to waste my time on something which might not be worth it, I started to skip through the episodes, watching only the seemingly interesting parts... now, looking back, with this drama it's an absolute no-no because the devil is in the details. 

For this reason my first impression of the prince was low, because without context, his asking for dried persimmons and declaring himself fatigued, etc. really made him look like a stupid, spoiled, good for nothing person. Later when I re watched that episode I had a completely different take on his character and his actions. I just love when a show can do this: presenting a flawed character which initially makes me annoyed only to- by revealing the layers of his personality and the complexity of his circumstances- make me fall hard for him and keeping me on my toes for the rest of the drama, begging to let him at least a few moments of genuine happiness.
Ep 4 sealed my fate, it must be the most intriguing drama ep I have ever seen. I love historical settings, girl disguised boy storylines, and ep 4 presented me everything there is to see. The character of TH played by JCW makes me watch this 51 hour torture on an infinite loop- both the character and the actor and it all started in ep 4. I was surprised when he first covered for SN, and then, when he also beat him in archery with a smug smile and he was frustrated... he was so goddamn cute about it. A truly petty person would have held a grudge and made SN's live more miserable but instead he asked him nicely to take him to a picnic :D  And here we are, at the riding scene and with that the ship sets it sails, because that was probably the happiest moment for both characters throughout the entire series. 
I had to admit when TH started to cry I thought he was about to cry in frustration about losing yet again and I believe SN also thought this and this made that scene having even more impact. That made both the viewers and SN  realize how deep that character really is and it was acted brilliantly. It was like seeing a completely different person all of a sudden, and for SN I think that's when she truly started to feel for him as a person. 
I read somewhere that every time SN and TH seems to finally connect WY appears and ruins everything :D I know it could be completely interpreted the other way around but as I'm in the TH-SN ship allow me to be mean here. The beach scene was beautiful, emotional, and I was not happy with WYs arrival at all (Is it only me who got the vibes of an angry father about to scold the children for staying out at the playground without permission?) . However, his appearance led to the other surprising and confusing iconic scene of this show. I loved how TH stood up straight this time and told WY not to blame SN- it was such a huge difference after how WY bullied him after he entered his palace and I think SN was also further impressed. Aaand then she chose to ride with TH. I admit it, my chin hit the table thinking 'what the hell just happened?'. It is frustrating that we will never know what she actually thought and it can be interpreted to the benefit of both ships but then again, I choose to interpret it as TH: 1 WY:0 as he rode off with the woman with a haughty smile. I truly believe she did that because she had just connected with TH on a personal level and she was more comfortable riding with him. 

Aaand sorry again for the interpretation of the next scene, but I just love how it played out. WY drinking with SN trying to have a good time with 'him' but it's all awkward and SN is blurting out requests for making TH's life more comfortable. If WY failed to regret making SN shadowing TH on the beach I'm pretty sure he was already mentally facepalming hard. Aaaand that's when haughty prince arrives to ruin WY's night completely (although I'm at my wits end about what was he exactly planning having a boy servant drinking with him all night.) This is also a situation where I'm dying to know what SN actually thinks: I don't think she is in love with either of them, but she kind of hero-worships WY and clearly cares for TH and she knows these two hate each other and she is very uncomfortable being caught up between them. However what surprised me again is that when TH asked her to go to Yuan with him she did not refuse... she had no reservations hurting his feelings back on the beach (I don't care if you forget me or not) so I don't think it was just about that. Nevertheless she leaves and TH played really smart because he got just what he wanted (in your face WY). 2:0 
Now I have to refer back to the scene where WY bullied TH, because my take on that scene changed a great deal. When I have first seen it playing out I thought it was somewhat justified and 'here we have TH crying again like a baby'. Now thinking back I believe this was one of the lowest moment for WY: what was he thinking and why did he do that? Yes, TH said something stupid which hurt him, but that was no way for a king to handle that situation. From one point of view, although TH's chances of truly becoming an emperor were thin, it was still a possibility, and losing all possible goodwill between them just to soothe his anger was an idiotic act. On the other hand it was not flattering about his personality either: kicking the puppy who's already down: as TH said he really did nothing wrong. 
I skipped through a lot of happenings to the next turning point: TH's betrayal. When I first saw that (again, without context) I instantly lost all sympathy for his character only to realize later that he did the best thing for everyone really. First of all, he did not want to go back to the palace at all, he knew it will be the end of him and he was totally right about it, SN insisted he needed to go back, to save her father and her majesty. SN strongly believed it is the right path for the both of them but I wonder if even, much later in the story, she has realized that she was wrong. Also, the time when TH was taken away by the Yuans and WY told her that his well being is not their concern anymore she had to see that TH was right to a certain extent.
TH knew perfectly well that he will be killed if he told the truth and still was torn about betraying SN and it's the most tragic thing in this entire series. He basically ruined the only meaningful relationship he had (and his future love), a decision which will torture him throughout his life but he had no other options: had he told the truth not only he, but everyone else present would have been killed off. Every scene which torments him about this decision (especially the two confrontation with SN) breaks my heart. 
Aaand back in the place the true misery begins for everyone and it never really ends (for anyone). How can a story torture it's characters this much? Is life really like this? Whenever something remotely happy occurs it has to be paid for by hours of misery? I wish the series ended after the disposal of YC and his family, before TH's and Y's temporary happiness was torn to shreds all over again. Or at least before TH's death. 
I of course enjoyed every time a villain was outsmarted and met his or her demise, but after a certain point even that did not have the same impact, because you just knew that other evils will arise, not leaving the main couple one minute to breath and from time to time their own lack of consideration for the other dug the misery hole even deeper. 

Now a few thoughts this drama convey perfectly: 
-Wallowing in self pity gets you nothing, nor does pride. 

-SN took TH's feeling for granted and after a certain point she failed to govern his heart. Also when SN finally stopped breaking his heart, TH sort of went on doing that himself. In the last third of the series  I believe they were the biggest benefactors of their own misery. 
-I hate the fact that after killing off the main villains (YC family) not only there's no happy ending but even worse situations escalate- it's painful but very realistic. 

-Before making a judgement on a person or a situation you have to gather every possible detail and even then you have to be wary.

-Sometimes there is no such thing as a right choice but you have to make a decision anyway. 

-Another tragic layer that I believe we all were rooting for TH and EK to prevail and be together in the top, but what did their victories do to the empire? Has its situation improved one bit by any of the great changes? It doesn't seems so.


I could go on all day writing my thoughts, and sorry for the long post but I needed to get hold of that abyss which currently swirling around in my head. 



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