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[Drama 2017-2018] A Korean Odyssey/Hwayugi 화유기


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Me while watching episode 11: Squeal, LOL, !!On the edge of my seat!!, Garglefarglehsifdoheksjl! WHY!?!?!!! … drinks a cup of tea and calms down. Well, I don’t want to see our beloved characters in pain, but I greatly applaud the strong story crafting that is continuing this weekend. The story is not slowing down or dragging a bit, and the twists and turns are ingenious. For now I’m going to get myself through the wait by laughing at Oh Gong’s reaction to the news article that Sun Mi was having a relationship with Ma Wang. ...And by writing a wall of text. Here goes.

 

@briseis all the best with your studying and we'll be looking forward to your return. I really learn a lot from your analyses.:)

 

23 hours ago, stroppyse said:

[...]

Anyway, according to the Korean wiki, the name General Frost became Dong Janggun (Dong is east. Janggun means general.) in Korean via an initial translation by the Japanese.

[...]

One other quick thing in reading his character description on the Korean wiki for Hwayugi, General Frost seems to a history professor at Korea University when he's not an ice cream vendor in the park. I don't remember this depicted in the drama as yet. I wonder when it will come into play, if at all.

@stroppyse Thanks for sharing about his name and for all the translations you give! I think the wikipedia page accidentally has General Frost and Kang Dae Sung (Bu Ja's murderer)'s profiles mixed together. Per the official website, other than being a presidential candidate, Kang Dae Sung's current occupation is as a history professor.

 

 

Terms in the show, round 3:

 신수 (神樹) shinsu; divine treeAlso called a shinmok (신목 神木) as well as other names, is a sacred tree or even a tree deity depending on the religion. Sacred/guardian trees, of course, come up in many different religions and lore all around the world. In the Asian stories I have seen and read featuring them, it was never a good idea to cut one down, often leading to being possessed or cursed. @enigmatic_zephy

 

Some theorizing: I don't know much yet on how shinsu function in Taoism and Chinese folk religion, which this show draws on alot, but I wonder if there will be any influence from Korean Shamanism. According to some of the Shamanistic stories, sacred trees can act as a bridge between the heavens and the human realm, but their roots can also extend to the underworld. In episode 4, Soo Bo Ri and Ma Wang spoke of Sam Jang being sent because the gates of hell may soon be opened. So... if this sacred tree not only was guarding a coffin, but also had its roots leading to the underworld, then its cutting down may truly signify the start of the coming apocalypse that Sun Mi saw in the foreseeing jar's water...

Spoiler

ep4_3.pngep4_4.pngep4_5.pngep4_6.png

 

 선녀 (仙女) sun nyeo; Taoist fairy(Naver) The sun() is the same Hanja character as in shinsun(神仙). The Summer Fairy is a sun nyeo, Ha Sun Nyeo (하선녀). The nyeo(女) character standardly means "woman" or "female", so Princess Iron Fan's akgwi name "Na Cheol Nyeo (나찰녀 羅刹女; derived from the Hindu/Buddhist Rakshasa)" should not be confused as meaning a taoist fairy. Makes one wonder what she was called when she was still a shinsun.

 

=

I’m going to do some thinking while typing just to get things sorted out in my head, I will be focussing mostly on episodes 9 and 10, so I probably will repeat some ideas that others have already posted here -You all are brilliant!-.

 

How was Sun Mi's life changed by becoming Sam Jang -other than needing to prevent the apocalypse-? 

Sun Mi was born with the ability to see spirits. Because of the troublesome/dangerous situations she encountered, she developed an ominous reputation among the humans around her, and she was facing bullying at school. These things already made her unhappy and she was in need of her talisman umbrella to protect herself. The crux of the issue back then was "seeing". She had difficulty distinguishing between ghosts and humans and that got her into trouble. However, as she bragged to Ma Wang when he warned her in episode 1:

MW: "Whatever you see, whatever you hear, you must ignore it."

SM: "Okay! I do that really well."

she probably had hope that if she could just learn to ignore them well enough then she could one day pass herself off as normal.

 

Becoming Sam Jang changed that. In episode 1, the ghost teacher discovered that Sun Mi could see her, because Sun Mi responded to her. But with the power of Sam Jang in her veins, Sun Mi now attracted evil spirits to her just by existing. She had to take great care and be physically cautious in order to never bleed. Scrap your knee, get a splinter, have blood drawn? All potentially dangerous. And this probably increased the ominous happenings in her surroundings. Now it had become even harder to hope to be accepted by other humans.

 

In episode 1, the Summer Fairy explained to Oh Gong Sun Mi's longing for Oh Gong's protection in the following scene:

OG: A kiddo I knew a long time ago showed up looking much older. She made me feel uneasy.

SF: You must've done something wrong to that kiddo.
OG: Yeah. But I don't feel uneasy about the wrong thing I did at all. But she said she waited for me for 25 years.
SF: Desperately?

OG: I don't know what that is, but it concerns me very much.

SF: Desperately means something like this. (slides a glass of alcohol in front of OG)

For 25 years, because it was never allowed, you weren't able to forget about it, and you end up wanting it even more.


Sun Mi already longed for a protector before becoming Sam Jang, but after releasing Oh Gong the dangers she faced increased even more. How much more must she have wanted him? And, then to find out that not only had he reneged on their contract and abandoned her at that time, but that her increased danger was also due to having met him.

 

I think she must be aware that Ma Wang used her, but since he had warned her to ignore Oh Gong when she went to the mountain, she probably finds it pointless to express anger to him. Not to mention, betrayal or not being cared for hurts when you love someone, and she loves Oh Gong and is more like "neutral" towards Ma Wang.

 

What was the bookseller able to take? @stevii

So Sun Mi's own ghost seeing talent, Sam Jang blood, and the unfulfilled contract made her unhappy and lonely in her childhood. The bookseller took Sun Mi's childhood unhappiness, which I think is why the bookseller was able to take all three things. The GGG was begun in Sun Mi's adult life and was not part of her childhood. Still, if the GGG had been initiated with the power of Sam Jang as many of the characters first thought, then it may have gone with the Sam Jang powers. However, the GGG belongs to the human Sun Mi and is also probably not something that she subconsciously feels makes her truly unhappy even though she experiences loneliness and hurt from being in a one-side love (from her view point).

 

Red herrings when it comes to the Geumganggo @mmalouloulou

Looking back, what I remember is that the GGG shone when it was first activated. It also shone when the bookseller called Oh Gong. And Bu Ja, calls Oh Gong's bracelet a "one-to-one" connection between him and Sun Mi with which she could call him. But I think these last two are (in part) red herrings to keep us in suspense during episode 9 and 10.

Spoiler

ep4_7.pngep4_8.png

As far as I remember, whenever we saw Oh Gong hear Sun Mi call him. It always seemed to be a voice he heard in his head and the camera did not zoom in on the bracelet. I think it may in part have been Bu Ja's misunderstanding, but Oh Gong did not deny it because it is part symbolism. The bracelet was put on Oh Gong to keep him from eating Sun Mi, but it also made him (want to) honor his contract to go to her whenever she calls. In that way, it functions as a visual symbol of their contract, even though the GGG and the contract are not directly linked together.

 

Now, why am I not talking about how the bracelet makes Oh Gong share her pain? Maybe I am misremembering and need to go watch the earlier episodes in full once again, but I don't think the bracelet actually makes him capable of feeling what Sun Mi feels. We certainly know that Oh Gong cannot feel everything that Sun Mi does, otherwise he wouldn't have wanted Bu Ja to tell him what Sun Mi thinks about/feels towards him in episode 9. The phrase "your pain is my pain" has been coming up a lot, but I think that is more in the metaphorical sense. Because he loves her, he will feel pain too/along with her whenever she is hurt or in danger, but it is not her pain being transmitted into his heart. Does that make sense? In episode 4, Oh Gong asked Ma Wang why he should be hurt if Sun Mi is in pain, and Ma Wang's, albeit mocking answer, was that Oh Gong is in love with Sun Mi, not that the bracelet is transmitting her pain to him.

This is also, then, part of the reason why in episode 10, Oh Gong did not notice that Sun Mi was hurting too each time they spoke.

 

So, what was up with the GGG flashing at the time the bookseller called him? I think it must have just been coincidental. Perhaps the bookseller called Oh Gong as soon as she gained full control of the contract, but the GGG flashed in reaction to a great change in Sun Mi's state of being. To reiterate, though the GGG does not transmit her emotions to Oh Gong, it does react to her strong emotions and state of being. Part of Sun Mi was being ripped away, and while the GGG remained with the main part that stayed, it had to readjust itself.

The reaction to her strong emotion in episode 11, is quite scary, though. I agree that Sun Mi wanted to stop Oh Gong to protect him from the consequences of killing those humans and losing himself in his anger, but the fact that the GGG can emit black, negative energy is worrisome... What if Sun Mi tries to remove it, but finds that it won't come off...

 

How did Ma Wang learn the activation method for the GGG?

So, episode 10 led us to believe that Ma Wang learned of Sun Mi kissing Oh Gong to activate the GGG from the Summer Fairy, but how was that possible? The Winter General stayed awake the whole episode in order to not leave the little ghost girl alone, right?

 

Oh Gong's contrasts and sincerity

There were a number of contrasts concerning Oh Gong that they showed us in episode 10 compared to the earlier episodes. Oh Gong had thought (pre-GGG) that he could not eat Sun Mi because of the contract he had with her, but that seems to have been naught but an excuse he deluded himself with at the time. Oh, he was cruel, indeed, to her emotionally but he could not bring himself to harm her physically. However, as a self-proclaimed "extremely bad guy", he was able to beat up the bookseller despite the contract.

 

He used to frequently ask why he should care or why he should feel pain concerning Sun Mi, because his inner self as well as his logical mind could not accept the emotions he felt, but since episode 6, he has gradually stopped saying and admitting that his feelings towards Sun Mi are fake. Quite the opposite, in episode 10, he told Sa Oh Jeong that he would use sincerity to convince Ma Wang to let him go. And that sincerity was speaking about his love for Sun Mi, not in complaint, anger, and un-acceptance of his emotions but in focussing on her wishes. Though he knew that speaking of love would get through to Ma Wang, I don't think he was pretending. If that was his tactic, he would have said as much to Sa Oh Jeong from the start, and not just pass it off later by saying that Ma Wang is weak to love.

 

In the middle of episode 11 when things have calmed down and the two are no longer in a "time is of the essence", need-to-act-fast mode, both he and Sun Mi take a half-step back into doubt again about themselves if they were to be without the GGG. Now that Oh Gong has been physically hurt by the GGG, on whatever path the writers take to grow his character past that event, I think he will continue to discover his love for Sun Mi more in the coming episodes. His great challenge then may be to get Sun Mi to see his sincerity after all the reminders of fakeness that he gave her. It can be easier to get someone to believe your rejection of them than to believe your acceptance of them, even if you don't have a magical object in the mix.

 

Several posters have written about one of Sun Mi's purposes as Sam Jang may be to bring Oh Gong back to a good path again, so that he will return to being a shinsun. In light of that it is very interesting that (belief of) sincerity is one of their obstacles to overcome, since in episode 1, Oh Gong told Soo Bo Ri as argument that he should be reinstated in the heavens, "I spend my time sincerely."

Spoiler

ep1_5.png

 

 

Sun Mi isn't carrying her umbrella!

There have been some great posts on here about Sun Mi's journey of self-acceptance and accepting Oh Gong as her protector in episodes 9-10. One thing that underlines her step closer to relying on Oh Gong is that she was not carrying her umbrella the whole of episode 11!

 

 

Orpheus and Eurydice or could it be the Cowherd and the Weaver?

I think the Orpheus and Eurydice theories are fascinating (Thank you! @jinsunmi and @Benocciola). I wonder if maybe the Asian legend of the Cowherd and the Weaver is also a possibility? The Lyra constellation was shown behind Sun Mi. The brightest star in that constellation is Vega which represents the Weaver Girl, named Jing Nyeo in Korean. It's not a legend with a blissful ending, but death is not the obstacle. This article tells the Korean version.

Probably not related, but I find it interesting that both the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl and scenes from Journey to the West are painted in the Long Corridor of the Summer Palace in Beijing.

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YEEEEEEEESSSS  - Son Oh Gong finally holds his bride in his arms once again (a bride who is wearing a royal wedding dress). Judging from OG's scarf this scene will follow the confrontation with the Wi

It took the Hong Sisters 13 long years to write a bed scene but they managed to  do it right on their first try. I might have issues with their writing in this show but this whole moment was FREAKING

Oh no.. with everyone hating on the ending, i think i wanna step out to defend it a little. initially without the subtitles, the ending seemed like a whole mess. But if u really just focus on our OTP

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@Zelda thanks!! Great explanations! Really appreciate you taking the time!

 

Back to my question on the "rank" of SOG, I understand the different levels & types of monsters/demons. Maybe what I am not clear about is if SOG has been expelled from spiritual realm does he lose his deity status? 

 

Anyway  the "key benefit" as a deity I have seen so far (pls pardon my ignorance!) is the power to decide who lives, who dies and who gets played out. The gods mete out punishments and so far I've not seen any rewards. I hope they will reward OTP someday.  

 

I supposed if I was SOG I would want to become a deity so that I won't have to be subjected to the whims of the gods. 

 

By the way several posters point out that maybe SM needed to be the one guiding SOG to the path of righteousness. I love that idea and I think it's possibility. But I'm beginning to think that this Love story may have a sad ending. :bawling:

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I also have a theory about the death bell :

maybe the reason only SM could hear it ring was because the bell is warning the victim. Not the one who will kill.

(as you can see I'm still standing by the belief that SM will be killed and not OG. Why? Because seing the one he loves die is the greatest punishment)

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4 hours ago, stroppyse said:

 

Yes, "activation" is now the euphemism for all sorts of interesting activities. I mean he is the Monkey King after all. I doubt he has been chaste all of his life?

 

LOL. I think I just understood that comment after watching the first couple of minutes of Ep. 11 with Chinese subs. (Desperate times call for desperate measures)

I loved how he demanded that she take responsibility for activating him. :lol: And poor Monkey is sitting in Waterfall Cave wondering when she's going to call him... at a loss regarding what to do now that he's been activated. Hehe.

I suggest a cold shower. Standing under the waterfall could work too.

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1 hour ago, dubuqueen said:

I also have a theory about the death bell :

maybe the reason only SM could hear it ring was because the bell is warning the victim. Not the one who will kill.

(as you can see I'm still standing by the belief that SM will be killed and not OG. Why? Because seing the one he loves die is the greatest punishment)

but son oh gong also heard the bell when he picked it up and sun mi was making the tea..

 

whoever holds it hears it..

 

with grim reapers  those guys are already dead..so the alive dies..

 

here..both are mortal..deity yes..but alive..so i guess.. it works both ways.. either will kill or can kill

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Hello guys. I'm sorry I didn't translate anything yesterday. My depression hit me severely so I wasn't in the mood to do anything but cry. Actually, I was crying because of that ending. I can only cry when I'm watching something sad so I'm thankful to Hwayugi for making me able to cry despite my heart being broken to million pieces. I didn't need my heart anyway...

Hwayugi is really important to me. It's not just a drama for me. It's my life line :lol:

 

I made an MV at least. I hope you guys will enjoy it :heart:

 

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13 minutes ago, enigmatic_zephy said:

but son oh gong also heard the bell when he picked it up and sun mi was making the tea..

 

whoever holds it hears it..

 

with grim reapers  those guys are already dead..so the alive dies..

 

here..both are mortal..deity yes..but alive..so i guess.. it works both ways.. either will kill or can kill

Oh really? I didn't catch that part yesterday :/ maybe I should stop fast forwarding that much LOL

Thank you for clarifying!

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It's just a gut feeling of me..
From the Ben's ost. recently released, I think I may get a clue... and I feel the lyrics is about SM love story...
"Just in case you forget me.
If it's a destiny, I'll take it.
If the love can be a sin.
Maybe we can see each other again, if we love each other SINCERELY.
If we were destined."

I have a thought that OG should have done st, so that his love story with SM does not end tragic, as MW and Princess Fan.
Their love story are actually similar. OG and MW are actually demon... and SM and princess fan are human...
OG & SM love story may have a happy /sad ending, depends on how they deal with all troubles.
Love this drama moreee, even though the wait require a lot of struggle...

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8 hours ago, yanlit_stv said:

Sorryy guyysss... later i'll make it shorter.. i'm still not accustomed here :(

It takes some time to get used to all the rules. I'm happy to have you here though!

 

I've been on Soompi off and on for years and I'm still learning. I think they don't want people to quote images because it eats up a lot of virtual space and makes the page load a lot slower for some people? I think a lot of Soompiers where complaining about that a few years ago so that must be why they put in that rule.

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I have to admit I wasn’t ready for THAT yesterday and I’m sure they’ll give us an hard time today too, but still I wanna watch! 

*gettind ready for the angst*

 

My usual link refuses to work though, anyone could PM me a link for live-streaming?

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What a fascinating episode... revelations about matters related to the black bell and the so-called "death destiny" between OG and Samjang. OG's response to it and his intriguing exchange with the Demon King.

 

Thoughts on Episode 11

Spoiler

 

However, the strength of Episode 11 comes primarily from the way the development of OG is handled. It's gratifying to have been on this journey and watching him his heart turn from thoughts of his own desires to those of others, especially SJ.  Compared to what he was at the start of the series and where he is now, he's grown leaps and bounds. Before, he was a self-centred, arrogant prankster who had to dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing. But now the Stone Monkey is now capable of showing sympathy even for a zombie who knows her time is up. Of course SM is his priority... her happiness and welfare has become his raison d'être and it's glorious to watch. It's not just kisses and wanting to get up close and personal for him but a profound determination to secure her happiness drives him even with the knowledge that she could end being quite literally... the death of him.

What's really touching as well is knowing that Richie's death would cause SJ great distress and so he attempts to mitigate what would be an unpleasant situation. Even the Demon King is surprised at his thoughtfulness.

For me the highlight is the assurance in no uncertain terms about how OG really feels about SM now. Even with the ominous black bell hanging over their future, he is determined to carry on as normal. There was talk of death in the early days but that was part bluster, part manipulation to get her to take the bracelet off. Now that he knows that death is on the cards for one of them, his bravado has been redirected for her protection. It's painful to some degree that his growth has had to come at such a high price and is playing out as a form of punishment according to the chubby bodhisattva character that hangs out with MW.

 

I've always liked SOG but to see him turn from a powerful prankster into a more considerate lover is that payoff that I've been waiting for. As for the death destiny, I'm not too worried... I'm almost convinced there's a twist somewhere in there.

 

 

 

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Sob finally watched ep 11 and it was such a beautiful, cute, funny, thrilling, and sad at the same time :)

-The way OG let SM enjoys the star was really cute and sweet

-OG was mocking Mawang about having a secret lover was lmao. He was all happy but that secret lover was Sunmi 

-Sunmi jokingly said that her blood became like that because of OG and he should take responsibility. OG then said "Yes, because it's all because of me... even if if i die in your hands, it's okay" :dissapointed_relieved:

 

Ep 12. These 2 tried so hard to be together but Sunmi starts realizing that she inflicted pain on OG 

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