Seasons of Waiting
Some might dislike the time jumps but I for one love each one of them for different reasons because they suit the whole narrative and express what the characters are going through, especially the 3-year time jump. It perfectly underscores the THE THREE main themes of the entire story - ENDURING LOVE. From the very beginning, the SoSoo love story has been a ROMANCE DEFINED BY SEPARATION AND TRANSCENDING TIME (divided by 1000 years) AND SPACE, so it’s only apt that they would be separated by long distances for long periods of time - it’s the perfect symbolism. A LOVE ISN’T DEFINED BY THE TIME THEY SPENT TOGETHER BUT BY ITS CONSTANCY AND STRENGTH.
“I will wait for you.”
That’s inseparably connected with the theme OF WAITING - because all those years both of them have been waiting for each other, even though THEY DIDN’T MAKE ANY PROMISES NOR VOWS TO EACH OTHER, they were given no hope by the other person, but THEY’VE BEEN WAITING ANYWAY - LOYALLY, FAITHFULLY, STAYING TRUE TO EACH OTHER, THEIR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER NEVER WAVERING. If a love can stand the TEST OF TIME AND SEPARATION, it will last forever.
“I guess you really have forgotten about me.”
And finally, there comes the theme of NOT FORGETTING/REMEMBERING and it’s impossibly powerful because we have a man here who used to always tell this woman that she should forget it all and she later told him to forget her, but BOTH HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FORGET EACH OTHER, NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRIED - THEY REMEMBER EVERY WORD, EVERY TOUCH, EVERY TEAR, even memories from 7 years ago when they barely knew each other… They have been LIVING ON THESE MEMORIES - they are what KEPT THEM ALIVE ALL THIS WHILE. They are engraved in their skins and hearts, just like their physical scars that will never disappear. HS kept the poem as a token, just like So kept the lotus hairpin with him when he’d left for Later Jin. Wang So can never forget Soo because everything in this world reminds him of her - the stars in the sky, the wind he feels when he rides his horse, the whisper of waves,… I mean, EVEN AFTER 3 YEARS HE STILL COLOR-COORDINATES HIS CLOTHES WITH HER SANGGOONG UNIFORM!
“Are you sleeping well? Eating well? Do you still… resent me?”
That backhug speaks of such a deep longing and desperation and it’s the thought that she might lose So forever, that he is once again leaving her and she doesn’t know if she would ever see him again, which spurs her into action. IT’S A DESPERATE ACT OF TRYING TO KEEP HIM WITH HER. And he tries to numb himself everytime he is around HS, but is failing miserably. It’s an unbearable torture for him to feel the warmth of her whole body against his own, her arms holding him - THE TOUCH HE’S BEEN STARVED FOR AND DREAMING ABOUT FOR 3 YEARS.