You know…just because you love someone doesn’t mean all your character flaws exponentially change so you can be better to the person you love. Sometimes, it takes a really, really, really long time to change something about yourself or one of your flaws, even for someone you love, even if you know that trait is indisputably a flaw about yourself. Sometimes you do change, but sometimes you relapse.
With Hae Soo, I was so frustrated with her for not trusting and not being understanding of Wang So. And yet, I understood her. How is So supposed to know that in another life, she was betrayed by both her best friend and her boyfriend? How is he supposed to know that even in this life, she was betrayed by another man she loved? And yet, she was. She was and she’s scarred.
So is not the only one that has had a hard life, and although you may argue that he’s suffered more than Soo in life, it is honestly messed up to trivialize Soo’s pain based off of So’s experiences. To each person, suffering is relative, and the worst pain you’ve ever experienced hurts just as much as the worst pain someone else has experienced. And for someone as idealistic as Go Ha Jin inside Hae Soo’s body, that kind of continuous betrayal wrecks you. So regardless of how much So trusts Soo, it is not that easy to trust once you’ve been betrayed that many times.
Soo is trying her best; we saw it when she left the letter for So about Eun’s whereabouts. We saw it when she questioned why he was smiling so much after a stressful day in court, but didn’t press it when he dismissed her concern. We saw it when she objected Ji Mong, knowing that So will be steadfast as long as she still wants to be queen. It’s not that she’s not trying, it’s that it’s just not that easy.
On the other hand, I think that with misogyny it’s so easy to be blinded by So’s devotion and hail him as the perfect, unwavering man. If you look underneath the surface, So is actually so unforgiving. Just because he completely trusts Soo, he expects her to be able to immediately trust him 100% in return. How unrealistic is that? He really shouldn’t have just walked away after telling Hae Soo she should have understood him. He should have stayed, knowing that Hae Soo can’t just follow him out because she literally doesn’t have permission to just go after a king like that. When he was deciding to kill Chae Ryung, he should have warned Hae Soo beforehand so she could prepare himself.
One of So’s character flaws is that when So believes his actions are justifiable, he acts without any warning, and expects everyone to just automatically understand him. When they don’t, his reaction is literally violent. He was taking it for granted that Hae Soo understands him better than anyone else. Regardless of how much she understands him, she’s not a mind reader.
What is so great about this drama is that it is so frustrating. It’s not supposed to paint this picture of the world bending for you just because you are in love. Everything goes wrong, and just because you are deeply in love doesn’t mean you automatically become perfect for each other or even good for each other. That doesn’t invalidate your love in any way, it just goes to show that not all loves can change the world.