Hwarang could be pretty much called a story of wasted relationship potential. I’ve been waiting for the interaction between KIM Sam Maek Jong and KIM Yeo Wool
since the end of episode 5, but they have barely spoken since then. What’s the point of introducing such an intriguing, fictional character, and then completely waste and ignore such an epic opportunity?
Yeol Wool’s mother is the sister of the previous king WHICH MAKES HIM BOTH MAEKJONG’S COUSIN AND HIS COUSIN ONCE REMOVED. Queen Ji So is King
Beopheung’s daughter who married her uncle,
Beopheung’s younger brother (meaning Maek Jong is the former’s king GRANDSON AND ALSO HIS NEPHEW) = Ji So is YEO WOOL’S COUSIN and Maekjong’s father is YW’S UNCLE. That’s consanguine marriage in practice for you.
That’s the reason why I was so intrigued by their first meeting because judging from Maekjong’s face he’s aware about YW’s indentity and their connection.
There was a time when heroines in stories were damsels in distress who cried for their “perfect” and “flawless” Prince Charmings and Knights in Shining Armor to save them, sweep them off their feet and ride into the sunset.
When this became too much of a cliché, we finally got our strong female leads; a step up from the singing, weeping walking mess of the old century. Yes, they still needed a bit of saving from their counterparts who were still often good at everything, but at least they didn’t need them so much anymore to steer their character developments.
When the times changed yet again and gender equality came through, storytellers gave us the ultimate ‘Alpha’ women and femme fatales. Ladies who were so amazing men fall to their feet declaring their love for them instead of the other way around–but they would end up with the ‘Alpha’ males, naturally.
But we, the readers/listeners/watchers are fickle. Storytellers know that. They have to mix and match to catch our ever-changing tastes. And in this era where we have almost seen it all, they have very little choice left but bring characters home to what is more relatable—because whether we like to admit it or not, most of the time, we–the readers/listeners/watchers–become them, the characters to where we most fit.
Which now brings us to Hwarang.
It’s not the best of dramas, obviously. It’s mediocre at best, however I am glad the writers were unafraid to keep their characters’ dynamic a bit away from what’s mainstream…and that’s what makes it enjoyable to watch.
It’s always refreshing to see characters who are seriously flawed…
Ah Ro | street-smart and endearing but cries at absolutely the tiniest things.
Moo Myung a.k.a. Sun Woo | handsome and loyal but is pretty much uneducated and generally untalented.
Soo Ho | the beautiful flirt but who’s supposedly stupid
Ban Ryu | the intelligent one but totally sucks at music
…or when the Alpha characters don’t always get what they want…and are found wanting…
Sam Maek Jong a.k.a. Ji Dwi | he is “king" but doesn’t get the girl
Princess Sook Myung | perfect as main lead, but isn’t one
…meanwhile still not forgetting to put in the favorite fluffs we often see in shows we love…
Soo Yeon | the bestfriend who talks a lot
Han Sung | the precious cinnamon roll who most of us think will die in the end just because. Lol.
Yeo Wool | the neutral but mysterious character—who we are willing to trade for Han Sung for the death part. Lol.
And lastly, it’s quite noteworthy that the writers managed to tie together all the characters well, from the principal to the cameos. It’s not perfect, yes, but we must remember that this show is —
…not about Ah Ro and Dog Bird’s love story
…not about Dog Bird’s secret past
…not about King Jinheung and his journey to the throne
…not about Min Ho’s infatuation with the Queen
…not about Soo Yeon’s star-crossed love story with Ban Ryu
…not about whether Yeo Wool and Han Sung is a ship worthy of sailing :)))
No..at least, not only.
It’s about the coming together of The Hwarang, a true event romanticized with all of the above fictional storylines for our enjoyment–with every single character essential in the storytelling.
~SaeRo’s kissy moments in the open field had me grinning like an idiot as I went “Take that, you SaeRo haters!!!!” “That’s how you do a proper kiss!”: make sure it’s consensual–and by consensual I mean feelings are being reciprocated for the kiss to be welcome even if it’s unexpected.) Anyway, Ah Ro violated his lips first with her flimsy attempt at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Lol! Her lips touched his not once but twice before the final lip lock, FYI!
~Dog-Bird being a “sacred bone” or “seonggol“ does complicate the #SaeRo ship. But does his family being erased from the Royal Registries make him at least at Ah Ro’s level? *wishful thinking* (#SaeRo shipper here!!) :)))
~I am mentally preparing myself for whatever twist Moo Myung’s fainting spells will bring to our story. If he doesn’t live long enough to make at least a dozen babies with Ah-Ro—my heart will break into a million pieces and I’ve only begun putting it back together after SH:R dammit. :((( *can we offer up Han Sung as sacrifice instead, lol!!!* *or maybe Yeo Wool!*
~Sam Maek Jong King Jinhueng is beautiful, but I will never ship him with Ah-Ro even if she happened to love him back because she will never be happy with him in the long run. I have learned my lesson in SH:R. Ah Ro’s station as a “half-breed” will bring her as far up as head concubine but never Queen. I doubt her personality can bear that.
~Princess Sook Myung is pretty much the most badass princess in Seorabeol. Moo Myung can be a passing fancy for her, never long-term as I don’t see anything of value that Moo Myung can offer her (except his body lol). He doesn’t even need to protect her as she is the better sword-fighter.
~Soo Yeon is perfect for Ban Ryu in every way. She’s the peanut butter to his jelly, she’s the smoke to his high….lalala! I can picture them already as a married couple taking on the world—she does all the talking, Ban Ryu, the glaring. :)))
~Soo Ho falling for the Queen is his karma for dating all his sister’s friends. Lol. And if the Queen later on accepts him as her lover–and as the rebound guy to being rejected time and again by our Master Ahn-Ji–that’s fine with me. I’m sure Soo Ho won’t complain either. :)
~Dan Se, Han Sung’s big brother, deserves his own ship.
~We need a Pa Oh Appreciation Day! :))) The Forever 22. :)
~Yeo Wool’s character development: he learns tostop fights now instead of just watching all hell break loose. Lol!