The Greatest Kings
I’ve received some disgruntled messages about comparing Jinheung and Wang So in one of my previous posts and coming to a conclusion that Jinheung was in some ways similar to Wang So. All I can say is: WELL, HE ISN’T NOW! I miss the Jinheung from the first 6 episodes where he was so much stronger, self-confident and aware of his position and right to the throne. I miss the man who was ready to fight the whole world to claim what was rightfully his. This must be the first time EVER that I have seen a character REGRESSING instead of developing.
Moon Lovers had its own flaws but there is no doubt that compared to Hwarang it’s highly superior drama, especially the portrayal and development of Wang So. Mostly because the writer there understood that the greatest monarchs of Goryeo and the Three Kingdoms were no modern pacifists - they were ABSOLUTE MONARCHS, CONQUERORS, WARRIORS WHO FOUGHT WARS AND KILLED AND PUNISHED THEIR ENEMIES TO CONSOLIDATE POWER because that’s how they managed to make all the reforms and memorable deeds they are remembered for today. Taking that away from them is the greatest injustice a writer can do to historical figures like them. Unlike Jinheung,Wang So wasn’t reduced to a mere love interest; his main objective in the first 15 episodes of ML might have been gaining Hae Soo’s love and protecting his loved ones but that’s because he was in different position than Jinheung - he WAS NOT THE KING NOR A CROWN PRINCE, in fact as the 4th Prince he was so low in the line of succesion that he had no reasons to believe or hope that he would one day become a king. He never lived with those responsibilities, so naturally his actions and character were never ruled or shaped by them like Jinheung’s were (but mostly only at the beginning, unfortunately).
Some might argue that Jinheug isn’t the main character of the story in Hwarang, but he still is the second most important character AND HE STILL IS ONE OF THE GREATEST KINGS KOREA EVER HAD. This is the man who founded Hwarang, the man who made the unification of the Three Kingdoms possible and the shrewd politician who in 551 allied with Baekje to attack Goguryeo, only to turn on his former ally 2 years later, allying with Goguryeo instead, and attacked Baekje. It was the biggest conquest on the Korean Peninsula until the unification of the Three Kingdoms. JINHEUNG DESERVES BETTER THAN THE TREATMENT THE DRAMA HAS GIVEN HIM.