JI DWI: The law of Silla is the Bone-rank system. The path of water. The law is the path of water. Hence it is the natural law defined by nature. However there is not a path of water everywhere. Some lands are dry while some are abundant in water. Following the path that was formed by the flowing water, there is harmony and the power of nothingness that does not cause annoyance. A King’s law and a King’s path are there.
SUN WOO: A path of water makes water flow from highlands to lowlands. Then where must something coming from lowlands finds its path? A path on which low can become high, not only a path of water flowing from low to high but a path that is dry and desolate which you must carry water uphill just to wet it. I could not find the answer in that Tao Te Ching. No path started as a path. Someone must walk on it for it to become a path. You must pound and vreak the hard land and pierce through it for the water to flow out. If the law is to ignore the dry land and that is the path of a King, that King must not become a King.
In the morning Queen Ji So meets Master Wi and orders him to release her Hwarang, but the latter objects on how he though he has the full control of the Hwarang army. The Queen assures him that he has the full authority but if his decisions may lead to problems leading the future army they are building, she will have to step in.
Maek Jong attacks Moo Myung who was shocked to see Ah Ro. The latter protects her from the fight and takes the opportunity to escape the scene. Moo Myung strikes his sword as Maek Jong counters and managed wounding him.
Ah Ro catches her breath from the deadly encounter and falls on her knee which can’t seem to move from the fright. Moo Myung chases after Maek Jong who fled skillfully.
Ah Ro presents her detailed report on her research for Hwarang candidates in front of Hwarang Wi. She presents the possible candidates and their impressive social status but apologizes for some minor information she still has to get through.
Ah Ro dances and hums happily as she nears their house, but was interrupted when she sees Moo Myung standing at the entrance of their house. She peeks at him discreetly and finds him gone only to realize that he is already behind her back.
Moo Myung questions her for following him and out of fright she declares that she lives in the house. He realizes the woman as his friend’s younger sister just as she recognizes the clothes he wear was made by hers.
Master Kim saves the day and introduces the two formally. Master Kim convinces Moo Myung to assume his son’s identity so he can carry on with his plans to avenge Mak Moon. He adds that he needs to get a treatment from his illness and his stubborness will not yield a positive result if he lacks power.
Moo Myung goes back to his memory when Mak Moon cheerfully reminisces little girl Ah Ro. Ah Ro cuts his reverie and finds wound in his body that will authenticate her lost brother, but he stops her silent protest telling her how the wounds she is looking for might not be there anymore because of bigger wounds he had acquired since he was separated from them.
Hwarang Wi loses his cool as the factions opposing and supporting the establishment of Hwarang meet in the court. Those against the Queen demands the King’s presence on his birthday parade so they can willingly lend their sons to the purpose of Hwarang.
Hwarang Wi assures the Queen that he will take care of Hwarang as he had its full reign and later on commands messengers to Ban Ryu and Soo Ho’s gang for a night duel that will be held in a forbidden place.
Ah Ro ponders on her situation and it finally dawns on her that her brother is the same man she encountered in her drunken state. The Queen Regent sets forth with her entourage and the King’s carriage without His Highness.
Spectators blurts their opinion here and there as Ban Ryu and Soo Ho joins the audience. Meanwhile Maek Jong seeks Hwarang Wi for his intention to join Hwarang but the latter refused his proposition.
Moo Myung sees Queen Ji So’s warrior and remembers him to be the same man who killed Mak Moon. Unable to restrain himself he forces himself to the crowd and wields his sword towards the warrior, but fails his emotional rage. Queen Ji So steps out of her carriage to question the intruder and orders his head when he refuses to answer.
In the brink of losing Moo Myung’s life, Master Kim falls on his knees and calls the Queen’s attention which stops her from going back to her carriage. He begs for Moo Myung’s life and offers his life instead. A quick glimpse of a past from Queen Ji So and Master Ahn passes as the Queen raises her sword ready to strike it on Master Ahn.
Queen Ji So pays Moo Myung a visit and offers a proposal to save his supposed father and sister.
Ah Ro worriedly waits for her father and Moo Myung and Maek Jong catches her outside the palace. Moo Myung is set free and walks to Ah Ro’s direction who keeps asking him where their father is. He stops in front of Ah Ro and faints on her shoulder.
HWARANG EP 3 QUICK THOUGHTS
Hwarang is so far nicely paced allowing us to munch on the character description and eventually development. I have a lot of questions I want to ask the Queen, but I will give her a chance to prove her good intention. For now I just want to go straight to Hwarang training. I hope it will commence soon.
Hwarang Quick Recap Episode 2
Moo Myung and Mak Moon escaped Okta and settled at a nearby forest where the latter mentioned seeing a woman who wears the same necklace as him. Unaware that a mark to kill him for seeing the face of the hidden King was ordered by the Queen, they were ambushed by the assassin killing Mak Moon and fatally wounding Moo Myung. The latter faintly saw a man’s bracelet before losing consciousness and Mak Moon’s father who belatedly learned his son’s arrival in the capital was too late in saving his life.
Ah Ro earned some silver from privately narrating her steamy story to Maek Jong (King Jin Heung) who dozed off as usual to her story and woke up finding Ah Ro sleeping like a log as well.
Ah Ro worriedly went home after not sleeping in their house to his father who was busy tending the wounds of Moo Myung.
Moo Myung survived his injury and bid farewell to his hometown to fulfil his promise avenging his best friend’s death. He visited the storeowner who gave their details to Mak Moon’s father to ask for a sword.
The announcement of Hwarang recruitment was posted alarming the noble families, but the group head took it as an opportunity to demand Queen Ji So in bringing out the King in hiding.
Ah Ro took in a part-time job of researching the eligible young noble men that would fit in the requirements for Hwarang which will be trained by Hwarang Wi (Sung Dong Il), a friend of the former King whom Queen Ji So made a pact early in the story. She diligently scouted handsome young men who excelled in sports, arts and science and softly played with a memory from her encounter with Moo Myung.
Maek Jong’s slave reported how he had a hard time chasing over Ah Ro’s location due to her excessive roaming around. He spotted her entering a carpenter’s house, but sensed a looming danger so he dragged her to safety and alerted her of a man chasing him that might kill her too.
Moo Myung and Maek Jong played hide-and-seek using the wooden panels for their defense and the latter remembered the peasant who was killed because of seeing him. Moo Myung who taught Maek Jong killed his friend surged for an attack but faced the frightened Ah Ro in hiding.
EPISODE 2 QUICK THOUGHTS
The opening week mostly covered the premise of the story neatly and simply. It went as far as establishing all the pertinent characters.
It was a decent and engrossing setting making use of Silla period’s elaborated and fancy way of living and tweaking it with a modernized appeal. From the gambling den, to shopping boutique and to youth clubbing at Okta, it was visually pleasing in the eyes.
Add up the pretty boys who I am excited to cheer on when they head to Hwarang training, I think I can expect a good showing from my first period drama for 2017. -abbyinhallyuland
Hwarang kicked off this week and as always I like the wardrobe and production design whenever it is set in Silla period.
To sum up the initial premise, two peasants, dog-bird/Moo Myung and Mak Moon, (Park Seo Joon and Lee Kwang Soo) were headed to the capital of the country illegally to look for Mak Moon’s family. They used the latter’s necklace to ask around but they ended up going to a trouble at a gambling house.
In the palace, Queen Ji So visited a prisoner and laid her plans of establishing a group of elite men that will protect Silla and the Royal family. She threw in a promise of stepping down her regency if the ploy will work out.
Meanwhile Ah Ro (Go Ara), Mak Moon’s long lost sister, was busy weaving stories amidst an excited group where the country’s King incognito was also a part of.
The King who was forcedly hidden by his mother Queen Ji So has been living away from the palace and whoever saw his face and knew his status were killed mercilessly per the Queen’s order. The Queen gave a cold treatment to her returning son and commanded him to follow her plans worrying on how his life is in danger if he stays in the capital, but the King whose heart has grown apart from his mother whom he thought cast him away perceived his mother’s intent unreasonable.
After not getting paid properly on her job, Ah Ro resorted to drinking the pricey wine of the employer out of anger. Intoxicated she struggled to get home and bumped with Moo Myung who was being chased by the evil gamblers. They had a quick rescue-me-im-drunk-moment capping up with Ah Ro being knocked out by her shoe.
The King set forth and sought comfort to Ah Ro’s storytelling session at Okta, a famous club where sons and daughters of aristocratic family frequently go to. Enter Soo Ho and Ban Ryu’s pretty boy noble sons groups who mocked each other upon meeting in the hall.
They carried on to enjoy the night while eavesdropping to Ah Ro’s intimate chronicling, but Mak Moon unfortunately ran to a son of nobility who took out his rage after being humiliated from Ban Ryu’s noble circle due to being his lowest rank among them. He started beating Mak Moo up and the ruckus interrupted Ah Ro’s show which annoyed Soo Ho. The two noble gangs met up in the hall again and was in the brink of a fight, but Moo Myung halted them to rescue Mak Moon.
P.S The bone rank system was the system of aristocratic rank used in the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla. It was used to segregate society, and particularly the layers of the aristocracy, on the basis of their hereditary proximity to the throne and the level of authority they were permitted to wield.
EPISODE 1 AFTERTHOUGHTS
I lurve the club scene circa Silla period.
*chuckles There were a lot of characters to meet for Episode 1 but at least we get the picture on what we are going to look forward to and the cast were properly given their initial role tags.
I look forward to Hwarang’s recruitment and how heavy the history plot will be construed. Since we have a handful of handsome knights shown already, I am piqued on what kind of bromance they will present as well. I am not expecting much since “Hwarang” was also built up immensely so hopefully this drama will surprise me.