An Ode to Joo Jin Mo’s Perfection, “Wang Yoo, His Majesty”

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Everyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid fan of Ha Ji Won. I’ve watched all her movies and almost all her dramas. Maybe it’s because I’m biased or her character is just always amazing that I always root for her, that no matter how admirable the male lead is, I always end up loving the heroine she plays more than the hero. Except for Lee Soo Jung of Something Happened in Bali. I always rooted for Jang Chae Ok of Damo, Jin Yi and Myung Wol of Hwang Jin Yi and Gil Ra Im of Secret Garden. Her only drama that had me loving both the hero and the heroine equally was The King 2 Hearts, with Lee Jae Ha (Lee Seung Gi) and Kim Hang Ah being simply exceptional. I started Empress Ki for the same reason, but I never thought that this time, it’d be the other way around—I love the hero more than I love the heroine OR it could be I love the hero ONLY. This is the first time that a hero caught my eyes to the point that he has become the sole reason why I’m still holding onto the inconsistent sometimes-worthy-most-of-time-clunky Empress Ki. Dropping EK has come to my mind for like 3 times, my mind keeps on telling me to drop it, but my heart won’t let me do so. I’m certain it’s not my Ha Ji Won love that’s saving the drama in my eyes, it’s my Wang Yoo love. IMO, EK has brought so much disappointment, but I won’t elaborate it further because doing so won’t do the drama any better. Seung Nyang had my full love from Episodes 1 to 6. Wang Yoo and Seung Nyang were the apples of my eye from Episodes 7 to 23, as I was amazed by how they could make a connection even if they were miles away apart, how they could convey their message to each other without saying a word, how their eyes spoke for themselves and how they showed much love and one dream for Goryeo. That feeling was up to 10 episodes ago because my love for them split and went from directly proportional to inversely proportional. Now, I just love Wang Yoo alone, there, I said it. But just to make it clear, I still love Seung Nyang, the old Seung Nyang, the woman Wang Yoo fell in love with, and she’s definitely not Lady Ki, specifically the Lady Ki that we’ve seen in Episodes 32 and 33.

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Tanashiri: Wang Yoo, I got a letter from your wife. Apparently, you have a bit of fluff. Lady Ki should know. You two were so close after all. Go on then. Who is this girl anyway?

Wang Yoo: She’s dead.

Tanashiri: Dead?

Wang Yoo: You have my answer.

I don’t forget that Seung Nyang is doing all these for revenge, not because she wants to but because she has no choice but to go on with the path she has chosen since there’s no turning back now. Even if she regrets it, she can’t just withdraw what she has invested. What’s disappointing is seeing the brave girl who vowed vengeance smiling in a carefree way at a wrong time, at a wrong place, with the wrong person. I’m not saying that she can’t smile, but the way it was done seemed off and so out of character. I just want to remind Seung Nyang that Ta Hwan was the reason why Wang Yoo lost the throne and why she was forced to serve in Yuan as a tribute. I want to remind her that Ta Hwan betrayed her once. If smiling in front of Ta Hwan and enjoying a horseback ride with him were the writers’ way of showing Seung Nyang gradually falling in love with him, they have committed a mistake. Seung Nyang loves Goryeo more than she loves Wang Yoo, that’s already an enough reason why it’ll be illogical if by any chance she falls in love with Ta Hwan even just for a second. And if you were Seung Nyang, would you love the person who had forsaken you and your country to save his own ass? At first, I thought Ta Hwan allowed Seung Nyang to use him for revenge as a way of getting her forgiveness for his betrayal back then, but now, it seems like he still wants something in return. Truthfully, I’d rather have both Seung Nyang and Wang Yoo feeling the pain as the consequence of her choice than seeing her moving on with the other man while Wang Yoo is enduring the pain alone. If the latter is what’s going to happen, a thousand deaths is even better. If the old Seung Nyang won’t come back to life and if Lady Ki will just continue to hurt Wang Yoo, then let Wang Yoo find happiness somewhere else. It’s obvious that Seung Nyang is doing what she’s doing because she wants Wang Yoo to hate him, but he’ll never do so…deep inside his heart. It’s actually crazy to think that despite what has just been said, I still want them to be together in the end.

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Wang Yoo risked his life to save Seung Nyang and Ta Hwan, but Seung Nyang didn’t know anything. What really hurts is despite being severely wounded, Wang Yoo’s concern was still Seung Nyang’s safety, while Seung Nyang was worried about Ta Hwan who took the incoming arrow aimed at her. I feel extremely bad for Wang Yoo. When he was stabbed, I felt like I was the one stabbed. Seeing the blood all over his face and body reduced me to tears. Is this the price he has to pay for loving Seung Nyang with all his heart? Perhaps that’s how pure a King loves. He’ll always be a shadow that will guide her wherever she is and a hero that will always be there to swoop in and save the day. This isn’t the last time that Wang Yoo will help Seung Nyang. This noble act will continue throughout the upcoming episodes. Honestly, a part of me wants Wang Yoo to stop doing anything for her. It’ll hurt him more, it’ll hurt ME more, but I think it’s purposely made this way for Seung Nyang to find out who’s helping her all this while. I hope once Seung Nyang finds out everything Wang Yoo has done for her, she’ll come to her senses and realize that the love she abandoned will never be replaced by anything or by anyone despite the passage of time. The past will always hunt her, especially if its memories are better than the turbulent happenings at the present. That’s a story that makes sense.

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Lastly, I’m thankful to whoever made the casting. Casting Joo Jin Mo as Wang Yoo was just right. It’s not easy to portray a perfect character that’s diverse and not comparable in kind because the actor must be effective and make the audience believe that such a character exists, and Joo Jin Mo is effortlessly marvelous in doing this. He may not be given the kind of treatment he deserves and a longer screen time a main lead should get, but he has gained the audience’s love and respect. Wang Yoo, the real hero!

You may also want to read this entry, Why Does My Heart Keep On Fighting for the King?.

Images밥차왕냥이 of DC Empress Ki Gallery

© 2014, cheshirecat1023. All rights reserved.

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13 thoughts on “An Ode to Joo Jin Mo’s Perfection, “Wang Yoo, His Majesty”

  1. Totally agree with you, even if i don’t ship anyone in Empress Ki but Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo are such great actors that are the only thing that save this drama, but even my love for Ha Ji Won and Joo Ji Moo acting that always leaves me breathless and gives me shivers i still abondoned this absurdity of drama, hope Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo will have another project together were the story and the directing is good and where they are ACTUALLY the leads.

    • Agree that Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo are the only thing that save this drama. I watched EK because of HJW but I’m getting to like JJM’s protrayal of WY. WY has been doing everything to help/protect SN without her knowing while TH is claiming credit openly, whether its due to him or not, just to get onto her good books. There lies the difference between the two characters.

      The unfortunate practice is that the actors have only a glimpse of the skeletal script before they sign on. In this instance, I feel that JJM is aware by now that he has been fleeced to the core. Eunuch Golta seems to have more screen time than him!! HJW is not spared either for this practice of PD/writer playing to the gallery. She has not got her full share of what is due to her. Just hope JJM and HJW has another project together where they are “actually the leads”.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. Everytime I was in deep grief with Wang Yoo’s sacrify, I find your post a way of healing my heart. From ep 32, I did think that Lady Ki does not deserve Wang Yoo’s love anymore. However, I know, no matter how others people told him to stop, no matter how hurt he would endure, even Lady Ki turn out to pregnant with Ta Hwan, Wang Yoo will continue to cover her back without asking anything in return. If it was Seung Nyang, then his sacrify will worth, but now Lady Ki, she just deserves Ta Hwan. Wang Yoo is too precious for her.

  3. Really enjoy reading your post 🙂

    Like you, I miss the old SN. Lady Ki is no longer WY’s SN the day she decided to cut her ties with him.

    I miss the old SN who cried seeing WY taken away from her during the way to Yuan. I miss the one who dreamt of him telling her he misses her. I miss the one who can show her tears him front of him rather than holds its back now.

    WY’s silent and unselfish sacrifice for her…I want Lady Ki to know it She needs to know it if life is still fair somehow as it should be.

    WY deserves someone who only loves him.

  4. I’m so glad I found your site and was able to read this post…….Thank you so much – I couldn’t have said it better as I agree whole-heartedly with EVERYTHING you wrote and my heart feels exactly the same way. There are so many SN-TH shippers out there (e.g. on Soompi) that I was feeling very lost. I am now comforted to know that some-one feels the same way I do. I have been unable to bring myself to watch the last few episodes because I read that SN had TH’s baby and they have become a ‘happy family’. Unless things get better for WY, I’m going to go back and re-watch the first 23 episodes and then call it quits (I know I’m a chicken….). SN is no longer the same SN that I came to love in the beginning. WY deserves so much more so I can’t stand the way the writers are hurting him……*sigh*…..

      • Thank you so much for the link……I must have missed the post after I became a little ‘soompi phobic’!!! Love the WY-Byul pics that have just been posted. Maybe there’s hope for WY to be happy somewhere down the line???? Unfortunately first impressions really stick for me so I cannot get myself to like TH’s character so EK has become very painful to watch but I sooooo want to know how things go for WY…… I can now have a safe place to read up on EK updates….yeah!

      • My pleasure. 🙂 I know how you feel. Honestly, I’m also disappointed most of the time with things not turning out the way I wanted, but I’m not giving up. This is a like a game, and it ain’t over till it’s over. 😉

  5. ^_^ appreciate your optimism and persistence though its hard to play a game when the rules keep changing! I read somewhere that said SN’s heart belonged to WY all the way in the novel. I sooooo wish that is the case in the drama…..that way I could handle WY’s hardships……Unfortunately I can’t read Korean or I would really like to read the novel 🙂

  6. u have said all the things that i have thought in my mind. i really fall deep for wang yoo too. the reason i’ll keep wathing EK is because of him.

  7. i think this drama didnt serve neither jjm nor hjw right! MBC is just tending to produce commercial dramas rather than ART! i dropped watching EK right after the romance that happened btw WY n SN why? because right after this scene the little fan girls online went on bashing SN being immoral for sleeping around(didnt c it like that w TH..double standerd) n bashing the whole romance between WY n SN..n then the next ep there is a CPR kiss btwn SN n TH..What The Hell..are we watching a teen drama now!!!???..historical productions are now to satisfy little girls wild dreams!!??..did Art of production sink that low!!!???.SERIOUSLYYYY!!!!! So i just dropped it bt follow its news from time to time cz frankly empress ki made me a fan of that great actor named Joo Jin-mo! In the end i hope jjm n hjw do another drama together where they can make up for the mess of this EK drama…they r amazing togetherrrrrrrrrrr!!!

  8. I completely agree, thank you for posting this.
    I like HJW but her characters are ALWAYS bitter-sweet for me. why?? because she starts off as a strong independent woman, who would take shit from NO MAN, and somewhere along the way, they turned like the typical kdrama girl. that’s what happened with Keylime in Secret Garden, Hang Ah, and Chae Ok. in the beginning of the dramas i was like WOW that’s a female lead i can root for, and after the first half of the drama they started to lose all that, just like what happened to SN. I mean, WY’s SN would’ve never let the emperor harass her and force himself on her. She would have never forgiven the man that took WY’s life for the MOST STUPID REASON EVER. which BTW i don’t think was the real reason, i think Ta hwan that bitch seized the opportunity to get rid of WY once and for all, and he knew using SN would cause WY to falter. and I think that was a bit OOC for WY. I mean, he knew Koryeo needed him. he wouldn’t give up his life just like that, because his life was Koryeo’s (that’s how he saw it). Everyone said that WY’s priority was his people, and he went through an awful lot to be able to go back to them to DO SOMETHING FOR THEM. so why would he just let it all go to waste, just because an insecure selfish wimp thought WY was a threat even all the way from Koryeo??? that was just stupid. Wang Yu deserved to die in the battlefield fighting a WORTHY enemy, not by being outsmarted by the imperial fool. all in all I ended up hating not only ta hwan but also seungnyang. I really want HJW and JJM to star in a drama as the actual main couple.
    if i can’t have that then i’d like to see Wang Yu and Bi Soo getting together in another lifetime, as different people.
    thank you for loving Wang Yu as much as I do. I agree, JJM did an outstanding job even tho he didn’t have much to work with. he made do with what little time he had. great casting for an amazing character like Wang Yu

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