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.
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.
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.
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.
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?.
Images: 밥차, 왕냥이 of DC Empress Ki Gallery
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