This drama is one of my favorites currently airing. Every episode is a must see. Seo In Guk's acting skills never fail to get the necessary emotion from a viewer like me.
A lot has already happened in the drama. Prince Gwanghae already married another woman, daughter of one of the ministers. A marriage of convenience to protect him and to give him enough support to pursue his dream for his people. What I like about Prince Gwanghae is that he is not ambitious from the start. He never once coveted the title of Crown Prince for he respects his brother Prince Imhae. Their relationship as brothers is deep. But of course, once the Crown Prince title came between them, then that is another matter and something that will surely cause misunderstanding. But Prince Gwanghae really love his people, cares for them and wants to protect them. The only way he can do that task is to own the title of Crown Prince.
Prince Imhae was surprised at the changed of mind of Prince Gwanghae, enough to make him plot to kill his own brother. But thankfully, it failed, which only further ignite Imhae's desire for revenge. What Prince Gwanghae has that his brothers do not have is his intelligence and the capacity to look forward to what could possibly happen. Just like when his instinct told him that the Japanese would come back after a hasty retreat for a possible war. But when he told the King, his concerns were put aside and never given much thought, which of course backfired when news traveled fast that the Japanese already conquered some parts of the country.
The only solution for the coward King was to flee the palace, not to be caught by the enemy and leave his people behind to fight their own wars and die. But Prince Gwanghae gave the King a solution that he could not easily dismiss. the King was ready to give the title to his third son, Kim Gwiin's son but Prince Gwanghae asked the King to make him the Crown Prince. The title will make sure that Gwanghae will protect the palace, he volunteered to be left behind and guide the people so that they will not turn their backs totally from the royal family until the war is over. But of course, the people got angry after knowing that the King will leave.
Prince Gwanghae became the Crowned Prince on the day the royal family left the palace. The King only gave him small numbers of soldiers to protect him but even those soldiers flee from their duty in fear of the coming Japanese. Prince Imhae came and was about to take another revenge on his brother but seeing that Prince Gwanghae was alone in this turbulent moments, he mocked him for coveting the title.
The character that is really giving me chills and making this saga so much interesting is Kim Do Chi. He is the ambitious and greedy person whose good intentions for the people fell. His promise to his teacher who died was overpowered by his greed to become the next King. He had killed his friends from Daedong group to hide his cruel intentions. He uses his skills to gain the trust of the King so he can kill him himself. His intelligence in creating circumstances to benefit him is remarkable. No one has suspected him yet, not even GaHee.
By this time, Do Chi has realized that Ga Hee is the woman fated to be with the King. But he helped her escaped the palace. he also knew where her heart lies and his jealousy makes him even more scary. he knew who should be the rightful Crown Prince but because of his own selfish ambition, he took Kim Gwiin's side.
As the royal family settled on their destination, Prince Gwanghae helped the people to leave the city to make way towards the mountains. With the help of some Daedong group who stayed behind and not follow Do Chi's orders to follow the King, they guide the people. Prince Gwanghae made sure that all the foods stored at the palace be transferred to another place for the people and that all the gun powders stored should be poured onto waters/rivers. But they have not anticiapted that the japanese would come earlier towards the city. They have no more time to spare. With a few soldiers with him, they went to block the path the Japanese envoys will thread. They also scattered gun powders. When the Japanese arrived at the scene, the battle began. Prince Gwanghae and his troop shot their arrows lighted with fire towards where the gun powders where and made a loud blast that some Japanese soldiers did not escaped. The shooting started. They somehow got themselves enough time to stall the Japanese until all the people are safely gone from the city.
But there is a small clinch that was not anticipated. Prince Imhae who was so bitter was so drunk in his house and has no plans of moving was captured by slaves who will offer him to the Japanese. When Prince Gwanghae heard about it, he has no plans of leaving his brother. He turned towards the palace even thought it was only as matter of time when the enemy will arrive. He fought with the slaves who captured Prince ImHae. I love this moment because once again, it touches the heart how brotherhood between these two can show love in times like these. Prince Gwanghae showed Prince Imhae that he still loves him and he will not leave without him. GaHee who was waiting at the foot of the mountain for the arrival of Prince Gwanghae learned of the situation and immediately went to help. She was just in time to shot the Japanese soldier who arrived with a group aiming their guns towards Prince Gwanghae and company.
It was a tough moment and a nerve wracking situation. I want to say, "hey come on, just leave all of you, will you! the enemies are coming soon!" But of course, drama is drama and foolish things such as "are you okay and why are you here" just got to be inserted in the moment. By the time they are ready to go, Prince Gwanghae just had to take a last look at the palace they were leaving and .....bam! Ah! the soldier who was down was still alive and shot Prince Gwanghae!
Oh my! The cliffhanger ending of the episode is seriously amazing! It left the viewers in awe of what happened in front of their eyes. I am sure they are just like me. Surprised at the twist and with a sinking heart!
What will happen now?
The romance is only one of the best anticipated moments in the story but then, Prince Gwanghae's journey is really good. How he will triumph over hurdles that block his way is something to look forward to.
Finally caught up in updating my thoughts....
Episode 13 screen caps