rambling about moon lovers: bo bo kyung shim: ryeo…

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Moon Lovers: Bo Bo Kyung Shim: Ryeo picked up some steam and speed in Episode 6 and we are introduced to the tentative alliances among the princely brothers, the official start of the romance between Hae Soo and Wang Wook, and the stirring of forbidden feelings within Wang So. Kang Ha Neul was beautiful in Wook’s agony, sadness and guilt at losing his wife. As much as I’ve been totally drooling over Lee Joon Ki – he is just so sexy that I lose my train of thought and mind each time he smothers on screen – I was squeeing when my Joo Hyukie pounded through the forest on horseback, and the way Baek Ah is aligning himself with the dark, lonely Wang So. And I’m so proud that my baby is holding up well so far – and looking so good in his flowing robes – though his acting is far from perfect. P.S I’m 200% biased when it comes to Lee Joon Ki and Nam Joo Hyuk here…just a warning. Heh!

I have completely forgotten what happened in the Chinese version – I can only recall bits and pieces, and trying to remember full scenes have been futile as I try to figure out how much of the Korean edition is different from the original. I haven’t re-watched the Chinese version and I don’t plan to, But I spent the weekend browsing reviews of it and the story is starting to come back to me in piecemeal. With that in mind and based on what the current story arc of the Korean version, I thought I’ll just do a fun piece on the various relationships abound. Apologies for any unintentional inaccuracies with regard to the Chinese version.

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4th Prince, So & 8th Prince, Wook:
Right from the start, Wook is decent to So, letting the latter stay with him in his residence outside the palace when he returns from the Kang family. They are ‘dong gap’, born in the same year to different empresses. While most of the brothers are standoffish with So, Wook remains fair and polite, aware that So is struggling with his own personal demons. Things heat up a little when So defends Hae Soo (Soo) which in turn embarrasses his sister, Princess Yeon Hwa. Plus, So refers to Soo as “his person” while they are in Wook’s household. Wook warns So that everything in his household is his alone, including his sister and his wife’s cousin, Soo.

Things remain a little testy between the two but they still stick together when it counts, including So helping with Soo’s getaway when she is betrothed to a mystery man, which turns out to be the King. Later, the two try to reason with the king in Episode 6 to call off his wedding to Soo. They both fail but Soo succeeds by dramatically cutting her wrist – women with wounds/scars are not allowed to marry the king.

Chinese version:
Things fall apart for good between 4th Prince and 8th Prince because of Ruo Xi. She warns 8th Prince about 4th Prince, which sets in motion the whole bloodbath and rivalry between the two for the throne. The anchor of the plot was the fight for the throne rather than romance. I’m not sure whether the Korean version will follow the same route.

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Wook & Soo:
Right now, Soo is infatuated with Wook. I say ‘infatuated’ and not ‘love’ because Soo’s feelings for Wook stems really from gratitude since he was the first one to be kind to her when she zapped to Goryeo times. Of course, it helps that Kang Ha Neul is a charming gentleman, all elegant with immaculate manners. It’s really more like a crush for Soo but for Wook, it is the stirring of genuine love, free from arrangement and duty. He was desperate to throw a wrench into Soo’s impending marriage to his father because he wanted her for himself. Episode 6 marks the official beginning of their romance.

Chinese version: Ruo Xi and 8th Prince were sincerely in love until the point where he refuses to give up his quest for the throne for her. 8th Prince loved his wife but she pined for another, while the Korean version, 8th Prince doesn’t realise he feels more than gratitude for his wife until her death.

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So & Soo:
So is the one developing feelings for Soo first since she unwittingly becomes his listening ear when he is hurt, angry and mistreated by his horrible mother. Soo cares for him, aware of his sufferings. We all know he helped Wook with her escape because he likes her as a person but I love the ultimate reason he gave – he didn’t want her to suffer the same fate as him, with other people controlling her life. For that, I love him because he cared more for the security of her independence and freedom above all else. I love that he respected her decision to return to the palace though he thought it was a crazy one.

Chinese version:
OKAYYY…I’ll admit first thing I really can’t remember much of the initial encounters between the two except the fact that 4th Prince was forceful and unreasonable with Ruo Xi. So doesn’t seem to be treading down that path- rather he seems more protective, albeit in a brusque manner, and concerned overall about her welfare. And So is more emotionally unhinged that his Chinese counterpart.

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14th Prince, Jung & Soo:
Highlighting this relationship because if we follow the Chinese version, Soo will eventually end up marrying Jung, who takes her away from the heartache of the palace. Another piece of the plot that I wonder whether the Korean edition will follow suit. Jung and Soo are enjoying a humorous noona-dongsaeng relationship right now, with Jung swearing he’ll do what he can to protect her after she saves his life earlier. I love their exchange of smiles where Soo was led to Wook, and Jung was waiting with the hood and horses.

Chinese version:
14th Prince is officially betrothed to Ruo Xi, backed by an agreement by the Emperor himself. He doesn’t enforce the agreement as he is aware of Ruo Xi’s feelings but does so later when 4th Prince becomes the emperor in order to force his older brother to release her. He nurses unrequited love for Ruo Xi throughout the show.

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13th Prince, Baek Ah & Soo:
In Episode 6, they become closer with Soo’s cousin death after they spend days drinking together to mourn and grief their loss and reminiscing about Soo’s cousin. When Soo muses what they should do when they miss her cousin, Baek Ah suggests Soo finds him, and he would do the same. Soo is glad that they can become friends through this. Baek Ah was in love with Soo’s cousin, but had to watch his older brother, Wook, marry her. Honestly, I find it a bit too convenient that they became fast friends so quickly since Baek Ah was furious when he found out Soo and Wook had fallen for each other. But he has an abrupt change of feelings because of their shared love for Soo’s cousin and drunken escapades. He is also seriously upset when Soo is sold off to be married. I blame it on the editing because I believe that their friendship could be charted so much better. When So questions whether he is in love with Soo, Baek Ah replies she is special because they share the same views in life and he doesn’t want her to literally die due to the suffocating rules of the palace, like he and So.

Chinese version:
Ruo Xi and 13th Prince were bosom buddies, best friends in the platonic sense till the end. Ruo Xi begged on her knees for three days/three nights in the rain for his release when he was placed under house arrest. I can see Soo doing this for Baek Ah if a similar event takes place.

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So & Baek Ah:
Right off the bat, Baek Ah is portrayed being fascinated by So, even respectful. He greets So when his brothers don’t, doesn’t make snide, cutting remarks like the rest, and observes So thoughtfully each time they meet. In Episode 6, the bromance gets a boost when So defends Baek Ah when 3rd Prince, Yo, insults the younger brother. Baek Ah makes clear his allegiance when he agrees to have a drink with So in front of the other princes. Baek Ah thanks him earnestly. Awww… and it’s adorable how he drags So by the hand later when he is frantic about Soo’s betrothal.

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Baek Ah manages to convince So to help with Soo’s getaway. Again, Baek Ah manages to convince So to take action – against the king, no less – to prevent Soo’s marriage to their father. Baek Ah empathises with So, saying they are both condemned to be the lower ranks of princehood – So being disfigured and Baek Ah being born from a Silla royal of a mom, which doesn’t earn much respect in the royal court. Again, I wished the PD would insert how this two became closer as compared to the rest of the brothers.

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Baek Ah is the one who accompanies Soo and So as they gallop away from the palace. So refuses to let Soo return to the palace at first, but at Baek Ah’s subtle nod, he does. So taking in account Baek Ah’s opinion is significant since we know So is devil-may-care most of the time and listens to no one. Baek Ah is also seen alongside So in the earlier highlights trailer when So fights for the throne. I totally SHIP this bromance to bits.

Chinese version:
13th Prince willingly falls into the trap laid for 4th Prince by 8th Prince to prevent 4th Prince from taking a major, deadly hit. This lands 13th Prince in trouble with the emperor, who sentences him to house arrest. He remains under house arrest for 10 years, which earns him the love, gratitude and loyalty of 4th Prince. The two brothers remain close until the end.

I’m thinking of doing weekly reviews of the drama now that the drama has taken off nicely…but I’ll have to work around my real-life responsibilities. SIGH!

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