Caution: For grammar nazis, don’t even bother reading this. Haha!
Of course, if you’re well versed with Korean Dramas, you’ve probably seen this (or at least heard of it). In English, more known as “The Moon that Embraces the Sun”, it can be argued as one of the most popular Dramas in 2012 and probably one of the most popular fictional periodic dramas of all times.
I’ve watched this back in 2012 too, albeit late (because I was following a completely different Korean Drama). But to be honest, I cannot remember how I stumbled upon the title, or why I downloaded it. As far as I know, it was neither recommended to me nor did I see it on YouTube by chance. I don’t believe it was ‘randomly downloaded’ though.
But anyway, just last month (May), while taking a break from watching Animes, I had opened my Korean Dramas folder and – after scanning “Dong Yi” – decided to re-watch this series.
Watching Korean Dramas is quite taxing. Each episodes are usually an hour-length. In a sense, it’s one of its pull as well – the fact that each episode doesn’t end in half-bake cliff hangers. Well anyway, I’m not about to talk about the whole industry, I’m not an expert.
I’ve re-watched the series countless times but still – embarrassingly and involuntarily – teardrops still fall whenever I see Episode 5. I’ve always wanted to commend the child actress and actor, they were way too great that the ‘past’ left more impact on me than the ‘present’ scenes (although I love those too).
The drama is kind of different than the usual ‘rags to riches’ adaptations of real life stories of historical figures – it’s wrong to compare it to those based in real life, but I figured I should mention anyhow. This is a fictional story during the Joseon Dynasty supposedly. And it’s about the love story of the Crowned Prince (Son of the King and Queen) and the intelligent daughter of one of the kingdom’s Ministers.
That kind of story telling is a bit bland – I suppose. So let me add, it’s about the tragic love story of the Crowned Prince (Seja Joha), Lee Hwon, and his Crowned Princess (Sejabin), Yeon Woo.
They didn’t have what you can call ‘dramatic first meeting’. Except for the “umbrella” part, it was more of battle of the brains type of first meeting more than chemistry. I am uncertain if I’m making any sense here. So you can say that their love story didn’t start with something cliche like falling for each other’s beauty.
In the story, it was an open secret that the Seja Joha is to marry a pre-determined Crowned Princess which most likely will come from the King’s maternal side of the family (the villains in the series). But meeting Yeon Woo motivated him to make a move, resulting into a fair Sejabin selection, to which all maidens around the same age as the Prince participated.
Of course, Yeon Woo won after the ‘question and answer’ portion (although I will not elaborate further) and was selected as Princess Successor, as in fiancee of the Seja Joha, not quite the Crowned Princess…yet.
Unfortunately, their marriage did not happen. In return, I got the most awesome parting scene I’ve ever watched in my life (narrowing it down to Korean Dramas only, of course). They acted out the scene so perfectly that until now I feel the need to sympathize with them whenever I watch Episode 5.
I just realized, right now I am not as proficient as I am when writing blabbers about Animes. I rarely ever comment on 3D characters shows so it’s a bit… but I can probably blame it also on the fact that my narration will never give justice to this particular episode. You just have to watch it to understand.
Going back, the Princess Successor who never became the official Sejabin died after she left the palace with an unknown illness. Thinking about it, one might be surprised at how ‘deep’ the feelings of the Seja Joha has for the Yeon Woo despite having met only recently. They didn’t even get to enjoy being engaged that much.
This scene is marvelous as well anyway so I have no particular complaint about it. The beauty of this scene was amplified when I watched the ‘present’ time episodes, when the Seja Joha (who, at that time is already the King) gave another Haereul Poomeun Dal to Shaman Wol whom he fell in love with (I’m smiling as I write this).
Of course, even though I’ve already said too much above, I still refuse to spoil the whole content of the drama.
Fast forwarding to the ‘present’ timeline. The Seja Joha grew up as an intentionally sarcastic King – obviously still bitter about what happened eight years prior to his throne succession. He ended up marrying the pre-determined Sejabin, Bo Kyung – whom I think is the most pitiful character in this drama.
The complexity of her character is something that it lost upon me but if I were to assume, I guess she simply wanted attention, in its purest definition, that is. From her ambitious father, to the Crowned Prince who was her first love. Unfortunately, she was a mere tool in the plot, unable to gain the same amount of empathy as Prince Yang Myung had.
Remembering him, I questioned myself if it was okay to pity Bo Kyung more than the other Prince – who had an unrequited love for the late Princess Successor Yeon Woo; had once again fallen in love with the same Shaman Wol whom the King has his sights on; and ultimately… (well, let’s stop right there).
But he was way too ‘happy’ to be pitied. He’s more like a breath of fresh air or something similar.
I have a lot more things to write about but whether or not you’ve already watched the series, I still refuse to write detailed spoilers.
So I guess, if you haven’t watched it yet, just figure something out while looking at the pictures. Or just watch the series. While Periodic Dramas usually do not end the way I want them to, like how Jumong did not marry So Seo-no; or how Hwang Jin Yi abandoned her status to perform in the streets (albeit noble, it’s irritating) – “The Moon that Embraces the Sun” is different in that it ended up exactly as I wanted it to end.
The conclusion was so perfect that I felt uneasy. Hahaha! It’s like the director knows how it feels to be a periodic drama viewer and avoided drawing out an ever more annoying ending.
All in all, the drama is perfect ten. Even the old villains are perfect.
LINES I LIKED:
I say “lines I liked” but all of these only came from one scene:
- “The more you try to protect them, the more they will get hurt. The more you try to obtain the things you want, the more you will lose. That is the fate, of the throne upon which you will sit in the future.” – Late King
Conversation between the Late King and the Seja Joha:
“If you must protect someone, do not let it be discovered. If you want to obtain something, abandon another. You must lose in order to gain, and you must abandon in order to obtain. That…is politics.”
“So…what is it that Your Majesty has obtained? What is it that you’ve gained and what is it that you’ve lost?”
(King’s thoughts) “I lost a faithful subject, but obtained his safety; I lost Yang Myung, but I protected you; I lost the Crown Princess, but I protected your sister, Min Hwa.”
^ I love this flashback so much.