Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Thousand Years and Some Upcoming News

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. This was my very first encounter with the world of k-dramas. 
Never did I imagine I would find myself so immersed in the story of Hae Soo and Wang So, the abandoned prince. This show has a little bit of everything: historical drama, sword fighting, sweet romance, competing princes, palace intrigue and rebellion. Even the minor characters have their own meaningful storylines. All the characters have their good qualities and their faults and we see their progression of each throughout the course of the show. At the center of Scarlet Heart: Ryeo are Hae Soo and Wang So. *contains spoilers

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Hae Soo and the 4th Prince, Wang So

Now, I am not a huge fan of stories with time-travelling, so I was a bit hesitant when I read the summary that said Hae Soo, a girl from the 21st century, travels back in time to the Goryeo (one of three ancient Korean kingdoms). However, I stuck with it and am so glad I did!. 

When Hae Soo finds herself in Goryeo, she meets eight brothers--all princes who are competing for the throne. While Hae Soo has a special relationship with each of the brothers, the story focuses on her and the 4th Prince, Wang So. 

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Nicknamed "wolf-dog" and notorious for his fighting skills, he is feared even among his own brothers. Wang So also wears a mask over half of his face, covering a scar he received in childhood. It is because of this scar (which, in the historical period, would be considered as debilitating as a physical disability) that Wang So was sent away to another royal family, to live as an adopted son. He returns after not having been home for years and we find out that he was not treated as a son by his adoptive family. Instead, he was subject to abuse and ridicule.

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Wang So is  ashamed when Hae Soo accidentally sees his scar

One element that makes Scarlet Heart: Ryeo so compelling is the complex relationship between Hae Soo and Wang So. Both characters start out with a lot of distrust and fear. Over time, this turns to compassion and understanding and then love, but it is not as simple as it sounds. Hae Soo is seemingly the only one who can look beneath the 4th Prince's exterior, to see his hurt; she is the one who helps him to cover his scar and find confidence in himself. Yet, Wang So had a harsh childhood which affects his interactions with others. Throughout the show, both Wang So  and Hae Soo's desires change and in the end, Hae Soo ends up loving Wang So and wanting to escape the palace to get away from him. 

That being said, there are some moments of bliss...

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and tender moments of Wang So's steadfast protection. For example, in this iconic scene, while his brothers stand at a distance, Wang So shields Hae Soo from the rain. She has been kneeling in front of the palace for several days.

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In the future, I am going to explore how themes such as adoption, trauma, and attachment are evident throughout the show. For now, I wanted to briefly introduce the characters, so I can share the video below. I came across this lovely music video set to "A Thousand Years" which features Wang So and Hae Soo. The lyrics perfectly fit the relationship of So and Soo, as they struggle with their own inner turmoil, finding themselves drawn to each other yet tragically separated. 

Credits to Owner

So, until next time, I recommend Scarlet Heart: Ryeo! I also have some exciting news coming up soon, so keep checking back to get the latest update!

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