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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hwarang" Episode 12


Tensions are high as the hwarang speculate who among them is the king of Silla -- the long hidden king about home many rumors of flown, few of them kind. The astute young men guess the king is either Ji-dwi or Seon-woo, although inclinations lean towards the stoic Seon-woo.

Seon-woo does little to deter the rumor mill and the scheming queen taps into it in order to protect her son. She leads the ministers believe that Seon-woo is the king in order to protect him until the time when he comes forth with his identity. At the same time that this plan is executed, Seon-woo deduces that Ji-dwi is king, bringing their fledgling friendship to a precarious place. Seon-woo wants to kill the king, the person who caused the death of his best friend Mak-moon. This is a tension peak to which the story has long pointed. I hope it plays out well in the next episode without being resolved too quickly or easily.

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In regards to Princess Sook-myeong, she is a vessel of classicism and superiority. She reiterates what her mother the queen believes: that peasants should not possess power. Power should remain with a select few who will wield it and control society. This point of view is the only thing that makes her interesting. Other than that she has few traits to make her stand out as a character. Even her twisted interest in Aro is fueled by the queen's orders to get rid of her. There may also be some jealousy mixed into her emotional landscape, but it hasn't been well-developed enough. On the other hand, this rivalry between Aro and Sook-myeong highlights the strength in Aro that was present at the start of the drama and then disappeared for a time. I am very, very glad it is back. She was lacking direction and individuality. Some of what made her unique has come back.

Another person of interest is Ban-ryu, a young man with inner turmoil, two ladder-climbing dads, and a new dilemma to ponder: he is a candidate for the throne. The ministers would like to remove the current king and install him. Whether or not Ban-ryu buys into this plan has yet to be seen, but this young man has proven to be much more than what meets the eye. I look forward to his development.

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Onto the net episode!

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Hwarang" is directed by Yoon Seong-sik, written by Park Eun-yeong-I, and features Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung-sik, Seo Ye-ji, Choi Minho, and Do Ji-han.

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