I waited until we reached the halfway point before writing anything about it so I can get a good grasp on the show. Whether you ship RinSan, WonSan, or WonRin(bromance), you and I both know it should be WonRinSan. Rating wise The King in Love usually hovers around 6% nearing 7%, and the rating is almost always lower on Monday than Tuesday. I can’t say that I’m not disappointed with the rating but that does not dim my excitement for the drama at all. I literally scream every time I see that a new episode has been uploaded with subtitles. I noticed that the episodes are being uploaded much faster now than before which means a lot more people are interested in it now. It’s well deserved interest because the drama is well written, well acted, and just overall well made.
*Spoilers on the San*
We start out when the main casts are adults, which is a very rare occurrence in drama sageuk land. The kids are good at acting their parts and they do somewhat resembles their adult counterparts. Kid Won seriously look like Siwan though, what a good looking kid.
I felt that the childhood portion was a bit short. The problem with the childhood portion being so short is that I never developed a sense of attachment to the relationship between RinSan or WonSan. The meeting was way too short for me fully understand the kind of emotional attachment Rin or Won developed with San; granted, they did witness her mom’s death and that kind of trauma stays with you for life.
However, the drama did focus on Won and Rin relationship development and how important Rin is to Won personal growth. Let us all admit that in a family that messed up, there’s no way Won would’ve grown up to be a mentally healthy kid. We can see some of his darkness when he mercilessly beat up that guard for just pushing San around. But, because of Rin existence and Rin helping Won escape from the stifling palace fill with deceit and power hungry people, Rin gave Won a chance to become a good person and maybe even a good king. I honestly love it when they sit down and chat because they do tell each other everything important. The kind of trust that they have for each other is strong because it has been developing over a long period of time. This is why when San appears again, it feels like she’s the bad one for coming in between their relationship. Please, the girl just wants to eat and drink her days away peacefully; well aside from that whole revenge thing. I’m looking at you Mr. Snake Hand.
Let’s see if I can get the whole baddies line sorted out in this post. Won’s mom (top right) is a princess from Yuan who marries the Goreyo King, Won’s father (top left). Mommy dearest loves daddy dearest but expresses that love by isolating his Goryeo’s wife and sending said wife’s son to live in a temple. In addition to being unable to protect his family, Won’s father is not able to protect his people because every year people are sent to Yuan as tribute. The Goryeo people doesn’t take this kind of disrespect so they hate Yuan people which in turn causes them to hate Won because he is the half Yuan and half Goryeo. The people who hates Won include Song In (the schemer on the bottom right), and Wang Jeon (Rin’s brother on the bottom left).
In order to bring down the prince, Song In creates a plan where Jeon rescues San and marries her. However, this resulted in the death of San’s mom and the starting point of San becoming So Hwa. San’s father is the richest man in Goryeo so he has a lot of connection and wealth which will help when they need to build an army and gain supporters. In order to help San avoids marrying the sleaziest son of a gun (ew), San’s father pretends that the injured Bi-Yeon (San’s maid) is San and send San to live up in the San (mountain) under the name of So Hwa. Honest confession, I still get freaking flutter every time Won calls her “So Hwa ya~” *squeal*.
Honestly, no one character seem like they are truly evil but more like their actions are motivated by the circumstances. Song In wants a Goryeo king so the people won’t be sent as tribute to Yuan. The queen just wants someone to care because both her son and her husband won’t even look at her. The king is lashing out because although he is a king, he is not fully in control of his kingdom. And Wang Jeon…Well that boy needs to go, bye. Note that my summary is just scratching the surface of each character, because their personalities and relationships are way more complicated and detailed in the drama. Not Wang Jeon though, he’s not that deep. Please leave.
The problem in this drama arises from the power struggle and what the opposite side does to retaliate. Jeon wants to marry San for her father’s wealth. The queen hates Jeon’s family because they are full blooded Goryeo and she knows Rin’s brother is trying to get rid of Won, so she sees them as a threat. As a warning, she decides to send Rin’s sister (Dan) as a tribute to Yuan. Rin, being the selfless bleeding heart protector that he is, offers to be sent as a tribute instead of his sister. Rin does this because at that same time, San’s real identity is reveal to almost everybody. If people found out that San and her father hid her identity, they will assume that her family did to prevent her from being sent as a tribute and the whole family will be punish for it. I think at this point Rin believes that if Won marries San then she won’t be sent as a tribute.
Our San aghasshi does not want to ruin their friendship or separate them in any way so she tells Won to marry Dan instead because this would prevent Rin from being sent as a tribute. Can I just say that Dan is the cutest little thing ever. The relationship between Dan and her brother, Rin, is so adorable. Like the only thing my brother ever did for me was fart in his hand and released it in my face. I’m still traumatize.
I’m not sure who San loves. I feel like she loves them both, in what way toward Rin and Won? I do not know. Having her identity hidden as a child, she never developed any type of special relationship with anybody so the friendship she has with Rin and Won is precious to her. She gives Won her mom’s keepsake and she keeps the hairpin from him close at all time. While with Rin, her heart aches because he keeps ignoring her. San babe, if you want them both, just take them. I don’t think they’ll complain.
While Won is a passionately burning flame, Rin is an slow burning ember. You can outright tell how much Won adores San, and I love that about him; albeit he does get a little creepy and pushy at time. I feel like San need someone to love her openly like that in her life. She keeps too much bottled up and she doesn’t express herself very well emotionally. I’m sure nobody ever fervently express their love for her like that, even her father and her maid who loves her with all their heart, at time have to keep that love undercover because San’s identity cannot be discover. Because Won is so straightforward with his expression, San does not know what to do except to become defensive.
Rin is one of Won dearest person, but at the same time there is this status that separates them. They may say they are friends but Rin is always determine to remain one or two step behind Won out of respect for his crown prince. Won trust and treasure Rin but it is with San whom he can trust to give it to him straight. In the beginning, she did not know his real identity so she doesn’t care whether she offends him or not; a very cliche drama trope, but is an effective explanation for Won’s attraction to San. Nothing calls to a man more than twisting his arm and throwing his arrogant ass on the floor. Learn from Lady San people.
Man I screamed so hard when Won came to stop the marriage. Won was like “Look at me and my crew.”
Now I am not sure why Rin loves San though.
In the beginning, he witnesses her grieving for her bodyguard like they are her family and I think her consideration for other people regardless of status, touched him in some way. But then it still does not make sense to me because at that time both Rin and Won thought San was the family’s maid. When they were all grown up, Rin follows San due to the prince’s order and partly out of his own curiosity. Besides curiosity, I think Rin carries a certain amount of guilt towards San like Won does regarding the incident when they were younger. Rin knew earlier on that his brother was partly at fault for whole incident and he stood by without helping like Won did. In some way he may feel the need to protect her but then as he got to know her over time, he fell for every part of her just like Won did.
Rin’s love is not as oppressive and pushy as Won. He’s the silent protector; whereas Won can’t be unobvious to save his life (I’m talking about the bad play he put in front of her at the dumpling shop he set up). If she’s in danger, he is there. He learns thing about San that she had not yet reveal. Not only is Rin the anchor of Won’s life, I think his outlook on life also affects San in a positive way. San refuses to form attachment or leave roots anywhere because she did not have the luxury of forming a lasting bond with anyone because then she would have to lie to them about her identity all the time. However, Rin tells her that regardless of what happens she needs to make happy memory so she can look back on them fondly later on in life.
He helps her to go out of her comfort zone and that is not always an easy thing. He supports and encourages her without needing credit for it and only wants her to be happy. I really like this aspect of Rin because he gives room for San to develop without it feeling like things are forced on her, like so many other thing in her life. I’m screaming so hard when Rin held her on the roof. Basically in this drama I’m always screaming.
I know people are having shipping war but I honestly have my feet on both ship. I don’t care, I’m chaining my legs on both boat. They can split me in half for all I care. I just cannot pick. They’re both swoony in their own way. Don’t freaking make me pick. It’s like asking who do you like more, your mom or your dad? Like no.
Who can break up this cute ass bromance. Fight me. (*cough*) Sorry lady San, you’re too strong.
That’s right girl. Go ahead and judge them. Just like people always say, the good ones are always taken or they’re gay.
Now the king is all up in their business cause he wants to join the-hunt-for-San-wagon too. She needs both of her man to work together to figure this one out. Though I think she needs to spend a little time with Song In too. Song In got the moves y’all. Like he is way smoother than Won and Rin. *Mini heart flutter*. He was seen slashing her in the most recent preview so I guess this is sinking faster than wet paper in water. They never even had a chance.
I’m expecting Won to get a lot more assertive in using his power as a prince later on. I’m also curious as to why they brought San’s teacher down the mountain. Maybe they need another brain to combat Song In. However, I trust that Won won’t be that bad because he did tell Rin beforehand about his plan to obtain more power and that he needs Rin to be his anchor no matter what happens. That is a lot of responsibility for Rin when homeboy still need some time to romance Lady San. Like Won, give the man a chance, you had so many already. You’re too darn observant for your own good. You need to give more materials for the shipping war.
I will probably add more thoughts to this post later on if I think of more things I want to discuss. Can’t wait for next week. Whoo!