[2011] The princess's man - drama recap by drama beans

231 November 24, 2011May 24, 2013

The Princess’s Man: Series review

by javabeans

Epic, moving, suspenseful, and superbly paced. If I were limited to only a handful of words, that’s how I’d describe The Princess’s Man, KBS’s romantic melodrama and premium sageuk from earlier this summer. Then again, I’ve never been good with brevity and I do have an open-ended word count available, so let’s cut to the chase and get right to it. Sit back and settle in; this may take a while…

SONG OF THE DAY

The Princess’s Man OST – “Destino (운명)” [ Download ]

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The Princess’s Man has been touted, more than anything, as a Joseon-era Romeo & Juliet story, but there’s another Shakespeare analogue that’s just as apt: Richard III. While the Romeo & Juliet comparison is certainly appropriate given the star-crossed-lovers premise, it almost does the drama a disservice in reducing the plot down to a simple idea when it’s really about so much more. There’s political intrigue that’s fast-changing and compelling — not a bunch of static discussions held around a round table for episodes on end — in addition to a central romance that has me fully invested on both sides, backed up not only by attraction and passion but also steadfast ideological integrities. That’s pretty rare, but it makes for such an engaging conflict that’ll have you on the edge of your seat, possibly biting fingernails.

A few misconceptions had me initially wary, but to clear one big one up off the bat: This drama is not depressing. There’s conflict and angst and romantic tension, but it’s not drawn out in a gloomy, mournful way. Some of the circumstances are tragic, inasmuch as any murder and betrayal can be tragic (and there’s lots of that here), but I’d characterize the tone of The Princess’s Man much more along the lines of gripping and sweeping and artfully suspenseful, rather than grim and dire. Also, addicting as hell. (Word of warning: You may want to download all the episodes before starting.)

Note: There will be spoilers. Not every plot point is discussed so those who still want to see it should be able to, if you don’t mind some spoiling. For those who’d like to keep the ending a mystery, though, I’ve separated out the ending discussion so you can skip that section.

 
THE HISTORY

One of the things this drama does so well is in creating its fictional world within the existing history. The drama’s narrative takes plenty of creative license with the details, and each episode is preceded by a huge honkin’ “We realize that history has been tweaked for entertainment purposes!” disclaimer, so don’t expect this show to hew strictly to facts. What it does is use a famous coup as the jumping-off point for its narrative, fictionalizing the central love story around the real-life political upheaval of the time. A number of characters in the older generation are real historical figures, but their children’s generation — our lead characters — is where the fiction takes over.

In that sense, if real-life history is like a map, then The Princess’s Man is like a sheer layer of fabric laid over the map featuring a complementary pattern. You can recognize the general outlines of the map through the top layer, giving us a peek at the truth while presenting fiction.

The central historical event on which this drama is based is the usurpation of the throne in 1453 by Grand Prince Suyang, posthumously known as Joseon’s seventh king, Sejo. Suyang was the second son of King Sejong the Great, whom you may recognize as the main character in the currently running sageuk, Tree With Deep Roots. At the time, Joseon was still a relatively new state, sixty years in, having taken over from the almost-500-year span of Goryeo before it.


Crafty Suyang, plotting against his brother King Munjong

Sejong had a number of children, but we’re primarily concerned with his eldest two sons. Firstborn Munjong sits on the throne at the drama’s outset, and next in line is his adolescent son and crown prince, Danjong. However, times of transition are particularly unstable when you’ve got (1) a weak king sitting on the throne, (2) a weak successor, and/or (3) an ambitious plotter in the wings wanting his own shot at the crown. In the case of Suyang, all three are true.

Munjong has only been king for two years and his son is still young and inexperienced. Suyang aspires to the throne himself… and the only way to achieve that in this day and age is to get rid of those who stand in your way. Thankfully, he’s not averse to a little bloodshed. Well, thankfully for him; the piles of bodies littering the ground in his wake might think a little differently.

Suyang commands quite a bit of political clout, but he’s not without obstacles. The biggest threat is Kim Jong-seo, the venerated government minister who has both the authority and the balls to stand up to Suyang when others cower and crumble. That threat will have to be neutralized.


The young lovers: Lee Se-ryung, Kim Seung-yoo

All the above is factually true, but what happens when you throw a (fictional) wrench into the works, by making Kim Jong-seo’s son fall in love with Suyang’s daughter? Things, to put it simply, get complicated.

Those of you familiar with British history may see where the Richard III comparisons come in. Richard III, you may recall, also aspired to a throne that wasn’t his. The younger brother to a king, Richard took up regency of his young nephew when his brother died and passed the crown to the child. He had the boy declared illegitimate, deposed him and locked him in the Tower of London with his brother, where the two Princes in the Tower later died.

This isn’t to say that the story of The Princess’s Man is inspired by Richard’s history or Shakespeare’s play, since chronologically speaking Suyang/Sejo came first. (Richard III was born the year before Suyang’s usurpation, in fact. Hm, must’ve been something in the water in that bloodthirsty 15th century.) It’s just for comparison purposes that I bring it up, since the Romeo & Juliet logline has overshadowed this other correlation.


Righteous Kim Jong-seo, teenaged King Danjong

 
THE STORY

At the drama’s outset, King Munjong is ailing in secret, and because he trusts his brother Suyang (acted by Kim Young-chul) about as far as he can throw him, he’s particularly worried about creating a stable political environment for his son to inherit.

That fear is well-founded, since Suyang is busy orchestrating political machinations. As a way to keep his enemy close, Suyang approaches his biggest rival, Kim Jong-seo (played by Lee Soon-jae), with the proposal to betroth their children: Suyang’s beloved daughter Se-ryung (Moon Chae-won) with Kim’s son Seung-yoo (Park Shi-hoo). Kim Jong-seo is wary of Suyang, suspicious of his motives, as well he should be.

The initial meeting between Se-ryung and Seung-yoo is well-crafted, in that it takes a simple circumstance and twists it and weaves it inextricably with the core of the plot: Se-ryung hears that Kim Seung-yoo is her potential future husband, so when she learns that he has been appointed the new tutor to her cousin, Princess Kyung-hye (Hong Soo-hyun, who’s electric), Se-ryung decides she wants a peek. The girls swap clothes and trade places for the day, and her first impression is not good: She finds Seung-yoo both pompous (he lectures her on edicts, such as how women ought to be men’s shadows) and profligate (he comes to the session bearing a lipstick mark on his cheek, remnants of a drunken night at a gisaeng establishment).

They both decide they don’t like each other, but it’s not long before their aversion turns to interest, then attraction. But things get complicated mighty quickly, and the initial lie about Se-ryung being the princess — made with such silly, light intent — soon spirals far out of control.

It’s an example of the well-constructed nature of the plot, because things in this drama don’t happen without reason, without consequence. Everything has an effect on something else. Their meeting is such a simple issue — including a simple lie — that grows and entangles so thoroughly that the conflict that it sets off becomes an impossibly knotted problem.

The complication? King Munjong hears about Suyang’s secret maneuverings and decides to cut off the threat at the knees — by announcing that he has picked Seung-yoo to marry Princess Kyung-hye. Potentially dangerous union averted.

Se-ryung doesn’t know this and continues to fall for Seung-yoo believing him to be her future husband… while Seung-yoo feels free to fall for Se-ryung, because he believes she’s the princess and therefore his future wife. They continue to meet (often by chance), and the attachment grows quite strong before anybody catches wind of it. Seung-yoo continues to believe she’s someone else, and every time she tries to reveal the truth, she’s prevented.

And while these two are falling in love, Suyang is busily plotting against Kim Jong-seo. Here’s one reason this drama goes beyond the standard Romeo and Juliet story, because we’re given a greater understanding of the enmity between sides, other than just being told that Montagues and Capulets have been sworn enemies for generations. By the time the plot is in full swing, it’s completely clear why the lovers cannot be, juxtaposed with that wistful feeling of “It could have all been so easy” — because given a different circumstance, they would have been married and been perfectly blissful. We feel even more for their plight because we witness the couple’s love and their parents’ strife simultaneously hurtling toward opposite extremes, giving us a growing sense of foreboding as the stakes keep getting upped, and upped, and upped.

For instance, Suyang first does damage to the Kims on a smaller level and forces Kim Jong-seo’s resignation, but that’s not enough. Kim is a formidable man, and he counters Suyang’s power plays so solidly that the only way for Suyang to succeed in his coup is for Kim Jong-seo to die. Also Seung-yoo.

Therefore, he assembles his conspirators with promises of richly rewarding them when he becomes king. One of his recruits is the police chief, Myun, who will play a key role in the coup… and who just happens to be Seung-yoo’s best friend. Myun does not take lightly the burden of killing Seung-yoo’s father — or Seung-yoo himself. However, he finds himself between a rock and a hard place, because if he chooses not to join Suyang, he will be opposing (and perhaps killing) his own father.

There’s one more thing to sway Myun to the dark side: Suyang promises to give him his daughter in marriage, and Myun has been coveting his friend’s sweetheart from afar — even as he knows that Seung-yoo doesn’t know who she really is, and refrains from telling him the truth.

The initial lie twists again when Seung-yoo finds out Se-ryung isn’t the princess, but then believes she’s a lowly orphaned court lady. His engagement to the princess has been called off and he even considers marrying Se-ryung anyway despite the class divide, and therefore it may seem frustrating for Se-ryung to keep her identity quiet. But the drama does a convincing job of explaining why she must keep quiet, so that you’re simultaneously yelling at your screen, “Just tell him! No, you can’t tell him!”

In a nutshell: If she reveals her identity, she endangers her family. What started off as a little girlish prank now takes on dire undertones, because this younger generation is unwittingly drawn in to the political intrigue of their parents’ generation. A girl swapping places with her cousin is innocent. But the daughter of Scheming Politician impersonating the Princess, and consorting with the Princess’s Fiance? Suddenly the issue takes on grave implications and you’re just one secret away from branding your family traitors.

Actual treason wasn’t necessary to be punished as such, since you could kill first, trump up charges later — one of the benefits of surviving to rewrite history. (Which was Suyang’s basic mantra in accusing his opposition of being traitors in order to be rid of them.) In these volatile times, an accused traitor not only forfeited his own life but also his family’s. How could she tell the truth and sentence her family to death?

Even so, heroines have their secret-keeping limits, and Se-ryung is well-written in this aspect. Just when you start to worry that she’s being stupidly noble, or creating bigger problems with her silence, she decides to step up and do the right thing. Case in point: Se-ryung believes her father to be good and noble, because he’s always been the doting father. She is blind to his dark side, but finally she can’t deny it when she overhears him talking of his plans to murder Kim Jong-seo’s family that night.

Her family already knows she’s in love with Seung-yoo and her first attempt to warn his family fails, so they keep her locked up so she won’t interfere. She’s forced think of an alternative and writes a note in her own blood to draw Seung-yoo out of his house, desperate to save at least him, if not his household.

When Suyang’s coup is launched (resulting in what is now known as the Six Martyred Ministers), the romance becomes doomed — because no matter how virtuous Se-ryung is, she’s still the daughter of the man who massacred Seung-yoo’s family. Some things you just don’t get over.

This is the same conclusion Seung-yoo draws when he finally discovers Se-ryung’s true identity, just moments before he attempts to kill her father. He has managed to survive thanks to Se-ryung’s interference, but he’s been badly wounded and left for dead. His feeling of betrayal is compounded because he believes Se-ryung used him all along, that she was being used by her father as a tool in killing his. He doesn’t know the extremes to which she has gone to save his life, defying her own family and risking her own safety, and even when she knows he hates her, her primary focus is to keep him alive. Even if they cannot be together, she is determined to keep him from being executed by her father.

One of the addictive elements of the drama is its artful pacing, and the way it manages to keep you on the edge of your seat. Se-ryung’s actions escalate in accordance with her father’s, and as he marches closer to the throne with more murders, she grows more daring in her attempts to save Seung-yoo. It’s one way that the character Se-ryung showcases a thoroughly modern type of courage and pluck, while operating within the framework of the times. She laments at one point, Why do I have no power? How can I save him? This forces Se-ryung to become creative, and it keeps us guessing, because we’re lamenting the same thing.

The drama backs its characters against stone walls with no obvious way out, keeping us guessing until it produces a solution. Se-ryung is only one person, and how will she be able to succeed against an army? After all, Suyang is hardly going to let a daughter, no matter how beloved, deter him from his lifelong ambitions.

Se-ryung finally does shock Suyang by wielding a sword to her throat and declaring that the moment she hears Seung-yoo has been executed, she will turn the blade on herself.

What I love about this moment is that despite the heightened drama of the action, Se-ryung is not doing this in a fit of histrionics. Nor is she bluffing to scare Dad into compliance. She’s dead serious, but not in the “If you kill my love, I’m just going to DIE!” way.

Rather, she is taking an ideological stance: Her father has shed copious amounts of blood and is no longer affected by death, so she will get through to him with one that does shake him. If he is directly responsible for killing his own daughter, that’s one death he won’t be able to shrug off and forget. This would finally be a death that matters to Suyang, and it’s here that the drama takes the dramatics of Romeo and Juliet’s double suicide and twists them effectively. This isn’t just blind love talking; it’s also a moral stance, a daughter’s last-ditch attempt to recover the father she knew to be upright and good.

She proves her point, Suyang backs off, and Seung-yoo is spared. But shifty Suyang manages to find a way to have his cake and eat it too: He sends Seung-yoo to be shipped to exile, thereby appeasing Se-ryung — and then orders the ship sunk. Seung-yoo is believed to be dead but escapes with a group of prisoners, and what ensues is a Count of Monte Cristo-an tale of revenge as Seung-yoo returns to the capital with a new mane of glory to match his new attitude — bitter, seething, vengeful — and sets out with one goal: Kill Suyang.

Speaking of whom: Another of the drama’s fortes is in its depiction of Suyang’s twisted but also very human psychology. The historical Suyang has an interesting duality in that his usurpation is viewed negatively, but his reign as king was marked by a number of positive advancements. (In the words of my mother: “We call him Suyang when talking about all the bad stuff he did, and Sejo when talking about the good stuff.”) As a drama villain, he’s a complex character who manages to be somewhat accessible even as he’s out killing, maiming, and overtaking. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him sympathetic, but there are flashes of humanity that make him interesting.

For instance, there’s a moment when Se-ryung tells her father that she’s proud to be his daughter. He beams with pride, even as he turns around and plots to use her as a tool in killing Kim Jong-seo. His love for his daughter is never enough to thwart his aims, but it does sour the victory. The more he takes through wrongful means, the more Se-ryung’s respect drops. The drama can’t entirely thwart history by giving Suyang the end he probably deserves — this ain’t Tarantino, after all — but it does show us that he paid a price.

In fact, even after Suyang has become king and gotten what he wants, his daughter’s reaction makes him second-guess himself and wonder if what he did was really so bad. It’s a laughable statement given the rivers of blood running through Hanyang, but poignant in how he arrives at that point.

One of the things I really love about The Princess’s Man is the character of Se-ryung, who demonstrates integrity and character that you don’t necessarily think she possesses at the outset. I don’t think Moon Chae-won was the best actress for this role, but her character won me over so much that I was able to overlook her horrible sageuk diction.

(To put the accent in comparable terms, think of a modern teenager, like, acting in like a total Shakespeare play and stuff. It’s jarring and completely takes me out of the moment, which is unfortunate, but ultimately the story sweeps you up in its thrall. Moon does improve as the series goes on, and while she never becomes good at sageuk-speak, at least it’s better than the early episodes where she’s outright terrible. In her favor are her facial expressions and demeanor, and she’s emotive and convincing particularly in the latter stages; it’s just that her speech is her big flaw. Kinda like Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain.)

But back to Se-ryung: As the series progressed, I found myself increasingly impressed with her, especially given how she started out — cheery, naive, sheltered. The more corrupt her father becomes, the stronger her opposition to him grows. She’s not obnoxious, just firm. Other heroines may be smart or pure or sweet: This girl is pure guts, and I love that.

The drama’s depiction of all the characters’ growth is well-done, but particularly so with her. On one hand, you sort of want to weep for their loss of innocence, and yet it’s the tribulations that forge them into the strong, honorable people they eventually become. Even Seung-yoo begins the drama in relative frivolity, drinking and joking and content in his privilege. It’s the trials they face that prove their integrity underneath that initial soft exterior.

So I love that she’s bold and courageous. Thus the drama gives Se-ryung agency in a world where women had very little. She can’t wield a sword and fight, and she has no political power, but she picks her battles and refuses to compromise her values of honor. She takes a stand for what’s right and makes use of every tool in her power to help. It’s a tricky balance, because while we applaud heroines who fight for love and justice, it’s also hard to applaud a heroine who could actively fight against family, no matter how corrupted. It’s just not the Confucian way. Filial piety is paramount, over romantic love or personal desires.

So it’s to Se-ryung’s credit that she manages to make her disapproval crystal clear, yet without entirely disrespecting her parents. Even when her father becomes king, she rejects the title of princess, though not in a loud, theatrical display. For instance, in one scene she is about to be introduced as princess, but cuts off the speaker to introduce herself as Se-ryung, circumventing the title she cannot in good conscience take. People do call her princess and she learns to let that battle go eventually, but it’s meaningful when she tells her father — whom she continues to call Father rather than the term she is expected to use, for the king — that she will not recognize any princess in the land but Kyung-hee.

Speaking of whom, it would be remiss to ignore Princess Kyung-hee, who positively shines. Or rather, actress Hong Soo-hyun does, reinventing her lackluster earlier career with this one commanding role, equal parts pride and vulnerability.

Kyung-hee spends her days cooped up in the palace walls and has a fondness for collecting ornaments and accessories and caged birds, reflective of her own state in the gilded cage of a palace. And although her sisterly relationship with Se-ryung sours as Suyang begins his takeover, the series does a solid job in playing this out believably. Even though she accuses Se-ryung of being happy about Kyung-hee’s broken engagement to Seung-yoo, she’s not lashing out at Se-ryung out of jealousy or petty vindictiveness, but because she’s genuinely frustrated that Se-ryung refuses to see what everyone else does: That Suyang is out to usurp.

Another series highlight is Kyung-hee’s relationship with Jong (Lee Min-woo), the husband that is picked for her after Seung-yoo is rejected. Jong happens to be Seung-yoo’s best friend (along with that traitor Myun), and has a wonderfully gentle, playful nature. He’s thrilled to be marrying the princess, but she complies only out of duty to her father’s dying wishes and keeps Jong at arm’s length, a husband in name only. Given that their first encounter is unflattering to him (he’s being chased by debt collectors), Kyung-hee maintains a negative impression of him, and he patiently does what he can for her while respecting the boundaries she erects.

What’s beautiful about this relationship is that Jong never has a chance to prove that he would be a good husband to her, so he proves it by just being a good husband to her. It kills me, this gradual blossoming. He’s constant and faithful and always on her side, and by degrees Kyung-hee starts to see his good nature shining through. He doesn’t do things to earn her good favor, he just does them because he’s there for her and he loves her.

When she realizes her feelings and admits them, it’s framed in the context of him having become indispensable to her; perhaps she doesn’t know how or when it happened, but one day she looks around and realizes he’s always been there. In one of the drama’s most romantic moments (to me), Kyung-hee marks the shift in their relationship by calling him, for the first time, “husband.” Just as nomenclature is important to Se-ryung who deliberately avoids calling her father the word for king, Kyung-hee has called Jong by a formal term, and it’s not until she calls him the common word for husband that he truly becomes one to her.

Of course, part of the reason that love relationship is so strong is because their ideals are aligned. I love that The Princess’s Man does this with Kyung-hee and Jong, as well as Se-ryung and Seung-yoo. I confess I probably would have found it tedious after a number of episodes if all this drama were focused purely on the angst of the Romance That Cannot Be. There’s only so much pleading, “But I love him!” that you can take before it starts to grow wearying.

But the romance is inextricably tied into the fight for justice; Se-ryung is fighting to get Suyang to stop the killing as much as she fights to keep her love. When Suyang later accuses her of plotting against her own father (“And all for a man!”), she counters that she has never wished harm for her father, and merely wished for the bloody mayhem to stop, and for the return of the father she once knew.

Even with all this, though, our Romeo and Juliet are still at odds; she loves him, while he fights his love for her with reminders that he needs to avenge his family’s murders. At several points, he is urged to just take Se-ryung and run away, but he can’t give up on his work — especially when he is committed to the bigger fight to topple Suyang. It’s no longer just about personal vengeance, but a greater injustice.

It’s only after Se-ryung finally cuts ties with her father that this obstacle is removed. If she had disowned her father earlier on, aside from lacking material for a 24-episode drama, it would have seemed precipitate: Oh, you can cut out your father just for a man?, just as he accused. But the drama gradually intensifies Suyang’s moral descent until Se-ryung can’t be a part of this family any longer; it’s not romantic attachment driving her, but her own code of honor.

Only then can Seung-yoo accept Se-ryung without qualms, and they declare themselves married with an exchange of rings. When they tell each other that “we are one body now,” they refer to their unity of purpose as much as their marital state.

It’s because of their mismatched values (well, among other reasons) that Myun is doomed to forever stare at Se-ryung’s back. He’s willing to compromise his ideals in getting what he wants, whereas she would never abide that in him.

It’s significant that Myun sees her as an object to possess, and in fact what initially gets him to choose Suyang’s side is Suyang whispering into his ear like a devil on his shoulder, saying that Se-ryung is his promised bride and that he ought to consider her above his old friend. Suyang has cleverly reframed the issue in Myun’s mind: She isn’t your friend’s woman that you want for yourself, she’s yours and you need to protect your own. Ergo, join me and kill Seung-yoo. Even later in the series after it’s clear she’s committed herself whole-heartedly to Seung-yoo, and that she’d rather die alone than take a husband other than him, Myun growls at her, “You are mine.”

The drama offers an interesting examination into the nature of friendship with the trio of Seung-yoo, Jong, and Myun, with Jong being the most idealistic, Myun caving to seflish pragmatism, and Seung-yoo somewhere in between, though closer to Jong. I do appreciate that Myun isn’t an outright villain, however. Like Suyang, I never quite feel sympathetic toward him, but I see him more as a weak human than an evil one.

Despite what I said previously about Myun joining Suyang under duress, in the end it is his choice, no matter how he frames it for his own conscience. For instance, early on when the friends first start to take divergent ideological paths, there’s a moment when Seung-yoo suffers at the hands of the opposition. But he offers to put their fathers’ politics aside so as to relieve Myun from feeling guilty for his father’s role in it. When the situation is flipped, Myun can’t extend the same generosity of spirit.

Myun declares time and time again that he will kill Seung-yoo, especially as Se-ryung’s rejections of him grow colder, with such frequency that it’s almost funny (seriously, you should make it a drinking game). But in the end he can’t do it, on multiple occasions. I don’t think that excuses any of his decisions, because he was willing to contribute to Seung-yoo’s death even if he couldn’t deliver the deathblow, but it shows that he’s not actually content with his choices.

I appreciate that he’s conflicted about his choices, even as he goes and makes all the wrong ones, and you can see that he’s haunted by them. His old teacher urges him that it’s not too late to be a friend to Seung-yoo: “Be friends who save each other.” And in the end, he can at least do that much; it’s not full redemption, but gives complexity to his inner struggle. Which is why you can make an argument for Myun’s humanity, but not his nobility.

 

The Princess’s Man OST – “그리움 지고” (With Longing)
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THE ENDING AND RELATED COMMENTS

There’s a notion of equality running through the love story that I find deeply satisfying, because it’s a concept that evolves over the course of the series. In their first meeting, Seung-yoo smugly recites adages emphasizing that woman’s place is behind a man — her father, husband, then son. Ergo, she is his shadow. When he asks her to be his wife, he tells her that they’ll be each other’s shadows from now on.

After Seung-yoo becomes Dark Avenger Seung-yoo, he’s always on alert for danger and sleeps sitting up with a knife at the ready because there was nobody he could trust. Finally with Se-ryung back by his side, he confides, “If only I could lean against someone, I might sleep easily.” Se-ryung props his head on her shoulder, and he sleeps.

The equality theme extends into the horseback riding motif, which provides a nice bookend for the drama. One of their early encounters arises when Se-ryung — who dearly wants to ride despite being forbidden — sneaks out on a horse which bolts out of control. Seung-yoo saves her, and she asks him to teach her how to ride, because then she could ride safely. He tells her that when they marry, he’ll teach her how to ride, allowing her a freedom as his wife that she is denied by current social norms.

Horseback riding also offers, or betrays, personal intimacy. It’s why Se-ryung furiously denounces Myun the one time he loses his temper with her and forces her onto horseback with him. She hates the contact and dismounts at the first opportunity, and he finds himself shut even further out because of it. Later, when Seung-yoo is still furious at Se-ryung for the betrayal, he takes her away on horseback but is so rattled at the contact that he gets off and walks instead. Following their reconciliation, he takes her away again and wonders, “Why don’t you ask where we’re going?” Her reply: “It doesn’t matter.”

And finally, the ending: Seung-yoo is finally captured (because he didn’t kill Suyang when he had the chance), beaten half to death, and sentenced to execution. Se-ryung is devastated but honors his desire to die rather than renounce his beliefs, and finally her mother — who has watched her husband becoming ravaged by his rage and bloodlust — decides that she can’t lose another child and orders Seung-yoo declared dead. Se-ryung is reported to have committed suicide in response (another twist on the classic Shakespeare), and the two are carried outside the city as “corpses,” giving them the freedom to live in obscurity.

The beating leaves Seung-yoo blind, however, and when we see them a number of years later in the drama’s ending sequence, Se-ryung leads him to a field where he is ready to try riding a horse again. She asks if he’s afraid, and he answers no — because she’s there, guiding him.

My first reaction to the ending was one of disappointment, because it seemed such a waste to have Seung-yoo give up his resistance work when so much of the drama emphasized that he was committed till the end, that he would never compromise that in order to live easy. It goes against everything he and Jong stood for, and I felt it was a letdown. The more I reflect on it, the more at peace I am with the resolution, because Seung-yoo gets the chance to warn Suyang that killing him doesn’t matter — the resistance will come back, somebody will take his place, and Suyang will never rest easy. That much is true, because Suyang is haunted by ghosts for the rest of his days, unable to sleep or shake off the guilt that comes from killing your daughter in your greed. So when he sees — with the Queen’s intervention — that Seung-yoo and Se-ryung are alive and well after all these years, he gains a small measure of peace.

And, as Seung-yoo tells Se-ryung in the final scene: He may have lost his sight, but he regained his heart. Just as he lost his revenge, and regained her.

 

 
FINAL THOUGHTS

In almost every respect, The Princess’s Man delivers a solid, emotional, gripping storytelling punch. It’s got an epic score and a gorgeous visual appeal which, to my disappointment, fades a bit after 7 or 8 episodes (a camera switch?). The change isn’t a huge issue, but man, thinking of how the drama could’ve looked if it had maintained that level of cinematographic flair makes me a little bit sad at what could have been.

If I have to nitpick, I have to admit that the drama didn’t get me straight in the heart even though mentally I was completely engaged, which is why it doesn’t quite topple The Return of Iljimae as my top sageuk. But it did get my blood pumping and the story often swept me away, offering a welcome surprise — especially after expecting doom ‘n gloom. Often in sageuks I find that political dealings take up a lot of screentime without a lot of forward movement, but this drama gets going at a roaring pace and never lets up.

Plus, it’s got one of the most compelling romances I’ve seen in a while. This is something that’ll probably differ widely for various viewers, because people react so differently to various romantic pairings that there’s no predicting who will respond to what. But I find that in so many drama romances, I’m really onboard because of one side, one awesomely compelling character for whom I wish all happiness and success. So the other person is just along for the ride. In this drama, both sides were convincing and heartfelt. You’re pulling for them to find a way to make it work, even though you have no idea how it could possibly work. That’s some good writing.

All in all, this is a drama that delivered on its premise and then some, and probably ranks as one of my top picks of the year.

RELATED POSTS

K-Drama Review: The Princess’ Man – An Epic Romeo and Juliet Like Period Drama

Posted by Faith White | Nov 12, 2015 | 0

The Princess' Man-on-balcony

The Princess’ Man Review

Warring families. Forbidden love. Betrayal and tragedy. Like Shakespeare’s unforgettable story of Romeo and Juliet, The Princess’ Man is an epic, riveting story of two young people falling in love despite the enormous obstacle of their feuding families.

The Princess' Man

Set in 15th century Korea, The Princess’ Man follows Lee Se-Ryung, a young nobleman’s daughter on the verge of adulthood. When she learns that she’s to be married to a young scholar, Kim Seung-Yoo, she decides to meet him – only disguised as her cousin, Princess Kyung-Hye. Misunderstandings arise as Seung-Yoo tries to find out who Se-Ryung really is. Just as young love starts to flourish, Se-Ryung’s father, uncle of the current king, finally enacts his plans to usurp the throne and murder the king’s supporters – the leader of which is Seung-Yoo’s father.

Se-Ryung lifts a veil - The Princess' Man

Lee Se-Ryung must make a difficult choice: family or love.

The main heroine of The Princess’ Man is Se-Ryung played by the lovely Moon Chae-Won. She brings a sweet youthfulness to Se-Ryung’s character as well as a quiet, authentic strength that continues to grow as she’s faced with the barbarity of political greed around her. Se-Ryung’s emotions feel raw, varied and genuine as her heart is ripped in two by caring for the two men she loves best: her father and her lover, Seung-Yoo. I love watching characters grow and change, and Se-Ryung is written beautifully because she does both. Her compassion and courage make her easy to love.  I really feel like Se-Ryung could’ve existed as depicted – a girl with a strong heart who thrives even in the restrictive Confucian society that controls every aspect of society, especially the lives of women.

Park Shi-Hoo plays the happy-go-lucky nobleman’s son, Seung-Yoo, who turns into a tortured soul hell-bent on retribution from those who destroyed his life. Wearing black and looking angsty, Seung-Yoo brings drama and heartache to the screen. His character arc of innocence lost and finding the strength to do what’s right pulls on the heartstrings – sometimes agonizingly. I love how he’s continually surprised by the depths of Se-Ryung’s heart, which only leaves him more in love with her.

Masked Seung-Yoo seeks vengeance - The Princess' Man

Masked Seung-Yoo seeks vengeance

What’s so wonderful about The Princess’ Man is it not only manages to bring us two great leading characters but there are so many excellent, fleshed-out supporting characters. Princess Kyung-Hye is one of my favorites playing the icy-cold, haughty princess who lashes out at those around her. Underneath a vulnerable, trapped girl hides. Her character shines from the beginning to end – right along with Jung Jong, the mild-mannered, poor nobleman who seems incapable of anything but running away from debtors. Princess Kyung-Hye is devastated when she learns she’s must marry Jung Jong in an arranged marriage. What comes from their two lives is an emotional, heartrending story that could’ve stood alone.

The Princess’ Man brings villains that are just as layered and complex as the heroes. Prince Su-Yang’s lust for power and willingness to do horrible things to attain that power is balanced out by his sincere love for his wife and children. It’s not hard to see how he could’ve chosen another road – one that wouldn’t have ended in so much bloodshed. Magistrate Shin Myeon portrays another tortured soul, the former friend of Seung-Yoo, who betrays Seung-Yoo for position in Prince Su-Yang’s reign. Song Jong-Ho, Shin Myeon’s actor, is a poster-boy for tormented looks. Some of my favorite moments of his are when his façade broke down and you could see the agony of regret burning in his eyes. Which just kept me shouting at the screen telling him to turn back before it’s too late!

The Princess' Man

Magistrate Shin greets Jung Jong and Princess Kyung-Hye

Having watched a lot of K-Dramas, this is such a well-made saguek (Korean historical drama) on multiple levels. Visually, there’s so much color and beauty in this show – from the look of the camera to the fantastic period clothes. I loved the slow motion camera – used sparingly, but effectively. Pacing wise, the show employed plenty of slow moments, but I never felt like it dragged, which happens too often in period dramas. Literally every episode of The Princess’ Man ended on a cliff-hanger that forced you to immediately click the next episode to see what would happen! Or at least it forced me!

I felt like the obstacles between Seung-Yoo and Se-Ryung – her family, his thirst for vengeance, etc – were gripping but never milked to a melodramatic extreme. What was so beautiful about their romance was the subtlety; the stolen moments here and there that kept building until the end. You could see how much they cared for each other just in the way they looked at each other. Every relationship was handled deftly in The Princess’ Man. I’m certain there were a few loose ends and plot holes scattered throughout, but none come to mind. You know a show’s good when you’re not talking about why did this and that happen all day. I even found the politics and court intrigue interesting. I couldn’t help but cheer on the small band of court politicians who stood up to Prince Su-Yang’s oppression. And I loved how they interwove Se-Ryung and Seung-Yoo into the political side of the story. It felt like they had genuine roles to play besides being romantic interests.

The Princess' Man

I did end up researching a little about Prince Su-Yang. Many aspects of the story, the politicians, and royals were real. But this narrative does take many liberties, particularly with Princess Se-Ryung whose existence is debated. Either way, Princess Se-Ryung’s story and The Princess’ Man continues to be one of my favorites – a 24 episode K-Drama that breathes a sweet, unforgettable romance, aching betrayals, nerve-wrecking cliff-hangers that build up to a tense climax, and the struggle and triumph of holding onto hope and love through the darkest of times. You can catch this on Hulu Plus and DramaFever!

Will you be checking out “The Princess’ Man?” Do you have reasons everyone else should tune in? Sound off in the comments…


Photos: KBS2/Dramafever

 OVERALL RATING

Five Corset Rating Lower Byte Size

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

ROMANCE RATING 

Five heart rating

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

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“The Princess’s Man” synopsis by episode, Eps. 1-24 (no spoilers)






“The Princess’s Man” is a 2011 South Korean television series, starring Park Si-hoo and Moon Chae-won. It is a period drama about the forbidden romance between the daughter of King Sejo and the son of Sejo’s political opponent Kim Jong-seo. (Wikipedia)

Moon Chae-won won Best Actress awards in the Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards and KBS Drama Awards, while the drama won Best Drama Series (Asian Television Award), Golden Bird Prize for Series Drama (Seoul International Drama Awards), and Television Drama - Bronze World Medal (New York TV Festival).

The drama had an average viewership rating of 25.8%, with eight episodes ranking first and five episodes ranking second.

Episode 1


The drama opens in 1453 A.D. during the “Gyeyu Rebellion” when Grand Prince Suyang and his allies kill all their political rivals.

One year earlier ...

King Munjong is the eldest son of King Sejong the Great. But he is very sick, and the Crown Prince is young and inexperienced. Prince Suyang, who is King Sejong’s second eldest son, therefore plots with his allies on becoming the next King.

Right State Minister Kim Jong-seo is King Munjong’s faithful minister and friend. To gain Minister Kim Jong-seo’s allegiance, Prince Suyang proposes a marriage between his daughter Lee Se-ryung and Kim Seung-yu, Minister Kim Jong-seo’s second son.

Kim Seung-yu is an easy, go-lucky guy who enjoys visiting gisaeng houses with his best friends Prefect Shin Myeon of the capital bureau and Jung Jong, an impoverished noble. Despite his love of wine and women, he has been appointed as a Royal Lecturer.

Se-ryung finds out about the marriage proposal and wants to learn more about Kim Seung-yu. She convinces her friend, Princess Gyeonghye, to exchange places: she will dress and act like Princess Gyeonghye during the lecture session with Kim Seung-yu.



Episode 2


Kim Seung-yu rescues Se-ryung from her runaway horse. Despite the nearly-fatal incident, Se-ryung keeps pretending that she is Princess Gyeonghye. Later, Kim Seung-yu brings her to a gisaeng house to get a change of clothes before she heads back to the palace.

At the palace, King Munjong surprises both Minister Kim Jong-seo and Prince Suyang by announcing that he has chosen Kim Seung-yu to marry Princess Gyeonghye. But because of the protests by Prince Suyang’s allies, King Munjong appoints Prince Suyang as head of the selection committee for the Royal Son-In-Law.

Princess Gyeonghye protests to King Munjong that she’s not yet ready to get married. And during the next lecture with Kim Seung-yu, she still allows Se-ryung to pretend to be her.

King Munjong also appoints to the selection committee his trusted friend from the Hall of Worthies, Counselor Shin Sukju (the father of Kim Seung-yu’s best friend, Prefect Shin Myeon).

On Counselor Shin Sukju’s recommendation, the selection committee orders the Office of Astronomy to study the compatibility of the birth charts of Kim Seung-yu and Princess Gyeonghye. Counselor Shin Sukju also demands for round-the-clock security for the Office of Astronomy to prevent the leakage of the results.

Prefect Shin Myeon and his men raid the market to arrest the thugs who are victimizing the vendors. In pursuing one of the thugs, he barges into a room in a gisaeng house where he meets Prince Suyang.

Prince Suyang orders his men to kill Kim Seung-yu.



Episode 3


Prefect Shin Myeon arrives and rescues Kim Seung-yu and Se-ryung from the assassins.

As King Munjong’s condition worsens, Princess Gyeonghye becomes aware of the danger to her and the Crown Prince because of Prince Suyang. She realizes that her marriage to Kim Seung-yu is the only guarantee to their safety. Later on, she orders Se-ryung to avoid seeing Kim Seung-yu.

Prince Suyang’s adviser tells him of the unknown noble lady who protected Kim Seung-yu; on the other hand, after finding out about the assassins, Minister Kim Jong-seo warns Kim Seung-yu about Prince Suyang.

Despite Princess Gyeonghye’s warning, Se-ryung meets Kim Seung-yu again. They wander around the market together, but unknown to them, they’re being watched by one of Prince Suyang’s men.

Prince Suyang orders his men to kidnap the head of the Office of Astronomy. Later on, he invites Counselor Shin Sukju to a late-night meeting at his house. Unknown to Counselor Shin Sukju, Prince Suyang has also invited his son Prefect Shin Myeon.



Episode 4


Episode 3 recap:

Prince Suyang’s men threaten the head of the Office of Astronomy.

Kim Seung-yu’s friend Jung Jong is added to the list of candidates for Royal Son-In-Law.

Prince Suyang proposes a marriage between Se-ryung and Prefect Shin Myeon.

Prefect Shin Myeon advises Se-ryung to tell Kim Seung-yu who she really is.

Princess Gyeonghye finds out that Se-ryung met Kim Seung-yu again, and a court maid finds the letter that Kim Seung-yu wrote to Se-ryung (aka "Princess Gyeonghye”).

Princess Gyeonghye finally reveals herself to Kim Seung-yu.
While Se-ryung is hiding and listening in from a side room, Princess Gyeonghye finally reveals herself to Kim Seung-yu; she says that the woman he knows as the Princess is actually a court attendant who has now been kicked out of the palace.

Kim Seung-yu leaves in haste and, after drinking the night away at a gisaeng house, later begins looking for Se-ryung. But Princess Gyeonghye’s attendant warns him of the consequences if the impersonation is ever found out.

To clear her mind, Se-ryung goes to the valley where she and Kim Seung-yu rode together. Later, still confused by what Princess Gyeonghye said about Prince Suyang’s ambition, Se-ryung asks her father if he really wants to be King.

During an emergency meeting, the head of the Office of Astronomy presents the falsified results of his study. Despite outrage from the allies of Minister Kim Jong-seo, he warns King Munjong of the dire consequences if the marriage between Princess Gyeonghye and Kim Seung-yu pushes through.

While the deliberations on the selection of the Royal Son-In-Law are going on, the Inspector General orders the arrest of Kim Seung-yu.

As Kim Seung-yu is being dragged by soldiers to the place where he will be interrogated by King Munjong himself, he sees Se-ryung among the female members of the Royal family who have gathered along the way.



Episode 5


Episode 4 recap:

Princess Gyeonghye testifies during the interrogation on Kim Seung-yu’s behalf.

Se-ryung secretly visits Kim Seung-yu in prison, but before she can reveal who she really is, Prince Suyang arrives.
After Se-ryung confesses everything to him, Prince Suyang hastily visits Princess Gyeonghye.

Failing to convince Kim Seung-yu to tell the truth about the woman whom he met outside the palace, Minister Kim Jong-seo visits Prince Suyang and begs him for mercy.

Jung Jong is chosen as the Royal Son-In-Law, and Prefect Shin Myeon acts as his best man. But, during the wedding, King Munjong collapses.



Episode 6


Episode 5 recap:

King Munjong accepts the resignation of Minister Kim Jong-seo; Kim Seung-yu is dismissed as Royal Lecturer and exiled.
Kim Seung-yu and Se-ryung meet each other again near the swings at the market.

With Counselor Shin Sukju now appointed to the Royal Secretariat, Prince Suyang pressures the Crown Prince into approving a decree that puts his allies into strategic government posts.

Prince Suyang also forces Princess Gyeonghye to leave the palace and to move into her new residence. On instructions from her mother, Se-ryung visits Princess Gyeonghye, but Princess Gyeonghye berates her, saying that she must never go there again.

As the icy relationship between Princess Gyeonghye and Jung Jong continues, Kim Seung-yu and Prefect Shin Myeon visit Jung Jong. While there, Kim Seung-yu meets Princess Gyeonghye.

Later, panic ensues when Princess Gyeonghye goes missing from her residence. Jung Jong and Prefect Shin Myeon go to the palace to see if she went there. Meanwhile, with Kim Seung-yu whom she met by chance, Se-ryung goes by horseback and by boat to get to where she thinks Princess Gyeonghye might be.

That night, Prince Suyang stuns Se-ryung by telling her that he has arranged her marriage to Prefect Shin Myeon.

On Prince Anpyeong’s suggestion, King Munjong is brought to Princess Gyeonghye’s residence for a visit. Later, Prince Anpyeong brings a surprise visitor to meet King Munjong.

Back in the palace, King Munjong is on his death throes. Prince Suyang prepares a royal decree that appoints him as the Crown Prince’s regent; he also threatens the Royal Guards and the officers of the Board of Military Affairs with treason if they disobey his orders.

Episode 7


Episode 6 recap:

To Prince Suyang’s shock, Prince Anpyeong produces King Munjong’s last will; in the will, King Munjong appoints Kim Jong-seo and the State Council as the Crown Prince’s regent.

Unable to resist his emotions, Kim Seung-yu goes to the temple and embraces Se-ryung.
The Crown Prince is now King Danjong, with Kim Jong-seo as Left State Minister and Kim Seung-yu as a Royal Chronicler. Prince Suyang and other members of the Royal Family have been banned from entering the palace; meanwhile, Shin Sukju has been dismissed from the Royal Secretariat and reverted to the Hall of Worthies.

As they spend time together in Seungbeop Temple, Kim Seung-yu and Se-ryung fall more deeply in love with each other. But later on, Prince Suyang finds out that Se-ryung has been meeting Kim Seung-yu.

Prince Suyang and his allies prepare their highly-trained mercenaries for action, with Minister Kim Jong-seo and Prince Anpyeong as their primary targets. They plan to strike when King Danjong visits Princess Gyeonghye’s residence, as he did during her birthday feast.

Prefect Shin Myeon finds out how Se-ryung really feels towards Kim Seung-yu; later, as he gets drunk in anger and disappointment, Prince Suyang tells him to kill Kim Seung-yu.



Episode 8


Se-ryung finds out about her father’s plans of killing Minister Kim Jong-seo and Kim Seung-yu. She tries to leave her house to warn Kim Seung-yu, but her mother locks her up in her quarters.

Despite opposition from Minister Kim Jong-seo, King Danjong still wants to visit Princess Gyeonghye at her residence.

Prince Suyang and his allies order Prefect Shin Myeon to kill at the designated time all the soldiers guarding Princess Gyeonghye’s residence and to escort King Danjong back to the palace. Later, Prefect Shin orders his adjutant to select their men who will obey him without question. They then begin studying how the royal guards have positioned themselves around Princess Geonghye’s residence.

Prince Suyang sends a letter to Minister Kim Jong-seo, asking for an appointment later that night. Minister Kim Jong-seo’s eldest son immediately increases security around their house.

Se-ryung rips a piece of her undergarments and writes on it a warning for Kim Seung-yu. She pleads with her maid to deliver the letter immediately. But Prince Suyang and his assassins, who are dressed up as sedan chair carriers, are already on their way to Minister Kim Jong-seo’s house.

Episode 9


Minister Kim Jong-seo survives the attack by Prince Suyang’s men, but his eldest son dies. He orders Kim Seung-yu to rush to Princess Gyeonghye’s residence and to inform King Danjong about what’s happening.

But Prefect Shin Myeon and his men have killed all the royal guards, and Prince Suyang falsely accuses Minister Kim Jong-seo and his allies of launching a coup attempt against King Danjong. He confines Princess Gyeonghye and Jung Jong to their quarters and intimidates King Danjong into turning over his royal summoning seals.

Se-ryung escapes from being locked up and rides at full speed towards Princess Gyeonghye’s residence to confront her father. At that same time, Kim Seung-yu has also escaped, and he rushes to where his father has gone into hiding. But unknown to him, he’s being followed by Prince Suyang’s men.



Episode 10


Episode 9 recap:

Minister Kim Jong-seo and his top allies die, and their heads are displayed outside the palace walls.

Kim Seung-yu survives and waits near the entrance of Prince Suyang’s residence to carry out his revenge. But there, he sees Se-ryung among those waiting to welcome Prince Suyang.
Kim Seung-yu finally finds out that Se-ryung is Prince Suyang’s daughter. He charges toward Prince Suyang with a sword, but he’s overpowered by Officer Shim Myeon and other guards. He’s thrown into prison along with the remaining allies of Minister Kim Jong-seo.

Prince Suyang consolidates his power by appointing himself as Chief State Minister and by arresting and executing family members of Minister Kim Jong-seo’s allies.

Prince Anpyeong is captured, but Prince Geumseong reaches out to Princess Gyeonghye and offers to gather support for King Danjong.

As Jung Jong and Royal Lecturer Lee Gae leave the prison, Se-ryung overhears them talking about Kim Seung-yu’s execution set for the next day.

In desperation, Se-ryung threatens to kill herself if Prince Suyang does not spare Kim Seung-yu’s life.



Episode 11


Episode 10 recap:

Strengthened by Prince Geumseong’s defiance of Prince Suyang, King Danjong orders that the executions be stopped. Kim Seung-yu and the other prisoners are exiled to Ganghwa Island.
Se-ryung visits Kim Seung-yu in prison on the night before he’s to be exiled to Gangwha island and confesses that she is indeed Prince Suyang’s daughter.

Prince Suyang and his adviser hatch a plot to finally get rid of Prince Anpyeong.

As Kim Seung-yu and the other prisoners are being marched out of prison on their way to exile, Se-ryung watches from the sideline. While there, she sees a commotion among the slaves, with a young girl collapsing on the street. Later, on her way home, she remembers that she has seen that girl in Kim Seung-yu’s house.

At sea, Prince Suyang’s men sabotage the ship that’s taking Kim Seung-yu and the other prisoners to Gangwha Island.



Episode 12


Episode 11 recap:

Prince Anpyeong is executed by poison.

Se-ryung brings Kim Seung-yu’s sister-in-law and his niece Agang to a doctor.

As the ship sinks, Kim Seung-yu and other prisoners escape by swimming to a nearby island. But Prince Suyang’s men pursue them. Later, Kim Seung-yu kills the man who killed his father.
Prince Suyang arranges Se-ryung’s marriage to Prefect Shin Myeon. Meanwhile, Prince Geumseong tells Princess Gyeonghye that he will stage an uprising with the royal garrison during Se-ryung’s wedding.

Prince Suyang continues to place his allies into sensitive government offices. He also asks King Danjong to give as personal slaves of his allies the relatives of those who have been declared as traitors. Kim Seung-yu's sister-in-law and his niece Agang become slaves of Prince Onnyeong.

On the island, Prince Suyang’s men continue to pursue Kim Seung-yu and four other prisoners, including the cowardly Wang Nogeol and the street-savvy Jo Seokju. Wang Nogeol strikes a deal with Prince Suyang’s men to turn Kim Seung-yu over to them.

The news that the ship that’s carrying Kim Seung-yu and other prisoners sank with no survivors reaches Princess Gyeonghye, Jung Jong, and Se-ryung.

Episode 13


Episode 12 recap:

Kim Seung-yu, Jo Seokjo, and Wang Nogeol escape from the island; in the capital, they find refuge in a gisaeng house.

Prefect Shin Myeon hides Kim Seung-yu’s sister-in-law and his niece Agang in a safe place. Later, as he embraces Se-ryung, Kim Seung-yu sees them from afar.
To earn their keep, Kim Seung-yu and Wang Nogeol become bouncers in Bingok Mansion, a gisaeng house in Mapo Port.

As preparations for Se-ryung’s wedding continue, Prince Suyang’s adviser finds out how and when Prince Geumseong will carry out his uprising.

Kim Seung-yu looks for his sister-in-law and niece Agang, but to his shock, a slave tells him that they both died by drowning. During the ensuing commotion, Prince Onnyeong arrives.

As Se-ryung leaves her house to go to Seungbeop Temple with the jade rings that Princess Gyeonghye gave to her, Kim Seung-yu follows her. But soon after talking with Se-ryung’s servant, Prefect Shin Myeon also goes to the temple.



Episode 14


Episode 13 recap: Se-ryung leaves the double jade rings at the temple, but Kim Seung-yu finds them and smashes one ring with a rock.

Kim Seung-yu kidnaps Se-ryung on her wedding day, but Prefect Shin Myeon and his men immediately pursue him. Meanwhile, Prince Suyang makes up an excuse to cancel the wedding.

Kim Seung-yu hides Se-ryung in a storage room in the gisaeng house, but by nighttime, Prefect Shin Myeon and his men reach the gisaeng house in their search for Se-ryung.

On Prince Suyang’s order, meanwhile, the capital bureau soldiers arrest Prince Geumseong.

Kim Seung-yu escapes from the gisaeng house and takes Se-ryung to an isolated hut in a forest. Later, he sends a message to Prince Suyang telling him to go to Inwhang Valley alone. Despite objections by his allies, Prince Suyang decides to go in order to save Se-ryung.



Episode 15


Episode 14 recap:

Despite Kim Seung-yu’s rough ways and words to her, Se-ryung reacts to him with love and understanding.
Se-ryung gets shot with an arrow while trying to protect Kim Seung-yu. As soldiers rush down to the valley, Kim Seung-yu is dragged off to safety by Jo Seokju and Wang Nogeol.

Prince Suyang and his allies order Prefect Shin Myeon to arrest Jung Jong for conspiring to Kill Prince Suyang and to kidnap Se-ryung.

Prefect Shin Myeon makes a deal with Gong Chilgu, leader of the thugs who control the gisaeng houses in Mapo Port.

Kim Seung-yu learns that Jung Jong has been arrested; meanwhile, finding out that Prince Geumseong and Jung Jong are being tortured, Princess Gyeonghye decides to visit Prince Suyang.

The next night, Kim Seung-yu sneaks into Princess Gyeonghye’s residence. Later on, he attacks Prince Onnyeong.

Episode 16


Episode 15 recap:

King Danjong decides to abdicate in favor of Prince Suyang.
Kim Seung-yu kills Prince Onnyeong and then writes in blood the name “Daeho” (Minister Kim Jong-seo’s nickname). The rumor spreads among the people that Minister Kim Jeong-so has come back from the dead to exact his vengeance.

Even as Royal Lecturer Lee Gae and the scholars from the Hall of Worthies protest King Danjong’s abdication, Prince Suyang accepts the royal seal and ascends the throne as King Sejo. But Se-ryung continues to defy him publicly and refuses to be addressed as “Princess.”

Jo Seokju tries to change Kim Seung-yu’s mind about seeking revenge. Later, Kim Seung-yu attacks Royal Secretary Shin Sukju and his soldier-escorts.

Royal Lecturer Lee Gae finds out that Kim Seung-yu is alive and responsible for killing Prince Onnyeong.

After receiving a tip from Gong Chilgu, Prefect Shin Myeon and his men surround Bingok Mansion.

Episode 17


After Prefect Shin Myeon and his men capture Jo Seokju, Kim Seung-yu follows them and tells Wang Nogeol that they will rescue him later that night.

Se-ryung assures Kim Seung-yu that his sister-in-law and his niece Agang are still alive. Later, after secretly visiting Princess Gyeonghye, she finally accepts her investiture as “Princess” but remains steadfast in her refusal to marry Prefect Shin Myeon.

Kim Seung-yu kills two more men of King Sejo (Prince Suyang). Later, Royal Lecturer Lee Gae urges him to join the plan that he and other scholars from the Hall of Worthies have laid out to oust King Sejo and to restore King Danjong.

Episode 18


Episode 17 recap:

Kim Seung-yu brings his sister-in-law and his niece Agang to Bingok Mansion.

Heeding the advice of his sister-in-law, Kim Seung-yu joins Jung Jong, Royal Lecturer Lee Gae, and other scholars from the Hall of Worthies in their plan to kill King Sejo during the feast for the Ming delegation.
Se-ryung is torn between her love for her father King Sejo and her love for Kim Seung-yu, the two most important men in her life. Meeting Kim Seung-yu late at night in Princess Gyeonghye’s residence, she pleads with him to leave everything behind and to run away with her.

One of the Royal Lecturers reveals to King’s adviser that the scholars from the Hall of Worthies are planning something against King Sejo.

The preparations begin for the feast for the Ming delegation, with King Sejo’s adviser closely watching everyone and with Kim Seung-yu and his men waiting outside the palace.

But just before the feast starts, Se-ryung escapes from the palace and rushes to confront Princess Gyeonghye.

Episode 19


Episode 18 recap:

The plot of the scholars from the Hall of Worthies fails, and they’re all arrested, together with Jung Jong.

Prefect Shin Myeon and his men chase after Kim Seung-yu.
King Sejo finds out from Prefect Shin Myeon that it’s Kim Seung-yu, as Daeho, who killed Prince Onnyeong; he decides to personally conduct the interrogation of Jung Jong and the scholars from the Hall of Worthies.

As the capital bureau soldiers search for her, Se-ryung meets Princess Gyeonghye and Kim Seung-yu, and offers to help in rescuing Jung Jong and Royal Lecturer Lee Gae.

Princess Gyeonghye kneels in front of the palace and, acknowledging King Sejo, begs for Jung Jong’s life.

Se-ryung finds out about her father’s plan to strip King Danjong of his title and to exile him. She takes a small knife from her drawer and then goes to King Sejo’s quarters.



Episode 20


Episode 19 recap:

Royal Lecturer Lee Gae and the scholars from the Hall of Worthies refuse to escape with Kim Seung-yu. The next day, they are executed. Meanwhile, Jung Jong and Princess Gyeonghye are exiled to Jeolla Province.

Se-ryung cuts off her hair in a symbolic gesture of cutting off completely her ties with her father King Sejo.

Se-ryung leaves the palace and goes to Seungbeop Temple. Finding out about it from Princess Gyeonghye, Kim Seung-yu goes there and then hides her in Bingok Mansion.

With Jo Seokju’s help, Kim Seung-yu begins tracking down an officer who served under his father; this officer has contacts with the city garrison and knows how to use cannons.

Prince Geumseong secretly informs Jung Jong that he is gathering support from the magistrates in Jeolla province for an uprising against King Sejo.

The Crown Prince (Se-ryung’s eldest brother) becomes sick, coughing up blood. The Royal Physician says that he has been hiding his sickness for quite some time now.

Prefect Shin Myeon finds out from Gong Chilgu that Se-ryung is hiding in Bingok Mansion; he rushes there with his men and orders them to ransack the place.

Episode 21


Episode 20 recap:

King Sejo orders that Se-ryung become Prefect Shin Myeon’s slave.
Despite appeals by the Queen and the Crown Prince, King Sejo remains adamant in ordering that Se-ryung be demoted to slave status. In defiance, Se-ryung says that she will no longer be “Lee Se-ryung” but instead be a nameless slave.

Kim Seung-yu meets with former officers from the city garrison and informs them of the support from Prince Geumseong’s forces in Jeolla and Gyeonsang provinces.

After the meeting, Kim Seung-yu finds out that Se-ryung has been demoted to slave status. That night, with Jo Seokju and Wang Nogeol providing the distraction, he rescues Se-ryung. They then ride with haste to meet Jung Jong in Gwangju to plan the uprising against King Sejo.

Episode 22


Episode 21 recap:

Prefect Shin Myeon and the capital bureau soldiers capture Se-ryung.
Kim Seung-yu rescues Se-ryung, while the Jeolla soldiers clash with Prefect Shin Myeon’s soldiers. But Jung Jong is arrested after the document from Prince Geumseong is found on him.

King Sejo orders the execution of Jung Jong by dismemberment. Later, upon advice from his closest allies, he orders the execution of Prince Geumseong and King Danjong.

Kim Seung-yu and the former officers from the city garrison decide to build a stronghold in Hamgil Province where Minister Kim Jong-seo was once based.

Se-ryung goes to Seungbop Temple to visit the two young monks, but there, by chance, she meets her mother, the Queen.



Episode 23


Taking refuge in an abandoned hut because of the rain, Kim Seung-yu and Se-ryung consummate their relationship. Later, Se-ryung returns to her ancestral house to take care of her ailing brother, the Crown Prince.

In Hamgil Province, Kim Seung-yu and his allies, including bandit leader Lee Shiae, succeed in their rebellion against King Sejo. They now plan to capture the critical Hamheung Province on their way to the capital.

In response, King Sejo appoints Prefect Shin Myeon as the new governor of Hamgil Province. But he also secretly orders his adviser Han Myeonghwe to take the soldiers from the Board of Military Affairs and to proceed to Hamgil Province.

Concerned about Prefect Shin Myeon’s plan to bring Se-ryung with him to Hamgil Province, the Queen goes to visit Princess Gyeonghye and her son.

King Sejo’s adviser Han Myeonghwe forces Prefect Shin Myeon to use Se-ryung as a bait to lure Kim Seung-yu out of his forest hideout.

Episode 24: Finale (with spoilers)


Episode 23 recap:

The Queen promises to free Princess Gyeonghye from slavery.

Se-ryung escapes and warns Kim Seung-yu about the plan to lure him out of his forest hideout.
Angered by Se-ryung’s disappearance, Prefect Shin Myeon orders his men to search for the forest hideout despite the darkness. But Kim Seung-yu and his men have prepared a trap for them. In the ensuing fight, Prefect Shin Myeon’s adjutant dies.

With nowhere to run, Kim Seung-yu and his men decide to confront the government forces in a head-on battle. Before the start of the battle, he asks Se-ryung to go back to the capital and to hide in Seungbeop Temple.

During the battle, Prefect Shin Myeon dies when King Sejo’s adviser Han Myeonghwe orders his archers to rain arrows on the battlefield. Prefect Shin Myeon dies, and Kim Seung-yu and his men rout the government forces.

Realizing that King Sejo will just continue sending reinforcements, Kim Seung-yu decides to go to the capital and organize the resistance there. Meanwhile, despite Prefect Shin Myeon’s death, King Sejo vents his anger at Minister Shin Sukju.

In Seungbeop Temple, Se-ryung meets Princess Gyeonghye who has been freed from being a government slave. She also finds out that she’s pregnant.

King Sejo is haunted by nightmares about his nephew King Danjong. On the Queen’s suggestion, they go to Seungbeop Temple to pray for the late Crown Prince.

Kim Seung-yu finds out Lee Shiae has been captured because of a spy within their ranks; he decides to assassinate King Sejo.

At the temple, King Sejo and the Queen find out that Se-ryung is pregnant. In anger, King Sejo orders Se-ryung to be locked up in her quarters.

As the Queen berates Se-ryung for having a child with her father’s sworn enemy, Kim Seung-yu, meanwhile, sneaks into the room at the temple where King Sejo is meditating. He points his sword at King Sejo’s neck, but he becomes distracted when King Sejo blurts out that Se-ryung is pregnant. King Sejo’s bodyguards then overpower him.

Kim Seung-yu is severely beaten up, and King Sejo orders that he be locked up in the state prisons and be executed the next day. The Queen and Princess Gyeonghye try to convince Se-ryung to think about her child and to persuade Kim Seung-yu to bow to King Sejo’s authority. But Se-ryung refuses to do so.

Years later ...

Jo Seokju, Wang Nogeol, and the girls from Bingok Mansion think that Kim Seung-yu and Se-ryung both died in the state prisons. But the Queen has arranged everything to mislead everyone, including King Sejo, into thinking that Se-ryung took her own life after Kim Seung-yu died.

The Queen takes an old and weak King Sejo to Ohnyang’s hot springs so that he can recuperate from his various ailments. While traveling though the streets of Ohnyang, King Sejo and the Queen see someone who looks like Kim Seung-yu walking with a young girl.

Kim Seung-yu has become blind but lives peacefully with Se-ryung, their little girl, and Se-ryung’s faithful servant Yeori. As Se-ryung tends to Kim Seung-yu, a remorseful King Sejo watches them from afar.

As they have done years ago, Kim Seung-yu and Se-ryung ride a horse on the open field, feeling the winds of peace and contentment all around them.



Historical backgrounders and other information


1. Princess Gyeonghye and her fabulous costumes





Seryong, with Princess Kyunghye, putting on a “dangui”
and “seuran chima” from Episode 1 of “The Princess’ Man.”
The type of dress worn by Princess Gyeonghye consists of the “dangui” (upper garment) and the “seuran chima” (skirt).

The “dangui” was also worn by women from the “yangban” (noble class) and other court women. But the “dangui” and “seuran chima” worn as everyday clothes by the members of the royal family were distinguished by gold leaf designs known as “geumbak.”

For the “dangui” worn by queens and empresses, dragon emblems were also sewn on the shoulders.

For more information about the “dangui” and other attire of the royal family, surf to Joseon’s Court Attire: Kdrama Style (Part 1). You might also be interested in in the hit 2014 historical movie “The Royal Tailor” starring Go Soo and Park Shin Hye.

2. Forgotten story of Princess Gyeonghye (Korea Times)

Princess Gyeonghye assumed the responsibility as guardian for King Danjong, and with the help of General Kim Jongseo, who loyally served two previous kings, Sejong and Munjong, she devoted herself to strengthening royal authority. However, her efforts were brutally crushed by the armed force employed by her uncle, Grand Prince Suyang, and his followers.

Just before her death, she left a will asking her son to build a shrine for her father Munjong and to faithfully perform ancestral rites. She was only 39-years-old when she died.

“Dec. 27, 1473: I bequeath my estate to my son, Jeong Mi-su. Unfortunately, I became ill. I haven’t yet married you, my only son, but my illness has become worse and my life is at risk. As this has come too suddenly, I have not enough time to list slaves one by one. I bequeath you the house in Jeongseon-bang, Seoul that is bestowed upon me, and the farmland in Tongjin, Gyeonggi-do. After I am gone, build a shrine and perform ancestral rites to your grandfather. And hand down the estate to posterity forever.”

3. The Facts Behind The Fiction: Princess’ Man

4. The annals of the Joseon princesses: Finding out the history of the Joseon Dynasty through the princesses (Gachon Herald)

Princess Kyunghye is known from the TV drama ‘Princess’s Man’, and her real life was unhappy and gruesome. She was the only daughter of King Moonjong, but her father was killed by Prince Suyang (who later became King Sejo); her brother (King Danjong) was also dethroned of his crown and killed by Suyang through the prince’s uprising. Her husband (Jungjong) was killed by Suyang as well and his body was hacked to pieces. The princess’s misfortunes did not end there, as she became a lower class citizen. One day she directly encountered King Sejo, and even though she wanted to avenge her family, she remained calm for the sake of her children. She began going to the temple frequently and always asked about King Sejo. She later reclaimed her status as a princess.

5. Princess Gyeonghye (Wikipedia)

In 1455, Jeong was banished to Gyeonggi Province and Princess Gyeonghye fell ill. Hearing of her illness, the new king Sejo of Joseon sent a servant to tend her, who Princess Gyeonghye used to send a message begging for Jeong to be restored, which was allowed. She was pregnant at the time and Sejo threatened that if she had a boy the child would be killed. Queen Jeonghui, however, issued instructions that the child be spared regardless of its sex, telling the eunuch in charge that she would take resonsibility for deceiving Sejo. After Princess Gyeonghye gave birth to her son in exile, the eunuch dressed the child in female clothes and took it to the court, where it was raised.

In 1461, Jeong was found guilty of rebelling against Sejo of Joseon and was executed by dismemberment. Princess Gyeonghye was judged guilty by association, her rank was reduced to nobi serf, and she was sent to the official royal convent. Queen Jeonghui later intervened on the princess’ behalf, persuading Sejo to restore her status, property, and servants.

6. King Sejo of Joseon aka Grand Prince Suyang (Wikipedia)

Sejo of Joseon (2 November 1417 – 23 September 1468, r. 1455–1468) was the seventh king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. Prime minister of Joseon Dynasty 1453 to 1455. He was brother of Munjong of Joseon and uncle of Danjong of Joseon. He produced a coup d'état and became king himself in 1455.

Suyang surrounded himself with trusted allies, including his famous adviser, Han Myung-hoi. Han advised Suyang to take over the government in a coup, and on 10 November (10th day of the 10th lunar month) 1453, he killed Kim Jongseo and his faction, thereby taking the reins of power into his own hands. After the coup he arrested his own brother, Anpyong, first sending him into exile, then putting him to death.

Finally in 1455 he forced his powerless young nephew, Danjong, to abdicate, declaring himself seventh king of the Joseon dynasty. Later he demoted Danjong to prince and ordered him to be poisoned after his younger brother, Grand Prince Geumsung, and later six scholars including Seong Sam-mun, Pak Paeng-nyeon, and Yi Gae plotted to remove the Suyang from power in an attempt to put Danjong back on the throne.

7. King Danjong of Joseon (Wikipedia)

Danjong of Joseon (9 August 1441 – 24 December 1457, reigned 1452–1455) was the sixth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He was forced to abdicate by his uncle, who became Sejo of Joseon, and exiled to Yeongwol County, where he was later murdered and his remains are buried.

Lessons in photography from “The Princess’s Man”


From Ep. 2: symmetry, shooting against the light

From Ep. 2: line of direction, diagonal lines

From Ep. 2: low angle shot, natural frame

From Ep. 3: background blur, shallow depth of field

From Ep. 3: conveying depth through overlapping forms

From Ep. 3: diagonal lines

From Ep. 3: foreground and background blur, partial frame,
selective or differential focusing

From Ep. 3: high angle shot, Dutch tilt or Dutch angle

From Ep. 3: local frame, background blur

From Ep. 3: low angle shot, partial frame

From Ep. 3: low angle shot

From Ep. 3: shooting odd-numbered groups is easier

From Ep. 3: foreground and background blur, sidelighting,
partial frame, focus on the eyes

From Episode 4: compressed perspective, background blur,
selective or differential focusing

From Episode 4: foreground and background blur,
conveying depth through overlapping forms

From Episode 4: high angle shot, silhouette

From Episode 4: lines, scale

From Episode 4: natural frame

From Episode 4: reflection

From Episode 4: shooting against the light

From Ep. 6: low angle shot

From Ep. 6: reflection

From Ep. 7: high angle shot, shadow, diagonal lines

From Ep. 7: high angle shot, lines

From Ep. 7: shallow depth of field, sidelighting, focus on the eyes

From Ep. 8: partial frame, shallow depth of field

From Ep. 8: establishing shot, aerial perspective

From Ep. 8: natural frame

From Ep. 8: rule of thirds

From Ep. 9: natural frame

From Ep. 9: rule of thirds, sidelighting

From Ep. 10: linear perspective, creating depth
through overlapping forms

From Ep. 10: lines of direction, local frames

From Ep. 10: rule of thirds, foreground frame

From Ep. 10: high angle shot, diagonal lines

From Ep. 11: natural frames

From Ep. 12: leading lines

From Ep. 13: background blur, shallow depth of field

From Ep. 13: scale

From Ep. 13: compressed perspective, aerial perspective

From Ep. 13: linear perspective, partial frame

From Ep. 13: linear perspective, low angle shot, keystoning

From Ep. 13: low angle shot, rule of thirds

From Ep. 13: Low angle shot

From Ep. 13: natural frames, linear perspective

From Ep. 13: natural frames, partial frames,
out-of-focus element as natural frame

From Ep. 13: out-of-focus foliage as foreground frame

From Ep. 14: rim lighting

From Ep. 22: aerial perspective, shooting odd-numbered groups is easier

From Ep. 22: foreground frame

From Ep. 22: high angle shot

From Ep. 22: kestoning

From Ep: 22: sidelighting, out-of-focus element as partial frame

Photographic techniques frequently used in “The Princess’s Man”

1. This drama’s director loves using high angle shots (or technically, high angle point of view where the camera is positioned higher than the subject being shot). In some instances, as you can see in the last two or three pictures below, the camera is placed at an extremely high position.



This drama’s director, of course, also uses low angle shots (as you can see in the pictures under “Lessons in photography”).

2. Rack focus (sometimes called “focus in, focus out”): in the first picture below, Se-ryung’s hands are totally in focus, and her face is slightly out of focus. In the next picture, Se-ryung’s face is now in focus, and her hand is slightly out of focus.



Rack focus is not peculiar to “The Princess’s Man”; practically all Korean TV dramas uses this technique. But as I understand it, Western filmmakers do not like rack focus because it cannot be corrected during post-production.
Posted by Atty. Gerry T. Galacio at 3:05 PM 

Recap : The Princess' Man Episode 6





I'm starting this recap because I could not find any in the regular blogs I follow, so I hope this is helpful to those who wished for one. I'm not going to begin from episode1 again, because well, I'm passed that.

And I'm sorry that the quality of the pictures are not so good but well, it's because I'm not watching a particularly HD version. My english is mediocre and this is my first attempt so, please be lenient on me for the many mistakes I'm sure are scattered throughout. I'm actually watching chinese subbed versions so if there are mistakes please let me know.


Episode 6


Seongyoo is on the way back to his house upon receiving the news that the King is in dire health. He stops by the town to rest his horse where he chance upon SeRyung who was treating the little monks to some titbits. SeRyung apologizes for causing him trouble but Seongyoo brushes her aside and coolly announced that they shall not meet again. SeRyung is upset and cries when her mother reprimanded her for leaving on her own again when she returned to the temple (more upset with Seongyoo that actually her mother).




Grand Prince Suyang takes advantage of the King's illness and advises a change in the ministers to the young Prince. Princess KyungHye is enraged and although she is unable to stop him, her influence over the young prince worries GP Suyang.



 Thus, he ensures that the princess can no longer stay in the palace by forcing the issue that a married princess should live outside the palace. The princess had no choice but to comply.









SeRyung and Seongyoo both have a sleepless night thinking about their meeting. Seongyoo, being restless finds his buddy Shin Myeon and engage him in a friendly swordplay. Alas, he can hardly concentrate and lost tamely. In a bid to change the subject, he asks jokingly about Shin's marriage. Shin, feeling guilty for not telling the truth about SeRyung's identity and his own impending marriage to her, squirms a little but suggests they visit their friend Jeongjong instead. It is the day where the princess is to move out of the palace.




SeRyung's mother, unaware of the hostile attitude of the princess towards her daughter orders SeRyung to visit the princess regularly to boost their family's name. SeRyung reluctantly goes. As expected, the princess is furious to see her, assuming that she and her father are trying to restrict her in and out of the palace. SeRung braces herself for her anger but insists she has her best interests in heart, even preparing some stuffs which are usually prepared by the bride's mother (not quite sure what are those). Anyway, the princess cannot help being slightly touched by her gestures despite herself.


SeRyung almost bumps into Seongyoo and Shin who came to visit Jeong. Jeong relates that he is happy with his marriage, but is upset the King is ill and the Princess appears to harbour dislike for him. He also let out that he knew Shin is seeing the daughter of GP Suyang having recognized her when she visited the princess earlier. Shin is nervous and over-reacts a little while Seongyoo looks on curiously. Seongyoo later met the Princess and wishes her well and speaking for his friend Jeong. The princess, still bitter, reminds him of his loyalty towards the young prince and reiterates that he should forget about the palace maid. Seongyoo assures her that it was over.


The next day, Jeong panicked when he couldn't find the princess. He enlisted the help of his buddies Shin and Seongyoo. SeRyung , heeding her mother's wishes also heads to the princess residence.


She meets Seongyoo who was heading out to search for the princess. He asks why was she here and she explains that she came to visit the princess. He tells her the princess is missing and she has a hunch where the princess might be heading. She borrows a horse because the place she has in mind is quite far. Discouraged by his cool demeanour, she doesn't try to ask to his help  and tries to ride the horse on her own. Seongyoo knowing better, caves in and rides behind her. Awkward........LOL.




As it turns out, SeRyung's hunch is correct. However, the princess is unwilling to board a boat full of commoners and decides to head home again. Just then, SeRyung and Seongyoo arrives but did not see her leaving carriage. SeRyung thanks Seongyoo for bringing her here and left quickly, avoiding his eyes. She sits in the boat, oblivious to all the stares she's garnering...as in a well-bred lady, alone... A scruffy looking man tries to make a move by going for the seat next to her but is foiled by Seongyoo. During the ride, SeRyung says the place she had in mind was a little far so they might have come for nothing because the princess may not have made the trip. Seongyoo counters that there's no harm in making sure. Awkwardness ensues again when the boat was unstable and Seongyoo, in reflex held her.


Eventually they reached the mausoleum where the Queen was buried. The princess is no where to be seen and it is drizzling.


He is curious why she still cares for the princess since she was banished from the palace by her. She starts to explain that it wasn't the princess who banished her but was reminded by her father's warning that no one should know anything about the matter and that she should just remain a palace maid in Seongyoo's eyes. She lies that she is staying at the temple for now when he enquires if she has a place to stay. He goes on to ask if it was fun pretending to be a princess and making a fool out of him. She explains that it wasn't her intention to lie but she was having so much fun being with him she couldn't help herself. She proceeds to apologize for putting him through so much trouble but he deliberately says he would do that for ANY woman. SeRyung looks at him teary eyed, and is sad that he means that he would sacrifice his life for any woman and she wasn't special. He is uncomfortable and declares that they should head back. On the way, SeRyung stops by to collect some flowers...and Seongyoo could only stare, mesmerized by her in spite of himself.




Meanwhile GP Suyang and his underlings are celebrating in a Gibang that they managed to get rid of the princess. Minister Shin, summons his son to escort GP back. Shin complies. During the journey, GP speaks lovingly of his daughter and how he thinks that Shin is a good match for SeRyung. Shin is obviously happy with it also, though he didn't say much.


Meanwhile, Seongyoo sends SeRyung back. They part reluctantly, each looking back longingly at the other.


SeRyung bumps into Shin and her father who chides her for returning home so late. SeRyung also learns that Shin is her bethrothed.


The princess receives the flowers from SeRyung and is touched.




On the other hand, the dying king, with the help of Prince AnPyung (his younger brother), manages to leave the palace to meet his daughter at her residence. The meeting also serves as an opportunity for Kim JongSeo to meet the king without the knowledge of the GP. Kim pledges his loyalty and life to serve the King.

That night, the King's condition worsens and everyone receives notice that the King is dying.. The princess heads to the palace. Kim receives a token (a tag signifying a governmental position). At the same time, SeRryung is feeling restless and chooses to go to the temple to clear her mind.


The King nods to his aide who passes a royal decree to Prince AnPyung before the GP arrives. Not long after, the King takes his last breath. GP Suyang wastes no time in insisting the young prince follows his instructions from then on. The royalties and ministers are waiting outside. GP announces that since the King did not leave any will, the young prince will make a decree on his own. Minister Shin reads out the prepared decree which states that the young prince is too young to handle politics and so will be assisted by the GP SuYang. The announcement is interupted by Prince AnPhyung, who announces that he has received his Majesty's Will. The will states that Kim JongSeo is appointed Prime Minister and will assist the young Prince. Cue, Kim JongSeo shows up and declares that while he is in charge no member of the royalty shall meddle with politics or the consequences will be dire...GP is understandably pissed and vows to take down Kim.




On the hand, while the feud between their fathers is escalating, Seongyoo could not stop himself from thinking of SeRyung and shows up at the temple. He hugs her.......and there goes reason.


No preview.

Recap : The Princess' Man episode 7


Had a long break so I’m kind of lagging behind all my drama watching. The names are so long that I started to use initials halfway through this recap. Sorry :P
Episode 7
Seongyoo couldn’t help himself and hugs SeRyung
SY : I told you to never appear before me again. Why can’t you disappear from my mind?
SeRyung pushes him away, confused and hurt by his words.
SR: You were so cold to me earlier. Why are you like this now? I was…
SY: I no longer want to lie to myself. I cannot pretend as though nothing has happened. From now, I shall not push you away from my heart any more. I came here because I couldn’t help myself. So even if you say no, I will not leave…
Seongyoo embraces her again. Gently this time. After a while, they calm down.
SY: What is your name? Is there a reason you cannot tell me?
SR: It’s Yeori.
SY: Yeori…yeori ah. Are you gonna be afraid staying here? Is it okay if I leave now?
SR: yes.
SY: I want to ask so many questions but it’s already so late, so I’m going to leave now. I will come by later.
SR: (feeling uneasy watching SY leave) Teacher, can we really meet again?
SY: Even if you stop me, I will come for sure.
With that, Seonyoo leaves with a reassuring smile. SeRyung turn around to find the real Yeori looking on. Yeori is shocked to learn that the man is Kim SeongYoo. She warns her never to see him again. But SeRyung insists she doesn’t want to hide her feelings any longer.

Kim JongSeo and Seongyoo (newly promoted as an Official in charge of Imperial Records) meets the King (previously the Young Prince). The King is pleased to see him. As they are leaving, they meet GP Suyang. Kim chides him for entering the palace at his own whim and reminds him to exercise restraint. The sight of Seongyoo among the entourage inflames GP Suyang more.
At the Gibang, GP and his underlings confer again. Han MyungHee, the guy with many henchmen offers his analysis of the situation and suggests they need to remove Kim JongSeo before he does the same. GP agrees and say they should move on to their plans earlier. And by the looks of the rest of the conversation, it involves something bloody.
Meanwhile, ShinMyeon watches his father belittled by KimJongSeo’s men and feels indignant for his father’s sake.
Jeong, Shin and Seongyoo met with their old teacher, Lee Gae. After the meeting Jeong is sure Seongyoo is meeting a girl because of his happy mood. Shin’s mood on the other hand, is not so good.
Meanwhile, Yeori frets about SeRyung lying to her mother so that she can stay at the temple and that she used her name. SeRyung reassures her that she will definitely come clean with him the next time they meet.
SeRyung waits and of course our hero shows up.
SR: I thought you weren’t coming.
SY: I came late on purpose. To make you anxious so I’d know how much you wanted to see me (jokingly). Because of my new appointment, I have to enter the palace again and it’s been so busy that I don’t have time to come even though I wish to so much. (SR is more than a little happy by this statement). How did you end up staying at this temple.
SR: (Uneasy) I used to come here often in the past.
SY: Your parents are not around?
SR squares her shoulders and mentally prepared herself to confess but SY sees that she’s uncomfortable about the subject and cheers her up.
They go to a pretty waterfall for their “date”. SY starts fanning himself AND her…(This part is so adorable). He asks her how she knew letters because she appeared quite well-educated from their “lessons” in the palace previously. She in keeping with her guise of being a palace maid answers that she just learns from listening in. He comments that it’s quite impressive of her. Then SY starts an impromptu lesson. Basically they just professes their love, in POETRY. LOL.
Later, SY even offers her a hand when they are taking a walk, and I guess that means they’ve covered second base, hand-holding!
Meanwhile, we see that GP Suyang and his sidekick, Han is walking to a hidden fort where a small army is being trained. Well, it’s clear GP Suyang is planning a rebellion of sorts.

Back to our lovers, it’s time to leave and SY teases SR for being reluctant to part. He mentions that he needs be in attendance for the Princess’ Birthday, and will come to see her after that. Unable to hide her happiness, SR smiles at that. When SY starts to stare, she becomes bashful and hides behind his fan. Ok now this part is funny because now SY is playing peek-a-boo with her behind his fan. When SR finally lowers the fan, they find that they are in close proximity. SY swoops in for a kiss!! Just a peck I suppose but better than nothing. He leaves with a smile, walking backwards. SR asks him to be mindful of his steps and touches her lips watching him leave.
It’s night, and GP and his men meets again. This time with a “Life & Death” Booklet (basically specifies people they need to kill and those they needn’t). No prize for guessing who’s on the top of the list. Kim JongSeo it is. Best to rid the leader first. Since it’s difficult to kill Kim in the palace, they plan to kill him in his own residence with the GP Suyang as a ruse.
As they are leaving, they meet SR who was accompanied by Yeori. SR has her first look at her future father-in-law and is cruelly reminded of the reality of her impending marriage to Shin Myeon. Later, Yeori again advises SR not to see SY again. And while they are fighting over the fan, GP Suyang shows up. He is obviously not pleased she did not honour her promise to not see him again. After ascertaining that SY do not realize her identity and that they are in love, he reminds her she is betrothed. SR takes the opportunity to ask if the marriage proposal could be rejected. He is adamant that the marriage will go through and vows to disown her if she sees him again.
Basking in his happiness, SY prepares himself to attend the Princess’s Birthday. SR on the other hand is grounded. Yeori’s reminder that it’s the Princess’ Birthday gives her an idea. She pleads with her sister, SeJung to help her convince their mother to allow her to go along.
At the Princess’ Residence, the Princess is busy receiving gifts and preparing for the King’s visit. Jeong sneaks into her room, a little overwhelmed by her room. He has never entered her room before. He tries to place two silver rings in the room when the Princess shows up. She berates him for showing up in her room without permission. Embarrassed, Jeong confesses that he was going to surprise her with the rings which were from his mother for her first birthday since marriage. He leaves quietly, and sadly. The Princess is a little touched but I guess it’s still not enough to break her icy exterior because she promptly puts the ring into the drawer.
Next, SR shows up to meet the Princess with food from her mother. SR is happy to see the flowers she picked in the princess’ room. The princess is also more polite and eats the food she brought as part of being reconciliatory.
Meanwhile GP and his men are back to hatching evil plans. They plan to kill Kim on the day the King leaves the palace, replaces the palace guards with their people, put the King in “house arrest”, demand that the King summon the people in their Life& Death Booklet. Basically after Kim’s death, the King would be at the mercy of GP Suyang. And they need Shin Myeon’s help too with the palace guards.
Shin Myeon is at the Princess’s place at the moment, beefing up security. The King shows up with SY as part of his entourage. Jeong welcomes the King. Jeong later grabs both his friends and happily announces to the unknowing SY that Shin’s betrothed is the GP Suyang’s eldest daughter and that she is here. Shin is uncomfortable but his friends do not notice.
SR watches SY from afar and is reminded of her conversation with the Princess, who’s like the hundredth person to say she is not to see SY. However, SY sees her and chides her jokingly for not informing him she’s here to see the Princess. Just as he’s leaving, she tells him that she won’t be at the temple for some time. SY is worried she’s going to disappear on him again. She evasively assures him it won’t be for long and she will look for him when she’s back. She pinky-promised with him and he is called away. Shin sees everything and confronts her.
At home, SeJung is punished for not returning with SR. And her mother becomes the next person to remind her that Kim Seongyoo is the only man that is impossible for her. And that she would do well to stay away from him if she does not want anything bad to befall the family.
SY, Jeong and Shin meets up for a drink. SY tells everyone the girl he likes is a palace maid. Jeong is happy but worried for him. Shin, who is a little drunk, remarks that SY’s father, who depends on the king for power will not allow it. Shin also insults that SY is reinstated due to his father’s influence. His dissatisfaction with SJ surfaces and they parted unhappily when Shin was summoned by GP Suyang. Jeong is angry that their friendship is reduced to this.
Shin sees SR at her house. He stops her when she turns to leave and questions her on relationship with SY. He demands to know when they met up again and SR is irked that he dares to interfere in her affairs. A little more softly, he tells her that she is betrothed to him. She admits she knew of their betrothal. He’s hurt that she keeps seeing SY in spite of that but she just explains she only sees him as SY’s friend and not a marriage prospect. She leaves and Shin is surprised to hear GP Suyang’s voice. He apparently overheard and is a little surprised to know that Shin knew of SR and SY’s relationship.
GP Suyang senses Shin’s feelings for SR, and uses it to convinced Shin to join his rebellion. Shin is initially shocked to hear of GP’s plans but Gp convinces him that it’s up to him to defend his father, fight for the woman he loves and make sure his good friend dies in peace. GP offers his twisted logic that his friend would not be happy once his father is dead and it is for his sake that SY dies at the hands of his best friend. Gp then gives him a sword and asks if he can raise a sword to his friend, SY. Still conflicted, Shin returns home to find his father waiting for him. Shin’s father reveals that he plans to crown GP Suyang as King.
SY also returns home and his father asks to see him. His brother and father is planning a marriage for him. He refuses and confesses that there is someone in his heart but she is not from noble family. Before he says more, his brother, SeongGyu drags him away and punches him. He doesn’t want SY to cause any more trouble for their father by hooking up with an unworthy woman (like the previous incidence with the princess).
Meanwhile, GP Suyang comes up with the idea of using SY’s relationship with his daughter to trick Kim JongSeo into meeting him (because they need a legitimate reason to ask for a meeting). When he sees SR, he plays the benevolent father part to SR by promising to speak to Kim JongSeo about her and SY since he doesn’t want to see her hurt. He pretends to give in and makes her promise she wouldn’t let SY know her identity before he manages to speak to Kim JongSeo. GP digs for more information and learns that SY only knew her as Yeori. The naïve SR declares she is most lucky to have him as her father…
In the palace, Jeong is meeting the King and lets slip that the Princess KyeongHye is a little worn out. The King is worried and wishes to visit her immediately. This news reaches GP Suyang.
Prime Minister Kim Jong Seo tries to convince the King to abort his plans to visit the Princess but the King insists and promises that this will be the last time. Kim reluctantly gives in.
SR is happily doing embroidery as a gift for SY when she pricked herself. Her embroidery is stained and she heads to her mother’s for a new cloth. Her parents are discussing the impending assassination of Kim JongSeo. GP even added that Kim Seongyoo needed to be killed as well to ensure no future complication and for their daughter’s sake. SR overhears and drops her embroidery in shock.




Recap : The Princess' Man episode 8



This is a slow episode for me....and frustrating because our heroine is like wayyyyyy too naive. Sigh.
Episode 8

SR plops to the ground in shock. GP goes out to investigate the noise. But SR manages to hide herself but left the embroidery behind in her haste. GP does not see it.

Later, when the entire family is sending off the GP (kind of elaborate me thinks…but it’s a sort of farewell I guess because the GP is risking his life in the coup d'état), SY asks his father where he is going. GP answers vaguely that he is going to settle everything once and for all, leaving SR more worried. GP senses that SR might know something and asks his wife to keep an eye on her.
SR wants to go and inform SY. Yeori stops her and later the mother also kept her locked, explaining that SR warning Kim Family will result in their entire family’s misfortune.
 An uneasy SY goes to find ShinMyeon but he told his assistant, JaBun to lie that he is out on duty. SY left a message that he would be there for him when he marries the GP Suyang’s daughter. SY sees Gisaeng, MaeHyang coming in just as he is leaving. Shin is still conflicted. MaeHyang informs him that everyone has gathered and waiting for him. He arrives at the Gibang. GP is pleased to see him because that means that he’s made up his mind to join the coup d'état.

ShinMyeon is in charge of killing the guards in charge of the King’s safety. Later, Myeon asks Jabun if he wants to join in. Jabun agrees.

The King visits Princess KyeongHye. As usual the Princess is blunt with Jeong even in front of the King but Jeong is not deterred. (The guy is smittened no doubt…can’t wait for the Princess to warm up to him)
ShinMyeon and Jabun shows up at the Princess’ Residence. The head of the Imperial guards is on friendly terms with Shin. Jeong also shows up and tries to patch things up between him and SY. ShinMyeon is a little aloof and feels even more uncomfortable when he realizes what he’s doing is bound to influence Jeong as well. He leaves abruptly leaving a confused Jeong behind.

SY has another fight with his brother, SeongGyu over the same issue. They found him a bride. SY refuses to consider.

 SR comes up with a plan to escape. She manages to escape and reaches Kim’s residence. She meets SeongGyu at the door and KimJongSeo.who just arrives home. Kim sees her disheveled self and asks that she be offered new shoes and sent in for an audience with him. However, Yeori catches up and SR is dragged away in front of little A-Kang. Yeori quickly explains to the servants that they’ve come to bring their mistress home. SY who comes to the door just misses SR who is taken in a carriage. At home SR is now locked in the storage room instead of her room.

GP Suyang’s army has repositioned themselves. Four of Han’s henchmen serve as servants and the GP’s carriage was modified to conceal weapons.

A letter is sent to Kim JongSeo hinting that the GP knows of the liaison between SJ and a certain palace maid and he requests for a meeting to discuss the matter. (It’s illegal to have a relationship with a palace maid as they are considered the King’s women). Kim later has a talk with SY. When he has confirmed that the content of the letter is true. That the woman SY loves is a palace maid, albeit one who has left the palace (which makes it ok??). Kim asks if SY thinks she’s worth it even if it places SY’s life in danger. But SY insists he cannot marry another if he already has someone in his heart. Kim understands his son’s feelings and makes the decision to meet GP Suyang. (At times like this, I curse SR for all the lies and misunderstandings…poor SY and his father!)

 SR writes a letter in blood and pleads with Yeori to send it to SY. Her intention is to save SY.

GP Suyang made his way to Kim’s Residence where SeongGyu is busy strengthening security in anticipation of GP’s arrival. Yeori’s letter reaches SY. SY panicked to see the blood written letter. The content of the letter is just the name of the Temple they used to meet at and the name Yeori. SY rushes off on a horse just as GP Suyang arrives.
SeongGyu is surprised to see the GP arrives with so little men. They check the carriage but couldn’t find the concealed weapons. Thus, GP is allowed entrance. SeongGyu is suspicious of the men brought by GP and keeps watching them.

Inside the room, GP and Kim begins their conversation. After some initial verbal swordplay, GP finally reveals that the woman SY loves is his useless daughter, who SY thinks is a place maid called Yeori. Kim does not believe him, so GP challenges him to confirm the facts with his son (this is part of the plan, so that they can kill SY as well). SeongGyu goes off to find SY which actually leaves Kim very vulnerable because GP’s man is positioned right outside the room. GP then lies about a handwritten letter by SY to his daughter. GP claims the letter is kept by his man,Woon who is right outside the door. Woon is summoned inside the room.

Meanwhile, SeongGyu who receives news that SY has left the premises notices that the four carriage bearers are acting suspicious, search the carriage and finds the weapons. A fight breaks out and SeongGyu realizes in fear that his father is in danger and rushes back. At this time, Woon has already acted and with one bash to the head, Kim falls and his blood splattered across GP’s face. SeongGyu who rushes to his father’s side is dealt a blow next and they both rolls out of the room and dies.


SY arrives at the temple but sees no one. He wakes the two little monks who deny SR is around. He is confused when the little monk mentions that Yeori is the ugly maid.

Han meets up with GP and advises him to seek an audience with the King immediately. They plan to frame Kim for treachery. Han orders one of his henchmen who recognizes SY to stay back and kill SY when he’s back.

SY heads home and finds many horsemen speeding away. He reaches home and finds out that they’ve been attacked by GP Suyang. He goes in to find his sister-in-law and niece crying over the bodies of SeongGyu and his father.


Recap : The Princess' Man Episode 9


I hope no one gets confused with the names and initials I used. I also named the minions so that's a lot of names.
Episode 9
SY finds his father and brother lying motionless on the ground. Suddenly, SeongGyu’s wife notices that Kim JongSeo’s fingers twitches. SY immediately props him up and they are relieved that Kim is still alive. Just then, Chil Gap and his men show up. A fight breaks out. SY has the upper hand and Chil Gap escapes. Kim has sufficiently regains his consciousness and instructs SY to inform the King and the Princess that he is alive and that they should not give in to GP Suyang. SY is reluctant to leave them behind. SeongGyu’s wife assumes responsibility and promises to take care of Kim.
Myeon and his men spring into action after receiving the news that it is time. They slaughter the King’s Imperial Guards and take over security. The fracas wakes Princess KH who rushes to the King. A moment later, Jeong also shows up, concerned about the noise. They are still unaware of what is happening and believes the Imperial Guards will keep them safe.
Jeong offers to check out the situation. He is shocked as he registers the scene where Myeon kills the Head of Imperial Guards. Myeon orders him be taken away. GP arrives and suspects that Myeon is friends with Jeong. Han interrupts that it’s imperative that they seek an audience with the King immediately.
GP and his men forces their way through to meet the King. He declares that Kim is guilty of treason and has been executed accordingly. He then presented a list of Kim’s supposed allies, demanding they be summoned here. PrincessKH is outraged that he plans to dispose of everyone who opposes GP. GP has the princess and Jeong removed from the King’s presence. Jeong asks Myeon if he killed Seongyoo. He does not answer.

Yeori returns home but bumps into Song, SeRung’s younger brother. Concerned, he demands to know the whereabouts of SeRyung. Yeori leads him to the warehouse, where SeRyung faints. They bring her back to the room, on Song’s orders. Their mother is furious that SeRyung is released against her orders but softens her stance when she finds that it is Song who explains that SeRyung has passed out and that in her current condition, she will pose no harm.
SY hides himself in the bushes to observe the situation outside of the Princess’ Residence. He sees Myeon guarding the entrance. He sees Minister Jo Geuk-Gwan arriving and entering the premises and thinks it’s safe. However, he stops in his tracks when he sees Myeon’s men slaying the carriage servants. Suspecting a trap, he realizes that Myeon is on the GP’s side and keeps himself hidden. An unsuspecting Jo enters the premise and is immediately slayed by a waiting Han and his henchmen. SJ manages to sneak in from the backyard but find himself among bodies of slaughtered officials.
SY moves away but sees Minister Min Sin being murdered and his body dumped along with the other bodies. SY hid himself among the bodies. Chil Gap shows up and demands to see GP Suyang, presumably to inform him of SY and the still alive Kim JongSeo.

Princess KyeongHye and Jeong are pacing in their room, each lost in thought and wrought with worry. The princess decides she needs to be by the King’s side, Jeong stops her by saying it’s dangerous and offers to go instead. (I love how his expression changes, from reassuring to murderous…Jeong is proving to be very mature and reliable when the situation calls for it in spite of his goofy self). The princess appears to be as surprised and maybe a little impressed as well. Jeong forces himself through the guards, using his status and the guards could only follow him meekly. Outside, SY ambushes the guards and kills them. Jeong is surprised/relieved that SY is alive. SJ explans that this is the evil plan of GP Suyang and tells him that his father is not dead.
Elsewhere, GP and his men, Shin Sook Joo (ShinMyeon’s dad), Prince On-Nyung, Kwon Ram (I’m naming them cause they seem to appear quite often) are shock to receive news that Kim JongSeo is alive and his son, SJ is hiding him. GP is furious and demands that they be found and killed.
Jeong leads SJ quietly to the King’s place but they encounter ShinMyeon on the way. Jeong tries to shield SJ, but SJ gently pushes him aside as both man draw their swords. SJ can’t believe his best friend has become GP’s dog but ShinMyeon insists he does not regret his decision. They fight while Jeong looks on. They are evenly matched until someone cuts SY from behind. It is Ja Bun. Two more guards appear and restraint Jeong. Ja Bun knocks out SY. Jeong is led away,unable to accept that Shin is willing to kill his own brother (he used  the word brother as in brotherhood actually).
GP and his men are assessing the situation. Shin Sook Joo is worried that Kim will enlist the help of the army which will drastically change the situation. Just then, ShinMyeon shows up and conveys the news that SY is caught.
Jeong is also telling the Princess that SY and his father is alive. The princess thinks that they should try to rescue SY. The situation will be worse if Kim does not get to defend himself from the allegations and is forced to give up the Prime Minister’s position.
GP comes to see the tied up SY. He sends Im Woon home to prepare just in case they cannot find Kim by tonight and the situations reverses. He asks ShimMyeon if not killing SY is Shin’s way of showing mercy to his once brother. Shin denies.
At GP home, SeRyung wakes up to find Yeori napping. She sneaks out and overhears Im Woon reporting the situation to her mother and brother. She’s particularly worried when she hears that SY is caught and about to be executed. GP’s wife sends Woon back to GP side reasoning that if he fails the entire family will fall too. Song sees SeRyung slipping away and catches up with her just as she’s leading a horse from the stable. Song warns her not to go because it would be dangerous. SeRyung insists on going by saying that someone has to stop their father. Song asks if she’s going because of Kim SeongYoo…(Song is a good guy, I’m glad). Song leads the guards away to allow SeRyung to leave.
Jeong appeals to ShinMyeon to allow him to meet SY. Once there, Jabun orders the other guards away. Jeong releases SY from his binds and asks him to leave saying that Myeon is helping them. Jeong leads him away and gives him a horse, sending him on his way. Oh boy I smell a trap. This must be the opening scene from Episode one. And…it is. Myeon reports to GP that all is going according to plan. SY did not suspect a thing and will undoubtedly lead them to his father. GP instructs Myeon to kill them with his own hands.

Then we have the cinematic opening sequence of SJ riding on his horse, only it’s intersected with SeRyung riding hers and they just miss each other. (It happens every so often, this coincidentally missing each other). SeRyung reaches the Princess’ Residence but was stopped by the guards. Myeon sees her and advises her to go home. SeRyung is surprised to see him, but her surprise changes to disgust when she realizes he works for her father. She asks for SY (IMO,maybe further strengthening Myeon’s resolve to kill SY). Myeon sends her in to see her father. He and Jabun sets out to trail SY.
Jeong informs the princess that SY has escape and they will send armies to free them. Princess KH is relieved. Jeong holds KH’s hand for a moment before they were interrupted by her maid, who announces that the King is having cold sweats and clammy extremities due to fear. KH and Jeong rushes to the King’s room but were turned away by the guards. KH stomps away determinedly.
SeRyung meets her father and accuses him of using her as an excuse to harm the Kim’s family. He does not deny. She begs him to save SJ. He taunts that she will only give up once she sees SY’s head. She accuses him of being cruel. Just then, Princess KH shows up and demands to be allowed to stay by the King’s side. GP  orders she be taken away. SeRung interrupts by insisting that she be allowed to escort the Princess to the King’s side, arguing that he has no reason to separate them unless he wants the King to be ill. GP could not refused her without being seemingly disloyal (even though he is staging a coup, publicly he must maintain a façade). He relents though I suspect it’s partially because of SeRyung.
Once alone, Princess KH in a I-told-you-so way reminded how she once told her that her father is an ambitious man and plans to usurp the throne. But SeRyung could only think of SY and asks for him. KH is disgusted that she still has the audacity to ask for him and lies that SY and his father is dead and it’s all because of her. SR is distraught by the news.
SeongGyu’s wife is tending to the injured Kim JongSeo who tells her to go into hiding with little A-Kang because if they fail, the child would be endangered as well.
Seongyoo reaches his father hideout. Just as they are about to leave, Han’s men reaches as well. SY manages to bring down most of the man but is sliced by Chil Gap’s and HamGwi’s swords. Kim JongSeo vows he will never forgive GP Suyang and is slayed as well. Father and son, down and injured, moves to reach each other. Elder Kim dies first and SJ is dealt another blow.
Just as HamGwi is about the deliver the final blow, Myeon’s voice stopped them. He declares he will take over from here on. (OMG he’s not totally evil then, he’s gonna save SY!!). Han’s men thought he wanted to take credit for their work and refuses. Myeon orders him men to take over by force. Han’s men gives in but insisted that they at least have the head of Kim JongSeo and they will leave Kim SY for him to claim credit for.
Myeons sits there brooding over SY’s body which is covered by a mat (he thinks SJ is dead). Jabun reminds him it’s time to return. Myeon wants to move SJ to a quieter place. As he carries him, he’s overcome by memories of their earlier camaraderie. When he was collecting stones to bury SJ, SJ suddenly groans. He raises his sword and roars but pauses for the longest moment. In the end, he sheathes his sword and leaves. (OK good boy..he still has an ounce of conscience...had me worried a while there).
Han’s men brings back the head of KimJongSeo much to the delight of GP and his men.
It’s raining. SY wills himself to rise, buoyed by his father’s voice and flashes of his father’s images.

GP reports to the King that the beheaded Kim and his accomplices will be paraded to the public. KH and Jeong is there as well.
Meanwhile, a battered looking SJ is attracting stares as he walks through the town. He hears whispers from the public that his father is dead and comes to the place where his father’s head and a few others are paraded to the public as traitors. He breaks down at the sight and leaves, consumed by anger.

SR lies motionless in her room in grief, ignoring her mother’s instruction that she’s to come out and welcome her father home. Yeori leads her out, SR is powerless to put up any resistance.
SY reaches the GP’s home. He knocks out a guard and takes his sword. GP is escorted by Myeon. SR is also led out at the same time. Just as SY is about to unsheathe his sword he receives the second biggest shock of his life, for there she is, among the children of GP, his "Yeori".

Recap : The Princess' Man episode 10


I just found out SR’s mother is also known as Lady Yoon. So from this episode onwards, I shall refer to her as such.
Episode 10

This episode begins by going backwards…
.........from the moment Kim and SY is killed but gives a little more information here and there. Of interest is Prince An-Phyung did not answer the King’s summon and is therefore still alive. In their audience with the King, GP Suyang and his men declares that the heads of Kim JongSeo, Jo GeukGwan, Sin Min is to be paraded as traitors to the public. All their family members will also be hunted down and executed. Shin Sook Joo proposes that the King returns to the palace. Princess KH is nervous because that would mean the King will be alone and defenseless in the palace. Jeong proposes that they protect the King and wait until the situation is under control before moving back. Suyang rejected his proposal by using the excuse that the alleged revolt led by Kim happened because the King was not in the palace. KH demands to escort the King back but this is also overruled because the Princess is now married and not in the position to do so. The King accepts the arrangement realizing that resistance is futile. KH and Jeong bids goodbye to the King who reassures them he is going to be fine. KH looks on and cries, frustrated and helpless.
 Then we come to the scene of SJ staggering through the marketplace and SeRyung crying in her room.
Next, we see the Ministers are pressuring the King for Cabinet reshuffle. The King is no match for them and he finally yields. GPrinceSuyang is made leader of the Cabinet to stabilize the political uncertainty and hunt down the remaining rebels. That the crafty wolf can still declare his loyalty to the King with a straight face makes my blood boil. Shin SookJoo who now serves as advisor to Suyang explains that everything they’ve done so far is to ensure the public understands that the events that has transpired is inevitable and further establish Suyang’s authority.

SY makes his way to the place where his father’s head is hung. He hears whispers that GP Suyang is making his way home. (The public opinion of GP Suyang is not good, that’s why they are hushed whispers everywhere). SeRyung mother, Lady Yoon orders Yeori to drag SeRyung out if she has to because the public will be watching so it’s kind of essential that they put up a front. And so the events that will lead to the discovery of SeRyung’s identity is in place.

The ahjummas in front of SY are very “helpful” in unraveling the truth. They whisper how GPSuyang’s children are very pretty and are the future prince and princesses. They point to SeRyung and conveniently pointed out that she is the favourite eldest daughter of GPSuyang. SY is understandably in shock.

But the sight of GP Suyang enrages him and he attacks him amidst looks of shock from SR, GP Suyang and Myeon. He doesn’t get very far before he gets restrained by the guards. He locks gaze with SR who is overwhelmed by the fact that SY is alive. Jabun knocks him out. (Twice in two days LOL). GP Suyang is unable to do anything rash because they were in public eyes.

SeRyung is sent to her room but she struggles to get free, anxious to see SY. Her mother shows up, initially raising her hand to strike her but eventually embraces her. She feels sad for her but reminds her that SY is now aware of her identity and the reality is, she is the daughter of the man who killed SY father and there’s nothing she can do for him. She advises her to be strong and forget SY.

Meanwhile, GP is furious with Myeon. He warns him that he will not tolerate incompetents and orders that he kill and behead SY.

SR makes a final plea to her father to let SY live. In exchange, she’ll live her life according to his wishes. GP refuses because SY will definitely seek revenge on him if he is not killed.
Princess KH is anxious after hearing rumors that GP Suyang will be crowned King, knowing that the King must have been coerced to agree to that. KH and Jeong receive news that SY is caught. They also receive a letter from Prince An-Phyung who escaped the massacre. However, they are devastated to find Prince An-Phyung arrested by Myeon. They do meet someone else, Prince Geum Sung (Suyang’s younger brother) who pledges to support the young King. They know that they are weak and in need of more support.


 Jeong and his teacher Lee Gae goes to visit SY and hears Myeon ordering that SY and the rest of the prisoners are to be executed the next day. SY awakes and tortured by the images of SeRyung, wails like a raving lunatic, only to be beaten up. Jeong and Lee Gae look on, pained.


Lee Gae tries to talk some sense into Myeon who stands by his decision. Jeong is devastated that SY is to be executed the next day. SR who is also at the prison overhears.

Jabun allows her entry and once inside she’s greeted by screams of agony. She wants to see SY but she realizes her identity will only cause him to suffer. She turns back but sees Myeon. She asks him to save SY. Myeon reminds her that he is her fiancé and that she should never bring up SY’s name in front of him again. She asks if he is fine seeing his best friend die. He counters that he’s only following orders. She tells him that SY used to say Myeon is a trustworthy person. She mockingly asks if he’s only capable of such “trust”. SR leaves. Myeon is not too pleased.
Once alone with yeori, SR lets her vulnerability show. She is upset at her own helplessness…still trying to figure out a way to save SY.
In the dead of the night, SR retrieves a sword. The next morning, SR kneels before her father with the sword at her side. GP Suyang is furious she dares threaten him with her life over a lover. She stresses that it is to prevent him from killing innocent people. Suyang dismisses her threat but she steps it up by raising the sword to her neck and announces that she will commit suicide the moment SY is executed.
Meanwhile, Jabun is making rounds to ensure the preparations for the public execution are ready. SJ and the other prisoners are dragged to the execution area.

GP and his men are rejoicing on the impending executions. There is the small matter that the King has not agreed to the execution though. The group encounters the King. The King tries to convince GP Suyang to not kill anymore, even more so his blood family.

We see the executions being carried one by one. SR is still staging her one man protest. Suddenly an eunuch whispers something in the ears of GP Suyang. We see the King smiling. Good news?? They see Prince Geum Sung along with Princess KH, Jeong, Lee Gae heading towards them. Prince Geum Sung reports that innocent people are being killed outside and requests that Prince An Phyung be freed. Prince Geum insists that Prince An Phyung is innocent and should be given a fair trial. GP Suyang explains because of the urgency of the matter, the leader of the rebellion is executed on the spot. GP declares the King has already been informed and advises him not to interfere. Suddenly, we hear the King address GP Suyang, quietly but with unmistakable firmness. He decrees that the executions be halted and that the prisoners be punished according to the law. He further rules out any arguments from GP Suyang, saying that his words is King’s orders. This sudden show of strength stunned GP Suyang and gang and renders them speechless.

At the execution stage, it’s is finally SY turn. And because we can’t have our hero dying before the series is over, the Royal decree arrives at that precise moment, staying the execution. However, the messenger announces that all the prisoners are to be stripped of nobility and exiled the next day. SY looks to the grey sky.

Meanwhile, a visibly pale and weak SR could hardly hold on to her sword.

Lady Yoon : You might as well raise your sword towards your own mother first, useless child. (It’s obvious she’s both hurting for SR but disappointed in her as well)
GP Suyang: I know you can be as stubborn as me. But I do not know that you would defy your father’s wishes to this nature. Kim Seongyoo is pardoned from death but he will be banished at the first light of day.
SR: Is that true?
GP Suyang : Today, I will abide by your wishes. But if you repeat this again, you will not be forgiven.

Prince Geum Sung, Princess KH and Jeong is proud of the young King and reminds him not to forget a King’s authority. Prince Geum Seum also notes that they have to bring back Prince An Phyung safely so that GP Suyang would not harm the King.

GP Suyang and gang also realizes that they underestimated the young King. They fear the return of Prince An Phyung who would protect the young King. They are also wary of Prince Geum Sung who commands an army equipped with firepower (think cannons and the like) and is reputable amongst SungKyunKwan students. Another threat to them is Kim SeongYoo who is still alive. Myeon is surprised to hear Han hinting that SY would not survive the journey to the KangWaDou. (The journey supposedly involves the sea, I assume SY is to board a boat/ship). Later, Han approaches his underlings and announces vaguely that they are to go breathe some sea air. (Meaning he wants them to kill SY).

SR wants to meet SY for the last time. Yeori tries to dissuade her but to no avail. Myeon who sees her also does not stop her, reasoning that it would be for the last time.

SR enters alone. She sees SY. SY rises slowly and walks wordlessly towards her. SR braces herself for his anger. SY, his eyes wild with anger, strangles her.


*Note:
- Will try to put up epi 11 and 12  by the next few days.
- Thanks for commenting. Was considering stopping the recaps because no one seems to be interested.

Recap : The Princess' Man Episode 11


There is more action in this episode and it’s kind of difficult to get nice screencaps and explain the actions in words. LOL. Still, I do what I can.
Episode 11
Finally, after 10 episodes, SY and SR meet each other as their real selves. Strangling SR, SY is trying to make sense of this unexpected turn of events.
SY : Who exactly are you? Are you really GP Suyang’s daughter???!
SR does not resist nor does she reply. JaBun’s men frees her from SY’s grasp.
SY: How dare you show yourself before me? Your life…and your father’s life, I will take them for sure…I will definitely have my revenge!!
SR, expecting his wrath but perhaps not really prepared for it, looks at him heartbroken but with a hint of determination.
SR: My name is Lee SeRyung. Please survive….and come back to take my life. I will wait for that day to arrive.
It's sad that she’s trying to goad him to live on, even if his reason for living is to kill her. SY is confused and angry at this…recounting how his father had warned him that his love will endanger his life. SR is overwhelmed by the encounter and could hardly walk. Myeon shows up by her side. She ignores him but he follows her regardless. Yeori tails them quietly, perhaps not wanting to interfere.  Myeon sees the scar on her neck and wants to escort her home, using the excuse that she is his betrothed. SR is cold and rude towards him, indicating she wants nothing to do with a man with no principles. She leaves and Yeori quickly follows.
On reaching her home, she stares at the entrance for the longest time.
SR: This home feels so foreign. So frightening.
GP Suyang returns with Im Woon and asks her why she’s out at this late hour. (There’s a lot of camera close up shots of Im Woon that I’m starting to think he’s going to play a pivotal role later on…perhaps he’s secretly in love with SR??). SR no longer fears him, answering honestly that she went to see SY at the prison. GP reminds her of her promise to abide by his wishes if SY is not killed. He will be preparing for her wedding to Myeon soon. SR is slightly taken aback, having not giving much thought on that. Myeon, who was trailing her all this while is astonished to learn that her scar is due to her attempted suicide attempt to save SJ. His jealousy flares up and he turns to drinking. A drunk Myeon goes to see SJ.
SM: You really want to kill that woman? Isn’t she the one you’ve loved all this time?
SY: I didn’t know she is daughter of GP Suyang.
SM: But I hear she tried to save you by threatening to commit suicide…would you believe that?
SY: That has nothing to do with me.
SM: Nothing to do with you? Is that how it is…? I’ve wasted my breath telling you something that has nothing to do with you…
With that, Myeon rise and starts to walk away. SY begs him to find his sister-in-law and niece and help them escape. Myeon refuses. SY tries to appeal to his conscience by stating his father is innocent. Myeon rebuts that if his father had killed GP Suyang, their situation would be reversed. He tells SY to accept his fate. SY asks if he truly believes in fate…if he believes his blood-stained hands would be forgiven. Myeon just bids him farewell and leaves (he knows Han will have SJ killed).
GP Suyang and Han plans to kill the rest of Prince An Phyung supporters who are supposed to be exiled. We see Mae Hyang bringing a letter and cash to a young man who begins writing. Is he forging the letters?
Prince Geum Sung and Princess KH stop the procession escorting the exiled Prince An Phyung. Appealing to the sense of righteousness of the guard, they ask to speak to Prince AP. Prince GS promises to hold out until Prince AP returns. Prince AP vows to return to expose the treachery of GP Suyang and assist the young King.
Jeong and Lee Gae go to see SJ being led away. Unbeknownst to SJ, SR is also in the crowd watching him teary-eyed. Little A-Kang and her mother, Lady Ryu are among the prisoners. A-Kang sees SJ and shouts for her uncle but faints. A crowd forms around her and her mother shielding them from SJ’s sight. SR is concerned by the child’s plight but is restrained by Yeori and the guards when she tries to help.
Later, it occurs to SR that the child is related to SY, she remembers her from her previous escapade to Kim’s Residence. She goes to the prison whereby her status as GP Suyang’s daughter comes in handy because she’s allowed entrance. Myeon also glimpses Ah-Kang and Lady Ryu. Before he can react, he finds SR standing before him. SeRyung wishes to bring the child to seek medical care. Myeon refuses, aware that she’s only insisting because the child is related to SY. SR convinces him that they will both regret it if the child is to die.
SR brings Ah-Kang and Lady Ryu to the doctor who says the child is just too frightened. Lady Ryu thanks SR profusely. SR aware that this is partially her fault, apologizes to her instead but did not elaborate.
The King is having a face-off with GP Suyang. He wants a new trial so that the innocent Prince AP could be freed. Shin SookJoo comes in bearing evidence of an alleged letter found in Prince AP’s abode, which implicates Prince AP of rebellion. Ok, now I understand what was happening before. Suyang employed someone to forge Prince AP’s handwriting (with the poetry on the painting done by Prince AP as template) and create this so-called evidence. Ah…the crafty wolf strikes again. Faced with this new evidence, the inexperienced young King runs out of arguments.

Jeong prepares lots of birds to please KH. Apparently he learns that she likes to listen to birds chirping. KH is surprised and touched. Jeong pledges to do his utmost to protect both her and the King. (Phew, at least one couple is doing alright). Eun geum disrupts the moment to bring news from the palace. They cabinet is asking for death sentence to Prince AP. Jeong offers to check things out.
In the palace, all the ministers are pressuring the King to sentence Prince AP to death in view of the strong evidence. Inside the chamber, the King and GP Suyang is still standing firm. But the young King is obviously wavering especially when faced with all the appeal documents. GP Suyang smirks knowing the King would not be able to withstand the pressure for long.
 Out at sea, we see two ships. One holds the prisoners. Han’s three goons are on board the one behind, waiting for the right time to strike. In the prisoners’ ship, there are a few anxious faces. The prisoner next to SY is alert to the danger ahead. He correctly deduces that the ship behind them is up to no good and that GP Suyang is going to have all of them dead. He seems to have a plan but is irked that SY does not respond. SY looks half dead, maybe too heartbroken to care?
Back in the palace, it’s a win for GP Suyang and gang. Prince Geum Sung is furious and asks if GP wants to kill him next. GP warns him to rein in his emotion.
On the ship, the prisoner next to SY fakes a fight and the guards unlock the door to break up the fight. The two prisoners hold the Head of the guards hostage and asks to be released from their shackles. The spy on the ship signals to Han’s goons. After receiving clearance, he takes advantage of the hostage situation and sneaks to the ship’s bottom and starts hacking. The ship starts to leak and water gushes in. The prisoners and guards hear the commotion. Just as the guard is passing the key to the prisoner, the ship starts to rock. In the midst of the chaos, the prisoners slay the guards and try to free themselves. However, the prisoners, in their selfish bid to survive also start to fight among themselves.
Prince AP is sentenced to death by poison. GP is pleased.
In the ship, it’s every man for himself. Even SJ seems to awaken a little from his reverie. SJ and the man he’s chained with, manage to swim to the surface just as the ship sinks (the underwater scenes are beautiful). The danger is not over though because the three goons are still waiting to finish off the survivors. They shoot the survivors with arrows and slay the ones who manage to climb onboard. Basically the prisoners are like sitting ducks.

GP visits Myeon and informs him of his promotion (I am not sure how to translate his position, a level 4 official at HanSeungGwan). SeRyung escorts Lady Ryu back to the prison and meets her father there. She explains herself, but GP Suyang intentionally mistakes her purpose as being motherly and brings up the issue of her marriage again.
Meanwhile, a group of prisoners manage to swim to land but their pursuers are right on their trail. And so we have a cat and mouse chase on the island. At one point, while SY and his new prisoner “friend” are hiding, he sees HamGwi whom he recognizes as his father’s murderer. Luckily, his friend stops him before he rushes out. I swear SY has a death wish. Now if only his new-found friend has a name.
By nightfall, a few others join them. Now SY has even more “friends”. They have a meeting to discuss their next course of action. They decide they need to retaliate or risk being eliminated the next day. SY, triggered by his encounter with HamGwi earlier is also becoming more active.
They sneak into a makeshift camp by Han’s men by the sea, stealing clothing and weapons. However, one false move and the entire group are awakened. They run for their lives, SY and his friend are especially hampered since they are still chained together. Their plan to lure them into the forest works as they manage to kill quite a few of Han’s men.
Chil gap realizing they’re in a disadvantage and warns his men to back off from the forest. HamGwi shows up near the place SY is hidden. SY could not restraint himself from seeking revenge and engages him in a fight. SY finally overpowers him and pierces his torso with his sword, as his friend look on open-mouthed.
 I say good riddance. Finally!

Recap: The Princess' Man episode12
For the record, I didn't include any character/plot analysis in my recaps except for some random comments partly because I have to admit I didn't do enough research for the recaps to be in a position to offer a well-thought out opinion.
 And because it's especially challenging to recap a sageuk for my first attempt, I may not have always used the "correct" term especially for the court positions. I may edit those later. For now I can only offer an almost blow-by-blow account of the episodes, although I've been wondering if I should cut down on the details a little...because this episode racks up 2700 words. LOL.


Episode 12
SJ ignores warning from his prisoner friend and engages HamGwi in a fight. Despite being at the receiving end of HamGwi’s sword, he grasps the cutting end of the sword with his bare hands. Fueled by memories of his father, he robs HamGwi of his sword through sheer determination and stabs him instead. His prisoner friend drags him away but gave him another warning not to risk their lives that way again.
Alone, SR is recalling her encounter with SY in the prison when she is interrupted by her father, who is accompanied by her mother and Im Woon. GPSuyang thinks she is having trouble sleeping thinking of her upcoming marriage. Lady Yoon reminds her that her marriage must proceed without trouble. SR assures them she will abide by their wishes.
Back in the forest, Chil Gap and Jung Geun are devastated to find HamGwi’s body. Chil Gap is looking mighty angry and shouts SJ name. (I don’t know why he immediately concluded it was SJ who did it though….there was no witness, no forensic evidence LOL, sorry CSI fan here).
 SJ and friend are washing up in the stream (we have our first sighting of Park Shi Hoo’s thick strong chest!). Friend tells SJ that he should thank him. SJ obliges. Friend just wanted to return the favour because SJ did save him once while they were escaping from the ship. Friend advises him to persevere because due to their chained condition, he can only live if SJ lives.
Chil Gap and Jung Geun bury HamGwi. Jung Geun is the hot-headed one and wants to hunt down the prisoners at once. Chil Gap is calmer and feels that the prisoners are no easy preys.
The said preys are conducting their own council. They still can’t come up with a better plan but realizes that prolonging the situation will put them in a disadvantage because they will run out of food. Introductions are done (Finally!).

Wang NohGul, descendant of the Royal Family from the previous Goryeo Dynasty (the setting of the drama is in Joseon Dynasty). He demands more respect from the others…but they are not the slightest bit impressed as he’d previously claimed to be a general who has had many experience in battles (a coward and a liar…hah!).
SJ does not offer to introduce himself.
(Dang! Only one introduction. What about the rest? What should I call you guys?)
Ok, I’m going to call them as the following henceforth, for convenience sake.
Jo Suk Joo or Jo (This is his name anyway)
Blur(L); Tarzan(R)
Myeon delivers wedding gifts from his mother to GPSuyang. GPSuyang addresses him as son-in-law happily. When he seems disappointed SeRyung is not present, Lady Yoon explains that SR is busy preparing for the wedding. Myeon goes to call on her in person. Yeori tells him that SR is not feeling well, so he leaves dejectedly. Yeori advises SR to try to accept Myeon since their wedding is inevitable. SR only sighs.
Prince Geum Sung informs Princess KH and Jeong of his plan to stage a coup on SeRyung’s wedding day. He thinks it’s their best chance to eliminate GPSuyang before he harms the King. He will be mobilizing his military power. KH is a little apprehensive and Jeong rues that it has to come to this.
 It’s day, SJ and Jo manage to get hold of an axe after overpowering some enemies in a tag-team effort. Jo chops at the chains and finally they are free. The first thing he tells SJ is he’s free to die now if he so chooses. (Haha)
Night. Wang approaches the boats left by Chil Gap and his men cautiously. However, Chil Gap lies in wait. Wang is tied up and Chil Gap immediately could see that Wang is a coward. He strikes him a deal (uh-oh!).
Wang re-joins the group. The others berate him for acting on his own. Wang sneaks a peek at SJ who says nothing. The guys are feeling desperate and hungry. Later, when SJ is sleeping, Wang tries to recruit the guys to betray SJ. Tarzan and Blur is more than willing. Jo has reservations over this dubious deal. Their raised voices alert SJ who fights evenly with Tarzan.
Suddenly, Blur is struck down by Jung Geun. Chil Gap and gang have sneaked up on them. Wang reminds Chil Gap of their deal. Jo calls him stupid for trusting them. Chil Gap attacks and the cowardly Wang is the first to run. SJ and Jo also manage to run but Tarzan is killed. SJ and Jo hide. Jo is reminded of Wang’s words that Chil Gap’s target is only SJ. Jo raises his sword towards SJ saying ominously that only SJ’s death can end this.
In the palace, Princess KH is furious she is denied entry to seek audience with the King. The guards apparently only answer to GP Suyang.
In court, the hapless young King could only listen as GP Suyang dictates the appointment of State Council Personnel. He recommends Shin Sook Joo as Left State Councillor, Kwon Ram as Dongbuseungjae (I can’t find a translation for this position) and for Prince On-Nyung to be appointed as representative of the Royal family to assist the King. The King listlessly agrees. GP Suyang also proposes that the female relations (wives and daughters) of the rebels be demoted to slaves (instead of palace maids as is the norm). The King is silent and conflicted but we can see from GPSuyang’s evil smile that he would have his way.
GPSuyang and his cronies have their own meeting. Shin SookJoo is concerned that Prince Geum Sung is unnaturally quiet. Han assures everyone he has Prince Geum Sung followed and is aware of him trying to recruit an army discreetly (maybe not so discreet after all since Han already knows…). They decide to adopt a wait-and-see stance. Once they eliminate Prince Geum Sung, they will be that much closer to helping GP Suyang to ascend to the throne.
Back to the island, Chil Gap and his men catches sight of Jo going after SY all the way to the edge of the cliff. Jo understands that Chil Gap and his men will only consider sparing him once SY is dead. He takes it upon himself to kill SY by cutting him with his sword and kicking him off the cliff to the surprise of Chil gap and his men (by now, we know that Jo and SJ are only play-acting…Jo’s look of concern before he kicked totally gives it away). Jo is spared and Chil gap is satisfied after seeing SJ’s body at the foot of the cliff.

As soon as Chil gap and his men leave, Jo rushes out from his hiding place and drags SJ, who is holding onto some shrubs, to safety. Flashback – continuing from their ambiguous conversation from the night before, we learn that this is part of Jo’s master plan! The dead body was placed there by them before their big act).
Chilgap returns to report to GP Suyang and his cronies. Myeon is stunned (perhaps a little remorseful as well).
Sejung is fingering SeRyung’s wedding hanbok admiringly. She asks to try it on. SR obliges. Sejung cannot understand why SR is still mooning over Kim SeongYoo and declares that she would love that their father becomes King so she could become a princess.
Yeori brings news that the women slaves are assigned to the families who played a part in stamping out the alleged rebellion. SR could not believe that the slaves are forced to work for the very people who played a part in slaughtering their families. In particular, Lady Ryu and A-Kang are to be slaves in the Prince On-Nyung’s household. SR and Yeori set out to find them, Myeon following them (Gee…Myeon is becoming stalkerish). Guilt-ridden, she dare not approach them. Myeon confronts her.
SR: Because of you and my father, these people have lost their home. To make them slaves in their enemies’ home is downright cruel.
SM: This is the King’s decree. You can’t do anything about it.
SR: I want to free them from slavery.
SM: How could you think that? If you are caught…
SR: Even if I am to be punished, I would rather be punished after I save them. If you wish to tell on me to my father, please wait until this is over…
SR takes her leave, leaving behind the speechless Myeon.

Lady Ryu is washing clothes by the stream, A-Kang lying sick by her side. Yeori shows up pretending she needs someone to read a letter. Lady Ryu is asked to read it. The letter is from SR. It reads:
“I’m the person you saw at HanSeungGwan (Capital Bureau, the prison place where she was previously held). I wish to send you to somewhere safe. I will wait for you at the place you saw me just now. Please come.”
Yeori and SR waits anxiously for Lady Ryu who finally shows up. She’s worried that SR will get into trouble. SR assures her she would be fine. SR arranges for her to visit the doctor first before sending them away. Lady Ryu is grateful and admits she’s only agreeing to this scheme for her daughter’s sake. Myeon even escorts them. SR thanks him.
Jo leads Wang and SJ to a brothel. SJ is hurting from the cut Jo gave him earlier. There are a few girls and a certain man-lady soliciting business. The man-lady is handy with a knife, as evidenced by the way she deals with a rude customer. Jo shows his face and the man-lady calls him…brother?
Jo's lady friend, Leader of the brothel girls
Man-lady. Jo's brother. Moo-young

Brothel girl?

From their conversation, it seems Jo has a history with the pretty leader girl and appears to be the leader of some sort of gangsters. But he declares he needs to save someone first…and that someone is SJ, who’s currently lying down in pain.
SR takes Lady Ryu and A-Kang to the temple (omg, now we have three cute kids – A Kang and the two little monks) for shelter temporarily. She is shocked beyond words to learn that the ship carrying SY has sunk and that there were no survivors. She asks Myeon if the news were true, and laments why she was not told.
The younger brothel girl slips into the SY room by accident. She approaches SJ curiously. SJ murmurs “water” in his half-conscious state. She tends to him tenderly (Is she going to be another love interest?).
Prince On-Nyung casually brings up the issue of a missing slave who was related to Kim JongSeo. GP Suyang’s expression changes as he remembers SR bringing them to the doctor some time ago. He returns home and finds Myeon standing guard outside of SR’s room. GP Suyang asks Myeon if it was SR who hid the slaves. Myeon tries to take the blame. GP Suyang sees through him and wants to rebuke SR. Myeon stops him by explaining that SR has just found out about SJ’s death, and she would be inconsolable if she is not able to at least save SJ’s family members. GP Suyang asks him to convey his order that they are to stop searching for the slaves.
Princess KH and Jeong also receive the news that SY has died in the ship. Jeong is devastated. Just then, the servant announces that Myeon is here. Myeon is all smiles and plays nice (dude you have the worst timing in the world). Jeong asks him accusingly if he knew of SJ death. Princess KH also shows up and demands that he leaves the premises, mocking him for unabashedly setting foot to the place where so many bloods were spilled by his very hands. Jeong also tells him to leave.

Myeon informs him of his wedding and requests that Jeong be his best man just as he was on Jeong’s wedding. And because Jeong is his only friend now. Jeong, reminded of Prince Geum Sung plans to stage a coup, asks Myeon to find another candidate. Myeon insists he’ll be waiting for him. Myeon strikes a very lonely figure standing there alone (I feel really sad for him because I do feel Myeon is not like really evil evil, just very unfortunate to be stuck in his father quest for power. But he had a choice, and he chose the wrong side. Let’s hope he gets to redeem himself though).
Jeong could not sleep and sat in guard outside KH’s chambers. KH is initially alarmed but could not help but be touched by Jeong’s gentleness. KH guesses that Jeong is having a tough time coming to terms about SJ’s death. (KH is slowly but surely changing her opinion about Jeong…)
SY finally awakens and sees a group of girls crowding by his bed. The man-girl, Mooyoung keeps gushing about how good-looking SY is (LOL). The leader girl sends everyone away and SY is left with Jo and Wang. Jo reassures him they are safe since they are dead in the eyes of everyone. Wang is curious about what kind of grudge SJ is nursing.
Myeon asks GP Suyang for a postponement of the wedding because of SR’s condition. SR is depressed. Lady Yoon advises her to forget the past and focus on Myeon who obviously cares for her. SR says she wishes to be somewhere.
The little monks inform SR that Lady Ryu and the little girl has left without a word. The boys were particularly disappointed because they’ve just become close to A-Kang. SR finds Myeon and accuses him of harming Lady Ryu and her child. Myeon is disappointed she thinks this badly of him. He grabs her arm and forces her on a horse. He rides behind her.
SY wanders aimlessly in the streets until he reaches the entrance of his old house. He’s tormented by voices of his father, Lady Ryu and A-Kang and mistakes someone else for Lady Ryu and A-Kang. He appears emotionally unstable. I’m guessing he’s going to find GP Suyang.
Myeon rides to a residential area and helps SR dismount. SR glares at him and slaps him. Myeon grabs her hand again. SR warns him not to touch her again. Myeon is hurt by her cruel words.
SR turns and walks away only to be stopped by a familiar voice. She sees Lady Ryu and A-Kang walking towards her. SR turns back to Myeon in surprise, but Myeon has disappeared. SR feels guilty after learning that Myeon has been taking care of Lady Ryu.

Later, they return together in awkward silence. They reach her house.
SR : She wants me to convey her gratitude.
SM: If she knew it was me, she would be outraged.
SR: I’m sorry for misunderstanding you, but if you’d told me …
SM: Would you have believed me? You would have suspected that I relocated them elsewhere and killed them. Aren’t I that kind of person in your eyes? You never ask me the reasons for my decisions. You think that I don’t feel sad at all killing my best friend, don’t you?
SR curtly excuses herself and turns around.
SM: How long? How long would it take for you to not turn your back on me? Do you know how much it hurts to see you turn your back on me?
SR: Please leave (still in a clipped tone).

Myeon has had enough of her coldness, grabs her and locks her in his embrace. SY is behind a tree nearby.

OMG How much has he heard? Does SY realize SR loves him?






Recap : The Princess' Man Episode 13

First I’d like to thank everyone who left comments in support, although it would be nice if ya’ll didn’t sign off as anonymous. LOL. Rest assured that I will try to continue recapping till the very end. I have some problems though with the layout. It would seem that my blog can only be viewed in its intended format with IE. The pictures are all over the place when viewed with Firefox and Chrome. Do you guys have this problem?
Love this new look!
Episode 13
To answer my own question from last week, it appears that Seongyoo is privy to the entire conversation because he was already there before Seryung and Myeon arrives.
 SY is surprised to see Myeon grabbing SR in a hug. After recovering from her initial shock, SR struggles free from his embrace.
SR: Please let go of me. We are engaged. How could you dishonor me this way? Do not presume to own my heart as well.
SM: Forever…you would be with me forever. I will slowly open up your heart. (OK, that sounds morbid…he means gain her affection)
SR looks on as Myeon leaves, confused and upset with Myeon’s declaration.