The May 31 episode of "The Iron Empress
" featured conflict between Hwang Bo-su (Chae Si-ra
) and her son, Prince Gaeryeong (Lee In), over power succession.
Nearing death due to an illness and having no rightful heir, King Seongjong (Kim Myeong-soo
) decided to hand over the throne to Prince Gaeryeong, who had been deprived of his right to the throne over his mother's attempt to dethrone the king.
Hwang was released from exile and came to see her son. "At last you are to become a king", she said. But Prince Gaeryeong replied, "I don't want to be a king. There is no good reason for me to become a king. Please tell that to the king".
This made Hwang angry, and she said, "Don't you know how many people had to sacrifice themselves to make you a king". The prince said, "That is exactly why I don't want to be a king. I don't really care at all about the bloodstained throne".
He continued, "Do you have any idea about what the throne means to me? It's a curse to me. It pitted the one who bore me against the one who raised me. It made a sister shoot at her brother".
Hwang replied, "Don't ever try to argue with me. You just do what I tell you to do. That's the only way we can honor those who died for you and save Goryeo". Prince Gaeryeong refuted her, saying, "No, you just want to make me a king to satisfy your desire for power. Don't say it's for those who died for me and to save the country. That's nothing more than a disgusting excuse".
He continued, "Well, you don't feel ashamed at all even though you conspired with the Khitan, so how can you feel guilty about it?"
Becoming infuriated, Hwang slapped him on the cheek, saying, "How dare you. I risked my life to make you a king. How can you dare to tell me this? Do you have any idea how much blood and tears I have had to shed to come this far? If you do not want to be a king, then kill me".
The two have been in conflict since Hwang plotted a coup to get rid of King Seongjong. Prince Gaeryeong opposed it, but Hwang attempted it regardless, but did not succeed as the king's party--tipped on the plot--ambushed her party. Shocked by the incident, the prince has harbored hatred toward his mother since then.
The conflict between Hwang and Prince Gaeryeong, who is to ascend the throne as King Mokjong, is likely to continue, as the prince is weak and fragile--suffering from epilepsy--and Hwang dreams of ruling the country as regent.
Viewers expressed their opinions about the episode on the drama's web board, saying: "His mother risked her life to make him a king, but the only thing he said was that he 'doesn't want to be a king'. How immature he is. That made me angry at him", and "It seems as if the dead King Gyeongjong came back to life. Prince Gaeryeong resembles him very much in his fanatic behavior and looks. I have high expectations for the character".
"The Iron Empress
" is being aired on KBS2 on Saturdays at 10:15 p.m. and Sundays at 10:25 p.m.
▲ Hwang Bo-su and her son, Prince Gaeryeong, are arguing over succession to the throne.