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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hwarang" Episode 16

2017/02/10 | 1138 views | Permalink

A turning point has come after a long episode of brooding, low spirits, and contemplation. The hwarang each must decide their own fates and whether or not they will walk the paths expected of them or forge their own. Ji-dwi has an especially hard time coming to terms with the throne with the brave actions of Seon-woo highlighting his low self-esteem and feelings of incompetence.

After Seon-woo claims that he is king, bravely forges an alliance with Baekje through battle, and wins the girl and the hwarang with his actions, Ji-dwi is left feeling very low. He spends much of the episode trying to reconcile his cowardice with Seon-woo's bravery. Aro and the master of the hwarang encourage him, but it just may be Seon-woo, Ji-dwi's friend and possible enemy that may propel him to bravery. Seon-woo may not, however, as he has been tempted with an offer to keep the thrown. I doubt he will take it. It is probably a ploy for raising excitement levels, but it still gives Seon-woo a lot of onscreen brooding time.

hwarang 1hwarang 2

Ban-ryu does a lot of thinking as well. He turns to the dark side to win over his dangerous adopted father and guides assassins to Seon-woo believing he is the king. It's an unforgivable act, but an interesting turn for his character nonetheless. I'm wondering if Ban-ryu's friendship with Soo-ho and romance with his sister will keep him from completely derailing much like Seon-woo's friendship will probably guide Ji-dwi to the throne.

Aro and the princess are recruited to be wonhwa, the female version of hwarang, also historically part of silla, but without the notoriety. Both of them now know Ji-dwi is king. It really is only a matter of time before he is outted...or killed. Speaking of death, Seon-woo's fainting is dangerous and perhaps indicative of his lifespan. "Hwarang" doesn't seem the type of show to kill a lead, but it would be a poetic touch.

hwarang 3hwarang 4

Throughout the episode people began to empathize with the king's plight, lending him strength through their understanding. It will be interesting to see what goads Ji-dwi into taking charge of his life, and his country.


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

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

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