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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hwarang" Episode 19

2017/02/23 | 425 views | Permalink

Swords are drawn and the battles between friend and foe for the throne have reached their climax. Ji-dwi sits on the throne that has always eluded him and continues to try and do so now that his identity has been made known. Seon-woo learns of his lineage and it puts him further at odds with his closest friend, the king. Around them power struggles play out with many greedy men and women behind them.

Although people struggle for the throne and the power it brings, the most powerful battles are waged inside. Ji-dwi's insecurity can barely withstand his mother's egotistical rantings that he cannot handle the throne. On top of that, Minister Young-shil hammers away at his inadequacies and audaciously insults him at every turn. It is up to Ji-dwi to stand up for himself and turn to those he has learned to trust, the hwarang. It remains to be seen if he will do so, but I think he will. More than anyone, he needs Seon-woo, a kindred spirit and, in fact, kin. Seon-woo is the queen's nephew. The son of her brother, and a very real contender for the throne. He wants to be king to save the people amongst whom he grew up. I'm hoping he learns to put his faith in his friend and brother, Ji-dwi, a man who grew up alone, with the people, and knowing what true suffering is. They are both qualified to lead. Knowing the course of history, I hope no lives are taken in order to make that happen. Jinheung is an awesome king, and I hope he will have an awesome Seon-woo by his side.

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As for Aro, she was on a path for greatness as a character, but her injury has brought her back to step one. Becoming a wonhwa would've set her on a separate path than the men on whom she has relied for far too long. She does put her faith in Seon-woo, but does nothing for herself. As for the other female leads, the queen and the princess, they are power hungry and love hungry women driven by their carnal desires and poorly developed. I was hoping for more from the women of the show, especially with a queen in power for the bulk of the action, a heroine who is skilled in medicine, and a princess trained in the martial arts.

Soo-ho has an interesting role this episode in that he is able to live out his dream of being near the queen and serving her to the best of his abilities. Other than this, however, he's not had much to do other than be a foil for Ban-ryu who, sadly, also hasn't had much to do. His adopted father, Young-shil, has been skulking about and planning to make a king of his choosing, but hasn't taken any action as of yet.

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The real tensions lie between Ji-dwi and Seon-woo. Will they become mortal enemies or lifelong allies?

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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