That time-space continuum reference got me.
One of the most important things, for me, in a fantasy story is the world building. I have to be convinced that such world exists before I let the story suck me in. This series has introduced me to the universe where two realms exist: the one where humans live and the other where gods are. The Realm of the Gods, as they call it, is composed of Water, Sky, and Earth countries. Each sends guardian gods to the human world to protect the nature.
The Bride of the Water God managed to smoothly weave its fantasy elements to the story and avoid looking like it was forced. It also set the groundwork for the plot and character arcs. So far, the Water Country is the only god realm presented.
He is Ha Baek, the water god, to be king of the water country, and to be emperor of the Realm of the Gods (I guess, god royalties also use three-sentence-long official title haha.) Ha Baek (Nam Joo-hyuk) was first introduced in his world, the Water Country. This is a good introduction for me as it later justifies his haughtiness in the human world. The plot was an obvious ‘fish out of the water’ story so it made sense to present the world he was used to before he goes out of his comfort zone. Plus it also made his naivete towards commoners hilarious.
So why a pompous god went to the human world you ask? Well, he doesn’t really like the idea but he had to do it. Ha Baek was born to rule the Realm of the Gods. As part of their tradition, the next king should bring back three god stones from the human world before he claims the throne. Ha Baek was given coordinates of the stones’ location, a servant named Nam Soo-ri, and a descendant of the human clan who serves gods and takes care of the Gate of the Gods. Easy right? You’re wrong. Of course, a god’s mission would not be that simple. Due to some unexplained (and unforeseen) circumstances, Ha Baek loses the coordinates while on his way to the human world. His powers of controlling water and turning stones into gold don’t seem to work as well. (I’m placing my bet a shift on the time-space continuum had something to do with the anomaly.)
Apparently, our female lead, Yoon So-ah (Shin Se-kyung), was born to serve the Water God. Or at least, that is how Ha Baek called her several times during the pilot episode. I was wrong to judge So-ah based only on the teasers because she turned out to be a very relatable character in my opinion. She’s a psychiatrist who struggles with financial woes that I assumed was not her doing. She seems to be a realist who believes money can solve her problems. She’s exhausted with her life and all she wanted is to rest and be happy. Who doesn’t want that really? Now that I already empathize with her, the only thing left is a reason to root for her.
Hoo Ye (Im Joo-hwan) has also appeared in the first episode. There was little details to what kind of second lead this resort CEO would be. He is really exuding a creepy aura that I’m predicting he’ll go down to the greedy second lead path. Or maybe it is just remnants from the psycho police officer role he played in Oh My Ghostess. But anyway, Joo-hwan will surely bring his acting chops in this series.
I’m usually disappointed when my beloved literary works were ruined by bad TV or movie adaptations. So, I think it’s good that I haven’t yet read the manwha version of this series (thanks to my very long TBR list and lack of time). I also understand the frustration of manwha fans on the big changes introduced in the TV version. But let’s treat this series as a separate entity. For someone, who doesn’t know the original story, the Bride of the Water God is off to a good start. It successfully created intrigue on the worlds yet to be explored and mystery to characters not yet fully introduced. I now look forward meeting new gods and goddesses and witness water god’s attempts to adapt in the human world.