This drama brings out the best in Siwan, Yoona, and Jong-hyun as actors. Both Siwan and Yoona previously faced criticisms for being just visuals with lackluster acting skills, but I am confident that after The King Loves, they will gain the credit of being rightful leads in their own rights. I already put my trust in model-turned-actor Hong Jong-hyun after seeing him as the very convincing villain in Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and this drama only proved that he can also nail the leading man material.
This drama gives me so much Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo vibe. I see Wang Wook (Kang Ha-neul) in Wang Rin (Hong Jong-hyun). Both characters are in love with the heroine, did everything to save them, even sacrificing family. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Won (Im Siwan) and Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon-gi) are very much alike in terms of protecting the ones they love. They are ready to defy everyone, use whatever means they have in order to get what they want. We all know what happened in Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and I honestly do not want to take that path and undergo that pain again.
I liked how the story did not dwell much on the revelation that San was the Minister of Finance’s daughter. Won realizes that he was the only one who does not know about this and chastises Rin for not telling him early on. But when Rin told him that her queen mother knew about San’s secret too, Won quickly changed his mood and switch from anger to anxiety real quick. His trust on Rin is immeasurable. He was crazy mad while thinking that Rin and San deceived him, but just one word from Rin, his anger defuses and turns into concern for his friends.
- I NEED POWER
The harsh reality of living in a politically infested environment has finally hit our hero. After knowing that San was to be sent to Yuan as the new tribute, he realizes that he needs power in order to protect the ones he love. He may be revered in Goryeo as the grandson of the powerful Yuan emperor, but he is still bound by the powers of his royal father. He needs to be the powerful wolfdog to protect those he does not want to lose. He hate his parents, but cannot do anything because he is powerless. The people surrounding him try to protect him, but it made the situation even worse for him.
I love Won for asking Rin’s loyalty despite the uncertainty. He asked Rin to be his pillar once he get his power. He was Rin to still guide whenever he gets lost in the right path. He hopes Rin will be by his side to protect every one they care for.
Won’s father King Chungnyeol’s incompetence reached the sky in this hour. He is afraid of his own son’s capability of stealing the crown, and his own wife Princess Wonseung is a living proof that Goryeo is still under the mercy of Yuan.
I believe that Princess Wonseung is still a mother after all, especially after hearing her own son call him “mother” for the first time since he became crown prince. It breaks my heart to see the stained relationship of Won with his mother just because they are both struggling to survive in a foreign land. I just hope Wonseung will side with Won from now on, no matter what.
- THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE I LOVE
I don’t know what to feel anymore. I am on the RinSan ship (it has not sailed yet) but I am in the process of accepting that the heroine will eventually end up with the Crown Prince. But when San told Won about “liking someone else,” I was shook. I hope this is not just a mere wordplay to try to convince Won to choose Dan over her. It has to mean something else, right?
I almost cried when the Eun household’s trusted butler looked for Rin to asked for help in securing the land titles and properties of San’s family. Apparently, San told the butler to look for Rin in dire situations. He was the first person in her mind when she is in need.
San and Princess Wonseung’s conversation while she was still held captive was also a heartbreaking one for our hero. As a mother, Princess Wonseung only wants what is best for her son, and that includes his happiness. She may not root for San as the crown princess, but I felt the disappointment when she heard for herself that San only sees Won as her “friend forever.” Wow, girl. Taking the friend zone to the royal level!
- DON’T CROSS THE LINE
Song-in (Oh Min-suk) tested my limits in this episode. San tried to make a deal with him in order to protect her father while she is away. But Song-in’s greed took over and the negotiations failed. But that’s not all. Another appalling scene was Boo-yong/Moo-bi’s (Choo Soo-hyun) blinded love for Song-in that made her buried deep in the pit of obsession. She was ready to do everything for Song-in’s plan to succeed.
- SHE IS A WALKING WINDFALL
San’s father Minister of Finance Young-baek (Lee Ki-young) already had all of his fortune transferred under San’s name. He was gearing up for war, and he was ready for it. Whatever happens now, he knows that San will stay alive because his properties are now hers. Unless they will get the land titles and documents, San is the true richest oligarch in Goryeo.
- LET GO OF HER!
Won finally had the courage to stand up against his cruel father! When San and Rin was caught by the palace guards (thanks to the eunuch traitor who led them to their trap), Won appeared out of nowhere and blocked them. It took Won 10 hours to defy his father, I can wait for another 10 more to see him sit on that throne.
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 17-18
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episode 15-16
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 13-14
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 11-12
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 9-10
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 7-8
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 5-6
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 3-4
<< K-Drama Reaction: The King Loves | Episodes 1-2