⚠️ ultimate spoiler alert ⚠️
If there’s one thing you need to know about the Scarlet Heart Ryeo is it will tear you apart. It will leave you shattered in pieces you may think you will never be fixed. I still have that heavy feeling in my chest even after finishing it a couple of days back. I don’t think I’d recover anytime soon!
What’s more devastating than the ending itself is the fact that you can’t hate the characters for doing what they did. Their actions and decisions are all based on a logical reason, if not emotional.
I’d really love to prove a point by dissecting each characters’ personality—especially the princes.
I suggest you watch the series before you read this (if you’re ever planning to). Just so you won’t get lost with the characters and so you can understand more what they’ve been through.
14th Prince, Wang Jung
The prince with the biggest heart. He loved without expecting anything in return. Sure, he may not have that much dilemma in the story, but he has gone through one of the most tragic.
Jung lives with a free soul. He spends time out of the palace, dress in common clothes, doing street fights.
You could say that Jung was born under the lucky star as he is loved dearly by his mother. But, it has its toll.
This street fight hobby of Jung brought his life at stake. In Episode 4, he was dragged into the bamboo forest by a group of men he used to fight within the market. One taker claimed that when he defeated Jung once, his Mother sent someone to cut his arm off. So, this was like an act of revenge for Jung. He wasn’t aware of the fact. He was no match against the number of men after him but Hae Soo came to his rescue. This cute little bean!
It gave them enough time until Wook and So came to help. This is where Jung started to get fond of Hae Soo. He even called her nooeui (an archaic term for noona). Ha! Little did we know yet.
There were only tids and bits of interaction between the two as the episodes go by because we all know who should end up with who. But I think their relationship has been established well in these few scenes.
And you know how much Jung cares for Hae Soo when he led Wook to Gyobang where Soo is working as a water maid. Wook claimed that he didn’t recognize the path and asked Jung: “Were you trying to show her to me?” That gave him away. That led me to the conclusion that he was really checking on Hae Soo.
It was then confirmed on Episode 15 when he was working with Soon Deok. He offered Hae Soo’s hairpin to her and the girl wondered if it is owned by the woman he loves. He admitted that it was from a girl who risked her life for him (flashing back the Bamboo forest scene) and that he fell in love with her the moment Hae Soo sang on Eun’s birthday. I thought his feelings may just have been affected by the fact that he is indebted to Hae Soo for saving him, but I guess not. It looks deeper than that.
Isn’t he adorable?
Then after two years of protecting the borders, Jung went back to the palace. Being a little distant, I must say. Well, after all, that has happened in the palace, who wouldn’t be? But despite the fact that he is now indifferent towards everyone, he still has a thing for Hae Soo. He assured her that if she ever wants to leave, he’ll be there to get her out.
Tell me whenever you get tired of this place. If you really want to leave, I do have a way out.
It didn’t occur to me that Hae Soo would really want to leave. That’s how twisted this story is. What made me more shocked is the fact that Jung has a decree from the late king, Wang Yo, allowing him to marry Hae Soo. Well planned ahead! That’s how much he’s been thinking of saving Hae Soo! You will hear lots of characters here saying they will “wait” but among all of them, only Jung waited so willingly, without any grudge.
So they got married. Jung became a good husband and friend to Hae Soo.
Even though we all know, even though he knows that she still loves Wang So.
He was there when Hae Soo was sick and dying. He stayed by her side no matter what. He was there until her last breath. You may think he’s blessed to spend the time of his life with the woman he loves, but I think not. It was one-sided. Nothing hurts more than unrequited love.
What’s more devastating is that he couldn’t keep Hae Soo’s remains.
No, I am not crying. You are. T_T and now he has to live with Hae Soo’s daughter. At least, he got to keep a part of her, right? BUT STILL, WHO IS CRYING 😭😭
13th Prince, Baek Ah
I must admit that I only watched Scarlet Heart Ryeo because of Nam Joo Hyuk! I LOVE JEONG JOON HYUNG SO MUCH! BUT ANYWAY, I think he did a great job here too. I will refer to him as the prince filled with arts.
In the very first episode, we have learned how Baek Ah was the one who is “lucky with the ladies”. I’d like to protest! I don’t think so with all the heartaches he has to go through in this series!
LIES. LIES. LIES. THEN WHAT IS THIS?
His feelings for Lady Hae. He admitted it himself. But, she’s married to his brother, Wang Wook. I find it amusing though that Baek Ah’s name is also Wook but he has to go by Baek Ah since the 8th Prince was born first before him. Okay. That’s a fun fact, isn’t it?
AND THIS? Just when we all thought he’s gonna get his happy ending! I didn’t see that coming. Did you? I ache for him so much! ㅠㅠㅠㅠ
But yes, he is an art himself. He played instruments and he knows how to draw. He has an art of pulling people together. He’s like this pillar standing in grandeur, someone to lean on, especially for the people he loves.
He is a considerate brother. Remember the scene in Episode 7 where Eun asked So to show his scar? Baek Ah didn’t look at him. So asked him why and he said that he thought So wouldn’t like it. AAAAAH BAEK AAAAAAAAH!
He is also a compassionate brother. He looks after Jung very well.
He is a lover and a loyal son. Imagine the horror he felt when the one he loves aimed to take his father’s life! He didn’t want the King to die and he knows Woo Hee will be in great peril when she killed Taejo so he turned into a shield for both. Not everyone has the courage to sacrifice his life. AAAAAAAHHHH BAEK AAAAAAAH!
He is a very good friend.. (I’m glad that he and Hae Soo got in good terms after Lady Hae died. I remember when Baek Ah did get mad at Hae Soo for falling for Wook. He felt that much for Lady Hae. He doesn’t want her to get her.)
..and your eternal companion.
He is this art that you can keep through time.
10th Prince, Wang Eun
It’s still hard to grasp the fact that the 10th Prince acts more like a kid and mischievous than the two princes younger than him. But I think Baekhyun fits the character just right. I’d refer to him as the genuine prince.
Despite the fact that he causes trouble or avoids all seriousness in that matter, we get his thoughts first hand—without any filter. He is very honest with his actions and words that sometimes he can be very blunt.
Regardless, he is very funny. Obviously, gender equality wasn’t even a thing at that time but he sure does treat Hae Soo as his equal that he wrestled with her. 😂
He is very cute. You can’t fight me on this one.
Especially in this scene on Episode 5! I STILL CRACK UP WHENEVER I REMEMBER THIS!
I WILL PRINT IT ON A SHIRT ONE OF THESE DAYS! And who could forget his birthday??
But someone can’t be truly happy, right? There will come a time when we have to deal with shits. I cried with him here. How can someone so cheeky feel something like this?
And how did we end up from dancing-in-the-rain-happy to being drenched in tears?
I remember in Episode 8 during the rain ritual in Goryeo, Eun didn’t want his name to be put in the pot that will determine who among the prices will do the ceremony. As much as possible, he turns away from responsibilities. You may think he lacks the character of a prince but he has a kind and brave heart. That’s what makes him a good prince of Songak.
We all know what will happen to him as the previous episodes already showed the history through Hae Soo’s vision but like I said on my Instagram post: “knowing how it will end, doesn’t make it less painful.”
Both Eun and Seon Deok deserve more.
THEY FREAKING DESERVE SO MUCH MORE. MY HEART CAN’T TAKE THIS!
IF THAT ISN’T TRUE LOVE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS. I’m just glad that Eun got to see Deok’s worth and they had a chance to be happy together while loving each other immensely.
I tried to relieve myself by thinking that at least they are both now in Heaven (?); that they both stayed true to their vows (if that’s already a thing in that era) like “until death do us part.”
9th Prince, Wang Won
I didn’t feel his presence that much or his purpose in the story at the beginning. But when his real identity was revealed later on in the series, I was shocked.
I will refer to him as the believer. I didn’t realize that in the first few episodes. He was so coy you wouldn’t think he can really be a danger. He even gets along with his brothers.
Also, he can be funny at times! I couldn’t forget this scene where Eun and Hae Soo got into a fight. Make up your mind, Won.
I don’t really quite remember his scenes. Maybe because it wasn’t really meant to focus on him that much. Did they even show his background or something? Anyway, later on Episode 17, we saw that he is somehow connected to Chae Ryung (Hae Soo’s servant from the very start). Though, it wasn’t clear yet what their relationship is.
When we get to Episode 18, we all found out the truth through Chae Ryung’s letter after she died. I didn’t see that coming too! I swear this story is so twisted! I can’t just wrap my mind around it.
Won then made Chae Ryung as his servant in his hometown. He and Wook were the ones who sent her to Damiwon to be their spy on Hae Soo later on. We get more details of their relationship in Episode 20, but I really can’t tell if he loved Chae Ryung the same way she did love him.
After he has read the letter, he was in tears. Maybe he did love Chae Ryung somehow. In his own way. He wouldn’t keep her and promise her that he’ll take her out of the palace if he doesn’t feel anything for her, right?
I guess he once believed that too. He thought by supporting Wang Yo and Wook, there will be a better future for him and his people. He believed in them and stayed loyal to them. I never once saw that he sided with Wang So, though. I would think that he has such a strong sense of fidelity but then he threw away Wook in the end, didn’t he?
But can you blame him? Just like everyone else, he just wanted to live. He believed he would. For a long time. If he didn’t admit that it was Wook all along, he’ll be dead. Ironic, he still got executed. That’s how fucked up it was!
Apologies! I have to cut it here because I feel like it’s already loooooong and it will be more lengthy once I start talking about So and Wook 😁😆 and I screenshot everything I feel so tired now 😂😂
Let me know what you think of these four princes! I am now in tears again. ㅠㅠ
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I hope my words reach you,
[Featured Image from Twitter]