Monday, January 28, 2013

Discussion between guadi and Hanjae Pt. 2

by Hanjae

@guadi, I agree on your analysis of Eun Soo's thoughts and motivations in that scene. Her written messages to him conveyed her thoughts about remaining with him in Goryeo quite plainly, although she knows that there are too many problems preventing her from making that decision so easily - she says as much in the later back hug scene.

Regarding Choi Young, his intention was not to cite the date of the portal's opening right when she was testing the waters, of course. Although he might have understood that there was something more subtle lying behind her seemingly simple words of comfort, I doubt he recognized their true meaning. His mind at that point thought only to keep her safe where he failed to keep his Wudalchi safe, and his words expressed his decision. I also don't think he was in a hurry to push her through the door, per say. Rather, "as soon as possible" referred to his wish to get her out of immediate danger within the palace to the vicinity of the portal, where she can return home when it opens. He's mentioned many times throughout the course of the drama that he had thought about either installing her near the portal or taking her there and staying with her until it opens; he seems to connect the portal to safety for Eun Soo, so it makes sense that his struggles over his ability to protect everyone adequately would lead him to choose what he believes to be the safest option for her. I think, however, this decision in Episode 18 carries far more urgency than it did in Episode 17. The order of events may not have strictly changed, true - he is still planning to spend time with her before the portal opens and he fulfills his promise to send her home. However, asking her to stay by his side in Episode 17 conveyed the idea of being with him while he conducts the duties of a general, whether within the palace or outside of it. In Episode 18, it is rephrased to him "leaving" with her, rather than her "staying" with him. There is a subtle difference that shows his change of perspective.

As for Young's selfishness - well, yes. Human beings are selfish. Young's life of selflessness may have been commendable, but it essentially robbed him of any free agency, and while it is a pretty idea, it would be unreasonable to demand a man to spend his entire life in dedication to honor and duty without a single thought for his own well-being. It is true that life in that period was different and that his duty and honor demanded that he obey the king's every command and dedicate his life to the king's service, but Young had truly gone above and beyond the call of duty. With every king, new demands were placed upon him to the point where he had not done anything but follow royal commands for the last seven years. Even when his master and Mae Hee were killed due to Chunghye's foolishness, he continued to serve dutifully. One has to remember that he nearly gave his life many times while following Gongmin's commands - Gongmin acknowledges this later himself. Because Gongmin wanted to win the army, the scholars and reduce the bloodshed, the entirety of the burden fell to Young. It was his hands that became stained with blood and it was his life that was constantly at stake. As much as Gongmin has offered Young, Young has offered more. He's saved the king and queen's lives countless times, protected the palace with his life and obeyed Gongmin's wishes no matter how unreasonable they had seemed, including allowing Ki Chul and Deok Heung to essentially go scott-free for the sake of political diplomacy. Young had also entreated Gongmin many times to keep Eun Soo safe, to allow him to balance both duty to nation and to heart, but Gongmin's actions had often deliberately or inadvertently placed Eun Soo in danger. In reality, what Gongmin had done is one of the main reasons why Young was forced to make such a difficult choice. I honestly believe that Young owed Gongmin nothing, and Gongmin's own words to Noguk suggests that he realizes this as well. Gongmin may have had a positive effect on Young by giving him a goal, but you could apply the exact same logic to Eun Soo - she had just as much of an effect, if not more, on his reawakening.

1 comment:

  1. Re CY's selfishness when he told GM that ES has always been first.

    Personally I don't think CY was selfish at all. I commend him for being truthful. CY was beating himself over the head for the loss of his men thinking that his decision to stay and prevent ES from marrying DH was the cause of the Wudalchi sacrifices. CY is not responsible for their deaths given the fact that in wars deaths are inevitable. He can not prevent these deaths and he himself one person cannot protect everyone and be at two places.
    He told GM that ES was first because he can trust his men to follow his orders and protect the King and Queen however, he (in his mind and heart) cannot trust anyone to protect ES. In essence, he will not be at peace if he was not there when ES is in danger and he recognised this. So when he said ES was first what he meant was in his heart he needed to be where ES was. There is no point in him being by the King's side when his heart is not there. He will not be able to fulfil his role to the fullest regardless.
    Even when CY had chosen to stay and save ES he still fulfilled his role as the Wudalchi leader. He made sure there was a back-up plan.
    In fact from memory I don't think that CY did put ES first all the time, he would normally weigh up the options before making a decision. When ES was poisoned he bluffed DH into giving him the antidote and at that time he rushed off to save the King and Queen.
    In my view CY was not a selfish man and even if he was I think he was entitled to this selfishness at least when he chose to stop the impending wedding rather than run off to save GM.
    I think GM was more selfish than CY. Yes, as King he should put his country first. If he had to sacrifice one person in order to keep his nation safe then he would not hesitate to do it. GM has let CY down many times with his decisions which ended up putting ES in danger. CY in his decision to put ES first still ensured that GM and NG had adequate assistance. GM even threw away his throne without hesitation in order to save NG, so really is Goryeo more important to GM than NG? I think the answer is No. He may use the excuse that what he is doing is the best for Goryeo we see that when it comes to things closer to his heart, Goryeo was not first.