Monday, March 25, 2013

Episode 22 Discussion of the Chinese Expression "無可奈何"

by Hanjae

A few days ago sia3 and I were discussing the Chinese expression "無可奈何", which roughly means to have no choice or to be resigned, and how well it described Young's entire demeanor in this scene.

In fact, this scene perfectly encapsulates Young's lonely journey as a warrior and the reason why his resolve is so badly shaken. As we have seen so many times, Young finds himself standing alone against seemingly insurmountable odds - though it is not the odds that give him pause, but the knowledge that there is a never-ending flow of enemies whose blood he must shed. One after another, the bodies pile around him and their blood stain his hands, his armour, his face. As he loses count of how many lives he had ended, the faces of his enemies blur in front of him and the only thing he can see is the hideous amount of blood that has been spilt - a sea of red. His increasing disillusionment in what he is forced to do as a warrior is evident in the later scene where Young shows Eun Soo his sword and admits that he is only able to slay the innocent pawns of evildoers rather than the evildoers themselves.

It seems Eun Soo is the only one (or one of very few) who understands immediately that it isn't simply about the danger that Young faces, but about the pain it causes him to shed so much blood - even as Daeman tries to assure her that Daejang is strong enough to fight them off, her mind goes immediately to what it must have been like, for "that person has always lived like this."

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