Monday, March 11, 2013

Son Yoo

by Hanjae


I always did wonder why on earth they bothered to show Son Yoo holding the pocket watch if they weren't going to discuss it. I guess it was another one of those things that they originally intended to expand upon but had no time - in this case, that it's possible Eun Soo was not the only time traveller, but Son Yoo was also one as well. Whether he was a time traveller or not, Son Yoo is an eternal puzzle to me. From the beginning he had spoken of his divided loyalties between Goryeo and Yuan and genuinely seemed to hope that Gongmin would avoid Goryeo bloodshed and a subsequent takeover by ceding to Yuan's demands. His hesitation over deciding between Gongmin and Deok Heung further suggested that he still felt ties to Goryeo... and yet in Episode 22 he stated to Ki Chul that he had long since lost faith in Goryeo as a nation and now acted on behalf of Yuan's best interests. He also spoke threateningly of "taming" Gongmin by removing Choi Young, thereby ridding Yuan of its Goryeo threat.

Was he simply an extremely good actor in front of Gongmin and successfully masked his motives, or was he truly a man torn between a faint remnant of loyalty to Goryeo even as he carried out his duty for Yuan? If it is the latter, then the question that begs an answer is why he eventually chose Deok Heung over Gongmin. In every way, Deok Heung's answers confirmed Son Yoo's belief that there was no longer hope for a free Goryeo while such greedy and self-serving men remained in power, and despite stating that he is pleased with the answers, Son Yoo appeared to betray subtle disappointment that his fears have been thus proven. So what made him decide against Gongmin, who was Goryeo's best hope of freedom? Wasn't Gongmin proof that there are those in power who have Goryeo's best interests at heart?

The most logical answer that I can come up with is that Son Yoo is a man so jaded after many years in the service of Yuan that he does not believe in fighting battles that have little chance of being won. That is implied by his suggestion to Eun Soo that the best path of action is to maintain the peace by observing from the sidelines rather than interfering. Presumably as a result of his experiences, he prefers to remain in stasis out of fear of inviting negative consequences with his actions. Therefore, when Gongmin refuses to take the "safer" option of submitting to Yuan, Son Yoo chooses Deok Heung even if it meant the end of Goryeo, because it was the option that he believed would invite the least risk.

Sia to Hanjae
I am beginning to think that the Yuan Envoy is not from the future. If he is, he should be pushing for the real history to happen and not preventing it. Even though he possessed the pocket watch, does not mean he is from the future. There is also a scenario that he might be raised by someone who was from the future and told him all about it. It seems more plausible and that he is unsure of his actions hence he thread really carefully when it comes to dealing with GM and CY. He's not a bad guy, he probably just wants to make sure he ensures the future will happen as he was told of it?

Hanjae to Sia
Yes, it could be his grandfather or some other similar figure who was a time traveller, particularly since they were the ones who wrote down Eun Soo's message in hangul. Alternatively, since the time travel aspect in Faith is so unpredictable, the other possibility is that Son Yoo had already lived through another version of history that was not changed by the arrival of Eun Soo - or at least not changed to the point where she saved Yi Seong Gye and inadvertently set events on the path to the end of the Goryeo dynasty. That would fit in with his not-so-subtle warnings to Eun Soo about whether she had already saved someone that she should not have, and his subsequent warning to Choi Young not to keep Eun Soo by his side.

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