What makes The King's Affection stand out is it's more than just a love story of a wronged princess turned prince and ultimately King. It's about a little girl who had no control over her life, nor the adversity that came with, but despite the odds against her courageously and steadfastly faced of it and them to right the wrongs and do the right thing in the face of unspeakable wretchedness. What hell it must've been for a sacred little girl to be thrust into the lion's den, yet come out of it stronger and more wholesome than those who thrust her in it.
It is amazing how some people can deceive themselves to believe their actions are justified when they know it isn't. I don't think I will ever get over how easy it was in the Joeson era to commit atrocities in the name of obeying orders. It explains why Ji-un's father feels no empathy or guilt. He's fooled himself to believe his actions are righteous. I was surprised at Ji-un's reaction to the princess' truth. I thought he would be exhilarated, but I appreciated how quickly he understood the severity of the situation and the burden the princess carried. At that moment, I liked him more than I ever had throughout this series. But freedom is never free, just as the princess thought she could live her life. Her demon grandfather takes it away, and eliminates his enemies all in one stroke, and the princess is back to his hell.
That neither the demon grandfather, the queen, nor her father recognized nor cared how their greed and desire for power destroyed their children is shameful. The princess may have lived her life believing being a female was her greatest weakness, but ironically it's her greatest weapon over her demon grandfather, she simply doesn't realize it yet. All the grandfather ever wanted was a puppet crown prince of his own blood. That is why it was always Lee Hwi. He had to be selected crown prince and ultimately King, for him to have the ultimate ruling power he's sought all this time. He's been planning for the day the crown prince was enthroned King. He's done way too many things for him to back away, nothing was going to stop him.
Ironically, it's his own greed that will be his undoing in the end. In his bid to ensure things went to his planning, he mistakenly kills the one thing he so desperately wanted, and the person he enthroned can never be true King. He finds out now, the princess and everyone she cares about is as good as dead. But she becomes King, rally his enemies against him, and she has royal court power. But more importantly, she has her super power in Lee Hyun and his brother (I have a feeling he will side with the King, since he hates the grandfather more than he did the crown prince), Ji-un, Ga On, Yoon, and all her father's allies. Even with all that, she still has her secret card, which I hope she will use to full effect at the right moment. Either way, the demon grandfather loses, and that is her ultimate power. The only person I truly pity in this drama is Noh Ha Kyung as Queen. All she did was fall in love with the wrong person, and for it she will have nothing but suffering.
I felt for our princess just as she imagined things couldn't get any worse with her dethronement, it does her father, who finally confessed his love for her, is killed. But death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of her as she desperately tries to live her life. But the beauty of things is that she doesn't let what is inside her die, not as a child plucked from her mother's bosom, nor as a slave or princess who had to live as a prince simply to survive. Nothing lasts forever, not the good times, but certainly also not the troubled ones, and just as she believes it cannot get better, it will. Her enthronement is definitely the start of those better days to come despite it not seeming like it may be. As King, our princess made an even formidable persona than she was as crown prince and I cannot wait to see how our King gets one over the demon grandfather.
The moment Ji-un's father realizes that the person he helped enthrone as King is actually the princess he was supposed to have killed, is fate's way of saying no vile deed ever goes unpunished. Evil's deed has a way of coming back to haunt it, and I cannot wait to see how Ji-un's father handles this new revelation. Watch episodes 13 & 14 here.