There is so much to like about the story of The King's Affection and its characters. I enjoy Ji-un as a character, honest, uncompromising, compassionate, but there is just something about Lee Hyun that makes me gravitate towards him. I knew, he knew about the princess. It was so obvious from everything he does when he's around her, it makes me fall for him over and over again that he's kept that secret for so long, especially in a place like the palace. He's brave, loyal, and willing to kill to protect her and her secret from those who mean her harm, even her family.
How I would've loved it if the princess had fallen for him, but the heart does what the heart wants. I just hope he, Ji-un, and the princess always remain friends. I would hate to see their beautiful synergy disrupted, especially him and Ji-un. That the princess has already fallen for Ji-un, even if she doesn't know it yet, is beyond clear, and that he feels a pull out of his control to her is also obvious.
I appreciate why Yeon Seon is falling for Ji-un. He is so different, carefree, direct and intuitive, a total opposite of what she's been told to be all her life. Someone who is not afraid to speak up when necessary to let her know that striving for continuous improvement instead of perfection is what makes her imperfectly perfect. I like that he is that buffer between her and those who demand so much from her with such little affection, in return. Seeing them together almost makes one forget the turmoil that is the palace and the royal family. One the princess in her hidden identity can never forget.
There is potential for so much anxiousness, if not trouble, to the princess, and maintaining her identity -- a quadrangle between her, Ji-un, Lee Hyun and Noh Ha Kyung (Jung Chae Yeon), and not to mention Shin So Eun (Bae Yoon Kyung) and Ji-un, and to add to it the mystery of Kim Ga On, her devil of a grandfather, Ji-un's evil of a father, her demented uncle, Prince Chang Woon (Kim Seo Ha) -- so much waiting to go wrong so many competing affections and entanglement all spelling disaster for the princess. I detest that she has had to live in fear of her life from the people closest to her for so long, but knowing and eventually trusting she is not alone will probably make it all worthwhile.
I had been thinking about this mysterious person killing noblemen. At first, I thought it was connected to either the Grandfather or the Grand Queen Dowager ( Lee Il Hwa), who are entangled in competing interests towards the Crown Prince and the throne itself, but then I figured it could be the working of King Ye Jong or maybe the new Queen.
himself. But to find out that someone avenging the wrongful death of preceptor (Lee Seo Hwan) ten years ago makes total sense. It potentially clears up the mystery around Kim Ga On if he is involved, but I doubt he is; he seems genuine in his guardship of the Crown Prince, same as Royal Guard Yoon Hyung Chul, the late Queens warrior guard (Kim Jae Chul).
I love how emotionally entangled the Crown Prince/Princess and Ji-un already are, but the princess needs to get a hold of herself, or her identity will be ousted before the end of the week. The way she pushed him away as Kim Ga On ran towards them was hilarious. I reckon what I love most about the dynamic between the prince and Ji-un is that he isn't able to control how he feels in her presence, even though he doesn't know she's not a "he". It's like they say, love is not if or because. Love is anyway, and even though and in spite of -- it doesn't differentiate, it simply knows. The best moment was when Ji-un realized oh, my God, I like him. Love isn't something you plan, it just happens.
I guess the real fight, both physical and psychological, is only now beginning. I cringe to know how much worse it will get and how many relationships will be ruined for it. I had been racking my brain to understand how Shin So Eun fits within the royal structure. I realized her father may be important, but didn't expect him to be the Minister of Personnel. It's all starting to make sense now why he wants to get rid of Ji-un. He doesn't want his daughter falling for him anymore than she already does, but it's also an opportunity to challenge the authority of the Left State Councilor -- now this is what we call a cold war. Nothing about the royal family or the palace is royal. As much as I hate to admit it, the Left State Councilor spoke the truth when he described the palace as a mud fighting pit.
Lee Hyun may have stolen my heart, but Ji-un's courage in the face of injustice has my all. And I can't even express how the power within the crown princess when she decides to exercise makes me feel -- Park Eun Bin is brilliant in this role. I felt Ji-un's anguish at his father's inability to understand that acknowledgment and respect are never earned in the taking of a human life. When Ji-un asked his father how much more could he possibly disappoint him, along with when he threatened to take his own life if his father didn't release his friends, are the most defining moments in affirming my appreciation for Ji-un as a man.
As for Seon Yeon, she's like a volcano simmering with hate, fear, dread, and most of all an ager waiting to erupt in the face of those who wronged her the most, and erupt she will. It's simply a matter of time. What I like most about Seon Yeon is that despite the crippling fear and pretense she's had to live with, she didn't let it change the core of who she's always been, virtuous and brave, and the best part is Ji-un had a lot to do with her becoming that person. Watch episodes 15 & 16 here.