The King's Affection -- Episodes 7 & 8: Ready to Fight: Protecting The Ones You Love
As usual, this drama delivers. I love that the crown princess is realizing her power, but not solely that exercising it too. The way she used the King's own words against him to get Ji-un out of trouble was satisfyingly brilliant.
But what was even more satisfying to watch was Ji-un's reaction after, and of course the princess' jealousy when she saw him with Shin So Eun. Talented actors make the audience forget they're acting, and one way they do that is by reacting thoroughly to everything and everyone within their make-believe world, so that they look like they are the role, and that is Park Eun Bin as the crown prince, to the extent that I don't remember she isn't a he". A thousand and one kudos to her brilliance.
For a while now, I've been curious about what made the King fall out of care for the princess, well, the prince. It's tragic to see him deflect his inability to stand up to the grandfather on her, but at the same time I can appreciate how relationships and alliances were core during those times where trust and even loyalty in the palace is nonexistent.
From the moment I laid eyes on the Envoy from the Ming Dynasty, I knew he was trouble. And to know he harbored ill-intent towards Joeson as a whole for being sold to the Ming as slave spelled trouble. He seemed like he was dying for a fight. His flashback gives a little more insight into him and his troubled life. That said though, regardless of how much he hated Joeson and it's people to disrespect the King, the way he did was uncalled for, and them, the King, and even the vicious grandfather to let him do it was even worse. The crown princess stepping up to end his disrespect was awing to watch, but what was even more awing was Ji-un realizing the situation and coming to her aide.
I knew things would come to a head with the envoy, but I didn't realize the extent of it. All I could say when I watched the princess pounce of the envoy after having violated court lady Kim, her oldest and most trusted aide was yes, yes, yes she did what even the King didn't have the guts to do. I loved how she let the psycho have it. I understand how the Ming Dynasty must've been revived at that time, but to let anyone I don't care how powerful they may be disrespecting one's own sovereignty and still want to do business with them and expect to be respected is even more despicable than what that psycho did. And as horrified as she appeared, as brave for letting the envoy and everyone else know she was no longer letting anyone push and prod at her.
The saying that words have the power to make you or break you is so true, but so do actions. The proof is how the King made the princess feel versus how Ji-un did, but also how the princess acted towards the Chief Eunuch. Only someone who had been through what he had could understand. Yes, what happened to him as a child was atrocious. It explained his action, but like the princess said, it doesn't excuse it. Lee Hyun's sting operation may have started as a means to stop the Chief Eunuch's dangerous behavior, but it surely ended as the catalyst that helped him and the crown princess find something to appreciate in each other. In that sense, I am glad the Chief Eunuch found some comfort in the princess' sincerity. As they say, sincerity makes the meanest person more valuable than the most talented hypocrite.
More than all that though, the power of the princess is not merely in her title, but those around her willing to lay their lives for her, everyone from Kim Ga On, Court Lady Kim, Eunuch Hong to Ji-un, and especially Lee Hyun. I know I am biased to him, but boy does this man continue to impress. Some call him obsessive. I say he's merely protecting the person he cares for the most, especially knowing what he only knows. I hate knowing how much what will unfold in the upcoming episodes that will hurt Lee Hyun to the core I just hope it doesn't turn him bitter. I would hate to lose the person I have come to love in him.
Ji-un not being able to control how he feels or even actions towards the prince, kiss and all despite everything is one of the best parts of this drama. The inexplicable attraction between the prince and Ji-un will only continue to grow from here on, but things are about to get complicated, between the prince/princess and Ji-un, not to forget Lee Hyun, or Shin So Eun and Ji-un, as well as newcomer Noh Ha Kyungand and the prince/princess. I cannot wait to see how everybody navigates through them. Watch episodes 7 & 8 here.