Episode 9 tries to define the word affection more diversely. Although the drama is charming and light, the love story from all characters is bittersweet and complicated as we dive deeper into the Palace romance.
This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The King’s Affection season 1, episode 9 contains spoilers.
The Palace romance starts to rise. I would like to appreciate The King’s Affection for bringing a refreshing cross-dressing and Palace Romance drama. In the previous episode, we already witnessed the confused Ji-Woon due to the strange feeling he experiences every time he is with Lee Hwi. Also, the transformation of Lee Hwi as a crown prince. Right now, we’re about to experience deeper to the word “affection” itself. The series itself challenges to define the word affection in a more diverse way. Although the drama is charming and light, the love story from all of the characters is bittersweet and complicated.
The King’s Affection season 1, episode 9 recap
After the drunken night, The King’s Affection season 1, episode 9 begins with our adorable Ji-Woon having a feverish dream of Lee Hwi sweetly kissing him. While his lips are pouting, he wakes up seeing a cute cat starring at him instead. On the other side, Lee Hwi is facing a bittersweet moment thinking about the little peck Ji-Woon gave the other night. Both of them are starting to lose their sanity over one another. Ji-Woon hilariously blames the alcohol after remembering what happens when he’s drunk. He apologizes and seeks forgiveness from Lee Hwi. She awkwardly let his mistakes slide saying that it’s something worth laughing about. In return for his help, Hwi gives Ji-Woon a gift that makes dancing through the trees until he realizes that the other royal tutor also received the same gift. Well, we can all agree that Ji-Woon is not drunk in alcohol but drunk in love.
Meanwhile, as the conspiracy goes deeper in the Palace, so do Ji-Woon’s feelings towards Lee Hwi. Seok-Jo is having a secret meeting with great lord Changcheon in the middle of the night. They’re having a serious discussion about Lord Sangheon’s mission to strengthen and grow his armies in the North. Seok-Jo warns lord Changcheon to build his own army that stands against his and even declares his support. This also marks Seok-Jo’s betrayal from Lord Sangheon. Something big is about to happen.
While his father is having an intense mission, Ji-Woon is struggling to fight his feelings. He is having a rollercoaster of emotions which confuses Ji-Geum and Yeong-Ji. He tries to seek an understanding of what he’s been feeling. Yeong-Ji analyzes the symptom as the feeling of liking someone which leaves Ji-Woon stunned. But the next thing we know is that he’s having a sweet dream of Lee Hwi is kissing him again. This time in a more vivid way. He wakes up with his heart pounding erratically. After his feeling is starting to get out of control, Ji-Woon seeks advice from his colleagues by describing his symptoms. From heart-pounding erratically to sudden mood swings from excited to desperation. One of the royal tutors shouts confidently, “You’re lovesick!” which frustrates him even more. Things don’t stop there, he starts to hallucinate the women version of Lee Hwi passes over him when it’s in fact another lady.
Trying to find some inner peace, Ji-Woon goes to the library to read some books. But life doesn’t;t give him a chance to breathe because that’s when he meets the real Lee Hwi. He keeps on acting oddly which confuses Lee Hwi. Later, he asks if he enjoys the candies that she gives him. Ji-Woon nodded although he’s feeling disappointed that he is not the only one that receives the gift. Nevertheless, he is indeed the special one because Lee Hwi smiles after hearing that he enjoys it. Once again, Ji-Woon is enchanted by her smile and slaps himself with reality afterward. Poor baby. Can somebody just explain the whole situation to Ji-Woon already?
Crown Prince’s arranged marriage
Finally, a new character has entered the game. It’s Han-Gyeong, the daughter of the Minister of War. She turns out to be So-Eon’s friend. Both of the beautiful ladies are visiting the Palace because So-Eun needs to run some errands for her father. Their arrival to the Palace turns out to be the start of a new as the Queen Dowager sees them two ladies and is charmed by their beauty which triggers an idea in her brain. Meanwhile, while waiting for So-Eun, Han-Gyeong is having walking around the Palace and happens to be near Dami’s secret little garden. Being the clumsy girl she is, Han-Gyeong almost trips herself. Thankfully, Lee Hwi happens to pass by and hold her so she won’t fall. Of course, Hwi’s other intention is to protect her secret little garden. Lee Hwi asks her to not wander around the Palace alone and leaves. Meanwhile, Han-Gyeong is charmed by her. More ever, after realizing that Lee Hwi is the crown prince.
But as you know, things started to get more complicated as Queen Dowager suddenly arranges Lee Hwi’s for a Royal marriage. Her father refuses to give his blessing upon the Queen’s request due to the political matters and conspiracies that are happening within the Palace. Lord Sangheon already hears a glimpse of His Majesty’s plan, which includes putting Prince Jahyeon, the grand prince on the throne instead of Lee Hwi. Lord Sangheon opposes his rejection and puts him in a tight situation. We all know that he won’t back down from anyone that interfering with his plan on making Lee Hwi be the next King of Joseon. To be completely honest, The King’s Affection started to make me feel uneasy about all of the affection trials. While Lee Hwi is frustrated due to the arranged marriage and her identity as a woman, Han-Gyeong is manifesting herself to become the crown princess. On the other hand, Ji-Woon intervenes to protect So-Eun from getting slapped by no other than the bad-tempered Chang-Woon after she stood up for Jan-Yi, one of her closest court maids.
“Get a hold of yourself, Ji-Woon.”
Please let’s not forget another love victim, Hyun. After hearing about Lee Hwi’s arranged marriage, he’s greatly concerned about her future since Hyun is holding the secret of her real identity. “Have you ever loved someone?” asks Hyun. Another heart is about to break and the due date is near. Lee Hwi reminisces her first love, who is no other than his best friend, Ji-Woon, from the moment they fell into the pond; how she saves his life to the bond they share before the tragedy occurs. She claims how the brief memory she has with Ji-Woon is one of the memories she hasn’t been able to forget. We can all see the pain in Hyun’s eyes.
Meanwhile, to affirm his feeling, Ji-Woon bravely asks Lee Hwi to embrace him. Eunuch Hong is bewildered upon hearing his request. Ji-Woon states how he has been feeling like a mess lately. Lee Hwi looks at him with those tender eyes and embraces him. “I hope you find your strength,” says Lee Hwi. Please don’t forget that Lee Hwi is also feeling like a mess after the sudden arranged marriage situation, so she pretty much needs a hug, too. Day by day, Lee Hwi keeps walking towards the thin line due to her greatest secret. After the hug, Eunuch Hong is concerned about what may happen but Lee Hwi reassures that she’ll get rid of her feelings. She says, “I’m about to get married soon, should at least I’m allowed to do that?” This is one of the heartbreaking lines we hear from her. Imagine hiding your identity, your affection, trading everything for the life that you are not while facing the danger of losing everything in a blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, after hearing about Lee Hwi’s arranged wedding, Ji-Woon is having a breakdown over his feeling. The two awkwardly face each other during the tutor. He roughly congratulates Lee Hwi, with a smile while his eyes are showing the opposites. Ji-Woon sits down near the river trying to get a hold of himself and convinces that the arranged marriage won’t affect him. Hyun comes along. Trying to find some comfort, Ji-Woon is asking about Hyun’s one-sided love story and how he deals with it. With a bitter smile, Hyun tells how he chooses to keep his love a secret because he doesn’t want to put a distance between them. Ji-Woon is being all nosy by asking him to confess and all, Hyun teases him by pretending to push him to the water. Ji-Woon sulking asking why he does that knowing that he has a fear of water. That’s when Hyun starts to connect the dots that Lee Hwi’s first love is possibly Ji-Woon since both of them share a similar history at the pond. The ones who cannot swim and the ones who save.
After Hyun suddenly leaves him after remembering Dam-i’s written record, Ji-Woon realizes that he lost the dice Dam-i gives him. He goes back to their secret little garden to find them. That’s when the fragment of his dream comes to life. Upon finding the pair of the dices beneath the building, he remembers something very important. Lee Hwi kisses him on the lips. So it happens that the kiss is not a dream. “For a long time, I wondered the man you came to be,” she says to the sleeping Ji-Woon, as she steps closer and caresses his cheek while staring at him with a deep longing and heartbreaking one. After realizing what she did, she hurry up and leaves the sleeping Ji-Woon while one of the pairs of dice falls down beneath the building with the word, “Wait”.
Stunned by the truth, Ji-Woon comes to confront his feeling to Lee Hwi. Finally, after going halfway to the series, we’re hearing the words “affection” tonight spoken by our Ji-Woon. While holding the precious dice, Ji-Woon confesses his feeling. “I have a deep affection for you, Your Royal Highness,” says Ji-Woon. “…Even though you’re a man and the Crown Prince of this nation, I.. love you.”
…And that’s a wrap for the start of the tangled love story in Joseon.
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