The King’s Affection season 1, episode 12 recap – Lee Hwi’s secret revealed

November 16, 2021
Christina Geani 0
K-Drama, Netflix, Streaming Service, Weekly TV


It is one of the most heartfelt episodes for His Majesty and Lee Hwi, and with a series of unraveling secrets.

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It is one of the most heartfelt episodes for His Majesty and Lee Hwi, and with a series of unraveling secrets.

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The King’s Affection season 1, episode 12 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

This episode is one of the most arousing episodes of The King’s Affection. It portrays the meaning of affection, not just in a romantic way but also unravels the truth behind each of the characters’ secrets. The episode starts with His Majesty announcing his decision of dethroning Lee Hwi as the crown prince. Everything makes sense now about how Lee Hwi’s father is adamant about opposing her marriage and giving the throne to the grand prince instead of her. It’s all to protect his only daughter. It turns out, he knows it all along. Ever since the day his first wife, Lee Hwi’s mother, died and her last wish was for him to protect her. 

Lee Hwi asks His Majesty if he can turn back the time, will he make the same decision to kill her because she is born as a daughter, his only answer is, “Leave the Palace. Live your own life.” The sentences break her heart but also set Lee Hwi free, or should I say, Dam-i who has never had a chance to live her own life ever since she’s stepped her way into the Palace. That’s the only way for Dam-I to live. 

The King’s Affection season 1, episode 12 recap

Ji-Woon recklessly sneaks back to the Palace to meet Lee Hwi after hearing about her dethronement. He sees her standing in front of the mini gate that connects to their secret place and comes in. He follows her. The chimes ring as Ji-Woon steps nearer. Finally, the two of them see each other eye to eye as the memories of their first encounter to their last goodbye unfold. Lee Hwi gives off a heartbreaking smile which he returns with a hug. An emotional one. “I was wrong. I’ll never leave you alone again. Never.” says Ji-Woon. 

Lee Hwi asks him to leave due to the complicated situation but Ji-Woon adamantly wants to stay by her side. “I will protect you, Your Royal Highness,” declares Ji-Woon as his finger slowly touches the fragile Lee Hwi who is on the verge of breaking down. The next thing we know the two share a kiss full of longing. After the arousing moment, the two sit down by the secret building. Ji-Woon asking Lee Hwi to come with him to Onyang. He’s wanting to spend the rest of his life with her. Lee Hwi refuses. “I had a dream. A dream that I was in the distant future. When I woke up from it, my heart aches a bit,” says Lee Hwi, which refers to the identity that she hides. But she’s glad that Ji-Woon is still the same even when everything around her has started to shift. Lee Hwi asked him to go on the separate way for the sake of his happiness. This might also refer to her fear of the punishment she might receive for her disguise as the Crown Prince. Slowly, she let go of her hand with another tear streaming down her face and a bitter smile. 

The departure of Crown Prince

On the other side, Lord Sangheon is meeting Seok-Jo to confirm Lee Changheon’s whereabouts and the military tactic they’ll be using. He got a plan to keep while making sure that Lee Hwi will be escorted back into the Palace right after her departure to Ganyang. Meanwhile, Lee Hwi is having tea with her half-brother. He apologizes for taking her place as the Crown Prince. Lee Hwi confronts her feeling of inferiority to be the reason for pushing him away. For the first time, she calls him “Gyeom, you are my only brother.” Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the Palace. She intends to say goodbye for the last time to her father but he refuses to meet her. She goes for one last bow while His Majesty is contemplating in deep thought until Commander Yoon arrives. “All the preparation has been complete.”, reports Commander Yoon. He later asks Commander Yoon to protect his child. “Thank you for keeping my child’s secret all these years,” says His Majesty while looking at the throne as if he knows that the real battle is about to start. 

At the gate, Lee Hwi bids goodbye to all the Royal Ministers including Lord Sangheon. Hyun accompanies her departure as well, he volunteers himself to lead the procession to protect her. Meanwhile, Seok-Jo is leading their way while operating Lord Sangheon’s plan, and Hyun’s brother is looking at her departure with a victorious smile. In the middle of the journey, Lee Hwi stares at the flower trees where she notices that Ji-Woon has been putting all the red ribbon to follow and guide his way towards her. She uses one of the red ribbons at her hand and their eyes meet. She smiles at him tenderly. On his way, Ji-Woon notices something strange. But he is not the only one. Hyun suddenly asks everyone to stop and have a rest. Seok-Jo protests over him but it turns out Hyun and Commander Yoon are collaborating on escorting Lee Hwi under His Majesty’s order.

Meanwhile, Seok-Jo is chasing after Lee Hwi and Commander Yoon while aiming his arrow towards him. Before he could shoot them, Ji-Woon stops him with his sword. The father and son got into a duel together. Seok-Jo demands that Lee Hwi must come back to the Palace and end their fight to save Ji-Woon from being framed for abducting Lee Hwi.

“Please keep my child’s secret to every end,”

Lee Hwi read the letter that his father wrote for her. It is one of the most heartfelt moments in The King’s Affection that truly show his father’s affection towards Lee Hwi as his daughter. By the time she’s reading the letter, the Palace is ready for an uproar. He gives a woman’s dress for her to wear. A beautiful one. “You were the Crown Prince of Joseon and you were my only daughter. I just want you to live,” writes His Majesty. The sentences not only break Lee Hwi’s heart but also ours. 

Back in the Palace, Lord Sangheon and His Majesty come face to face. We all know where things are going after Lord Sangheon is saying, “May you stay healthy,” to His Majesty. Meanwhile, Seok-Jo is still searching for Lee Hwi. She’s already disguised herself with a woman’s clothing, Commander Yoon is by her side to protect her departure. Unfortunately, Seok-Jo notices the shoes that Lee Hwi is wearing and manages to follow them. Seok-Jo tells his soldier to search all the women’s faces in the boat and find the suspicious one. Commander Yoon insists they spare her life since Lee Hwi is already dethroned but Seok-Jo insists that he is doing it to save her life, too.

At the boat, one of the soldiers is asking Lee Hwi to show her face. Right about time, Ji-Woon comes to save his five-step prince by pretending to be her husband which puts the soldier in an awkward situation. It’s ironic how Ji-Woon still thinks that the woman he falls for is a man though. 

The ending

Another confession has been made. This time, it comes from Lee Hwi. She is about to confess her true identity to Ji-Woon. But you know, as Ariana Grande says… almost is never enough, right? Just about the time she wants to end Ji-Woon’s confusion, Seok-Jo intervenes and got them running for their life. While running away, Lee Hwi got hit by one of the arrows from the soldier. Seok-Jo furiously reminds them to keep her alive but he got bewildered after seeing her face. As if, he finally receives a realization that she has mistakenly shot a person years ago. 

Ji-Woon successfully escorts her Lee Hwi to the safer place deep into the woods but her wound starts to give an infection effect which causes Lee Hwi to have a high fever. Ji-Woon tries to find some herbs to treat her wounds but Lee Hwi asks him to stay by his side. She asks whether or not he is curious about the thing she is about to tell him but he’s too worried about her wounds to think straight. Afraid things will get worse, Ji-Woon offers to treat her wounds which require opening her clothes. Lee Hwi refuses his hand and tells that she’ll do it herself right in front of his salad. Hesitation and fear are illuminating in her eyes as she slowly opens her upper clothes so that he can treat her. And later, Ji-Woon’s got into a culture shock after knowing that all this time, his frustration means nothing since Lee Hwi is a woman after all. “This is my secret,” says Lee Hwi. Let’s all appreciate that one soldier who shot an arrow at Lee Hwi because without him, we probably wouldn’t get any of these scenes. 

You can stream The King’s Affection season 1, episode 12 exclusively on Netflix.

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