Mane of Glory #21: Arthdal Chronicles Ep 9&10

Kmuse here, checking in from my long road trip, in order to share all things Arthdal Chronicles Ep9&10. So come join myself, and the other Fangirls as we discuss all the glorious Saya filled moments from this week.

You will be my rock

Devastated by the news that Eum Sum is dead, Tanya decides that she is going to start going on the offensive and use Saya as her tool to freedom. I know that important plotting stuff occurred here, but all I could think about is how gorgeous these two looked in this scene.

Kmuse: I really loved this scene. For once, the scene was lit well and the feelings of the actors came through crystal clear. Can I also mention that I am a huge fan of Saya’s emotional weakness (at least one of them) is Tanya? When he was clutching his heart after leaving her. It was a total swoony moment.

Clkytta: Let there be light! It makes it so much nicer when we can see their faces. Saya obviously wants someone of his own, someone he can trust and love. We definitely are going to have a love triangle on our hands.

Drama Geek: I adore Tanya’s strength in this scene, but what are we going to do when we have to choose between Song Joong Ki and Song Joong Ki???? I also love that we see Saya weak and moldable. He has learned everything from books and has only been hurt by humans. Tanya will hopefully bring some change and compassion to him.

MiataMama: I’m proud of Tanya for going on the offense. But is she really going to be able to ‘use’ Saya? Every time she looks at him she is reminded of Eun Sum. While she seems to feel for Saya and his situation, her heart still lies with his twin. Saya on the other hand, is a smart cookie – it won’t take him long to figure out her real intentions and feelings. How he handles that revelation though, remains to be seen.

Well this sucks

Eun Sum, and his fellow Wahan tribe members are forced to starve without water or food until they break down and call themselves slaves. Or in Eun Sum’s case, denounce his mother and say he is less than even a slave. Things go especially dark when one of the tribe members starts to go a bit crazy and tries to force Eun Sum. When Eun Sum once again refuses, the tribe member says he hopes he enjoys his pride and stabs himself in the throat, committing a gruesome suicide.

Kmuse: Consider me traumatized. The actor that committed suicide did a brilliant job of slowly losing his sense of self and making me feel uncomfortable. There were times when his face didn’t even seem human anymore. I feel so horrible for poor Eun Sum and I hope that he somehow makes it out of the mines before we get to season 3.

Clkytta: One of the things this drama is doing well is showing the plight of a peaceful people as they lose their sense of community and self. These are good people who are placed in extraordinary circumstances that they just can’t handle. It’s hard to watch, and it makes you hurt. They are turning on each other because no one can help anyone anymore.

Drama Geek: I may be wrong, but the translation at one point said animals, not slaves. Which, to me, is even worse. Call yourself an animal and I’ll throw you some scraps. It truly showed how broken the slave owners wanted them to be. The actor did a fantastic job at convincing me that he felt there was no other choice. All the Wahan tribe has gone through so much, and there is no way they’ll ever fully recover from this.

MiataMama: SO much of this drama is really difficult to watch. I agree with the points my fellow fangirls make, however I can’t help but have frustrated and not-so-kind thoughts towards one certain tribe member. Especially after he dumped a massive guilt trip at Eun Sum’s feet before dying. Not cool.

All hail king Tagon

Tagon brings all the tribal leaders to the capital and gives them “new” positions in the cabinet to advise him. In essence, he puts himself at the head of the government, king in all but name. I especially appreciate how he quickly takes away all their power to oppose him. Once again Tagon proves he is smarter than your average politician.

Kmuse: He played those tribal leaders so smoothly that they didn’t realize what hit them. I love how we are slowly starting to see the development of the future political structure that we are used to. With a king and then his warring noble advisors that are constantly scheming.

Clkytta: Tagon is the craftiest strategist. He wants power and he gets power. It was stunning how quickly it happened. As the Asa Clan realized that they had basically been demoted, the freaking out and plotting to fight back began.

Drama Geek: Tagon is exceptional, but what I admire is how well Taealha and Tagon plot together. If anyone deserves to be the first king and queen, it’s them. Well, at least if the qualifications for the job is to step on anyone and everyone you can to get to the top, and do it looking fantastic.

MiataMama: I have to wonder, if Taealha weren’t in his corner, if things would be going as smoothly? While Tagon’s plans are undoubtedly brilliant, she backs him up at just the right time ensuring that his endeavors are successful. They make quite the team.

More prophesy

Tanya and Saya are bonding in the woods and it is all so adorable. Tanya teaches him the art of using a sling and they attract birds to kill. Saya is startled when they kill a bird, but it has the wrong color on its tail-feathers. He gets serious and tells of a prophesy, “The day a paradise flycatcher wears another color there will be a catastrophe.” At that same moment, people start going crazy. Saya suspects Asa Ron is making his move against Tagon. Asa Ron incites a uproar within the people declaring that the Neanthal vengeful spirits are seeking to punish those that destroyed them. Namely, Tagon. Let the political war begin.

Kmuse: As much as I love watching Tagon be brilliant, it is also nice to see the opposition win a few battles. And boy did they bring Tagon to his knees this week… literally.

Clkytta: It has now become a chess game. We will see who has the best strategy.

Drama Geek: Gasp, he had to be barefoot and bow to Asa Ron. You can see the utter humiliation in every step he takes. I actually pictured some of the current world leaders doing this to someone who opposed them and could really see how infuriating this might be to them.

MiataMama: I don’t really care for Asa Ron, but kudos to him for getting a good jab in. It definitely keeps things from getting boring, when the opposition makes a successful play. And props to Tagon for keeping his seething anger in check as he bowed in front of his enemy.

Neanthals return

Remember way back in episode one where the two babies were saved? The ones that were a few years older than Saya and Eun Sum? Well, they are back and lurking around Arthdal. Why? We still don’t know but I am looking forward to seeing some stupid bad guys hearts ripped out.

Kmuse: Hmmm. I want to be excited they are back, but so far we have just had an excessive amount of lurking happening. Also, they are not connected to any of our main three protagonists so…

Clkytta: OK, the Neanthals are hot! They are also pretty smart and have managed to hide by staying covered up. I’m curious if they are really the only two left. Igatus are coming out of the woodwork, so there may be more Neanthals we don’t know about.

Drama Geek: It’s possible that these two aren’t the only ones, but it’s more likely that they are alone and Tagon didn’t realize they existed. I’m sure they were taught how to hide by Eun Sum’s parents, which helped keep them alive. By the end of the episode 10 we get a sense that they might be connected to Noon Byul the girl who’s always with Cha Eun. They’ve probably been laying wait for the right time to strike.

MiataMama: I’m excited the Neanthals popped up this week! Although I did think it was funny that they went to the trouble to cover up their blue lips – um, what about those electric blue eyes?? Maybe they’re going to come to Eun Som’s aid and help turn the tables for him? Until then, I’m content just knowing they’re there. . . lurking.

Tanya becomes a power play

We finally have it confirmed that the Wahan tribe are the direct descendants of the White Mountain Tribe’s main spiritual family. Two Hundred years earlier, the leader left the White Mountain tribe and traveled to Iark leaving the non-direct descendants in charge of the spiritual side of Arthdal. Which is all well and good, but it is Tanya, as a direct descendant, who has all the important lineage that trumps that of Asa Ron. Tanya has some serious decisions to make. Does she continue to be teamed up with Saya and use him to gain power? Or does she throw her hat into the Tagon ring and join him in his efforts to unseat Asa Ron?

Kmuse: I am loving how smart Tanya is in making the best of her situation. Does it twinge my heart now and then that she is using Saya to accomplish her goals. Yup, that poor broken boy deserves all the nice things.

Clkytta: Tanya is so smart. She’s wary of everyone and that’s ok. I’m ok with her using Saya. She doesn’t have a lot of reasons to totally trust him yet.

Drama Geek: Neither Tanya or Saya fully trust each other. He knows deep down that she’s using him, and Tanya can sense that she’s important to him, but maybe not as important as the game he’s playing with the powerful people in Arthdal. Now that she knows what her lineage means, she really does have the upper hand. If she’s instated as the high priestess she gains a lot more power than Saya can give her.

MiataMama: Yeah! Tanya now knows that she holds the power. But, she has to carefully consider who she’s going to join forces with to wield it properly – crazy dad or crazy son? She doesn’t trust either one, so it’s a tough decision. (Interesting side-note: though Tanya and her mother before her are both direct descendants of the White Mountain Spiritual leader, neither have actually had any prophetic dreams. However Tanya now seems to have the ability to read Saya’s thoughts? I’m very curious about this new development.)

The Saya Ship?

As the last few episodes have progressed it is obvious that Saya really wants to be able to love Tanya. Unfortunately, this love might not be in the healthiest way since he is both very emotionally starved as well as a tiny bit power hungry. But does Tanya feel anything back or does it continue to be the memory of Eun Sum that feeds her feelings for his twin?

Kmuse: You can’t help but root for Saya even as you know in your heart that he is one step away from the Crazy Train.

Clkytta: Team Tanya and Eun Sum forever! I love Saya, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not the man she keeps thinking about. He has feelings for her, but who else is he going to have feelings for? She’s convenient and he’s love-starved and that’s not really a good combination.

Drama Geek: Sigh. Can’t Saya be happy? LOL. I do think that Tanya’s heart belongs to Eun Sum and now that she knows he’s still alive, there will be no room for Saya. She will drop him like a hot potato so that she can get Eun Sum back. Well, she’ll use Saya, probably with the hope that she will be able to save him too.

MiataMama: Nope. I’m firmly on the Eun Sum ship. Sorry Saya. While our poor puppy Saya desperately needs some love, it’s not going to be from Tanya. Pity and common goals are what’s keeping her with him for now. Here’s hoping he doesn’t get all angsty and back-stabby, once he realizes Eun Sum is going to get the girl.

Final Thoughts

Kmuse: The story arcs are really starting to come together. Adding Saya into the power play brings a whole new breath of fresh politicking air to the drama. I am already lamenting that we only have two episodes left before we have to wait for Season 3.

Clkytta: Shudders at Kmuse’s “fresh politicking air” because we all know that I hate politics and I wish it wasn’t so much of the story. I like watching Tanya get stronger and know that she is worthy of being the Great Mother. I’m ready for Eun Sum to gather his strength and escape, he’s breaking my heart right now just going through the motions of living.

Drama Geek: The way this show does politics is fine by me. I enjoy all the character growth and development and how everything is coming together. We didn’t talk about Moo Baek, but he is really a power player in this game too, and I am totally loving his character. There are very few characters that I’m not invested in, which is the sign of a well written plot.

MiataMama: There are a lot of characters and plot arcs to keep track of in Arthdal, and this week really put my drama watching skills to the test – SO much going on! But I love that, even with the politicking, I’m not remotely bored with this story. I’m thankful we get one more week before the looooong wait for S3.

Til our next magical moment.

The Fangirls

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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