Mane of Glory #23: Arthdal Chronicles Eps 13&14

Welcome to Season 3 in Arthdal. We’re still fighting for control of the “throne”, but we’re adding some new allies to the mix, and covering some new territories. Find out which couple the Fangirls are secretly hoping gets a happily ever after, and who our new girl crush is.

Tanya’s Rise to Stifled Power

Tanya rings the bell, showing that she is the true descendant of Asa Sin. In return for releasing the remaining Wahan Tribe members, she tells everyone that Tagon is the reincarnation of Araman. She’s essentially giving over power to Taealha and Tagon so that she can get her people back, and gain the power she needs. She knows Eunseom’s still alive and wants to bring him back too.

Everyone outside the cave cheers when they hear about the revelation. Tanya seems to be playing the long game, and goes about the next few days following Taealha’s instructions with Saya by her side.

Saya is a bit awestruck by her, and even lies that holding his hand as they traipse around the city is tradition. It’s totally just to hold her hand, but they do make a very pretty pair.

MiataMama: Tanya went from defeated slave-girl to revered spiritual leader in the shake of a bell. I think she’s coping with whiplash quite admirably! I hope she stays leery of the Arthdal power couple though – they are not to be trusted.

Drama Geek: I know Tanya’s only choice is to team up with Tagon and Taealha, but I wanted her to get the best of those two, and the moment she declared him the second coming of Araman, she lessened her chances. Now the question is, will Saya stay loyal to his daddy or end up backing his new love?

Kmuse: I really want things to end well for Saya. I feel that we lost sight of his story arc once we started focusing on Tagon, and now, EunSeom. To bad we can’t lengthen the drama because I feel that Saya still has a lot of story development available if only we had time.

Return of the Wahan Tribe

Once her tribe members are rounded up they have a tearful reunion, and are shocked to discover Moong Tae has become a guard. Tanya instructs all of them to pretend like the don’t know that Saya and Eunseom look (and sound, lol) identical. Tanya’s dad says he’s happy working where he was before, and then proceeds to try to get Tagon to leave the Bronze Age, and enter into the Iron Age. But Tagon just isn’t hip with change, and doesn’t believe him. So they’re stuck with not getting rid of Mi Hol.

Kmuse: Logically I know that I should be moved and happy for them all. That said, they still annoy me with all the screechy sounds and lack of individualism. Even with the majority of the tribe gone I still can’t pick them out of a group except for her dad and the guy with Eunseom .

Clkytta: I think we have to remember that the whole basis of this clan is equality. They may have individual talents, but they don’t think like individuals. In their culture the greater good is more important. When we see them become individuals it normally means that they have become selfish and greedy.

MiataMama: Well, I was happy for Tanya. She seized what power was available to her and is gathering her wayward people together again. I’m just not really clear on how they’re going to move forward from here. They can’t go back home and too much time in Arthdal is only going to corrupt their ‘greater good’ mentality.

Drama Geek: I agree with Clkytta, they do act as one, and they’ve all been through literal hell. This was a sweet homecoming. I loved that her dad really could be the founder of a new age of understanding. The prophesy keeps saying the three will be the end of Arthdal, and I hope that means they are able to establish a better way of living that doesn’t include pillaging and murdering other tribes, and using them as slaves.

The Great Escape

Meanwhile, Eunseom is pulled up from the hole, and holds his breath as he waits to be taken to the river. Except another group of men show up, looking for Olmadae, the old man among the slaves. The new guy surveys the dead, and soon everyone notices movement. Eunseom jumps to his feet and then everyone starts fighting.

The slaves are able to escape through the gate, but only because Dal Sae stays behind holding the slave owners off. He’s trying to make up for getting Eunseom captured in the first place.

Eunseom has to hide in the water (Eeeew, filled with decomposing dead people!) with an injured Olmadae, but manages to meet up with everyone in the designated cave. Once he’s there he’s told that Dal Sae is still being held prisoner. So, of course, he goes back to rescue him. He not only rescues Dal Sae, but brings the other guy who helped them escape in exchange for jewels, along. They also find Ipsaeng, the slave who told all the tall tales.

Kmuse: I gagged during the dead body swamp water part. So much ick is going on there.

Clkytta: The desire to stay alive is a strong one. It was equally sad and disgusting with all the dead bodies.

MiataMama: Good to know I wasn’t the only one grossed out by the swamp swim! The escape might not have gone according to plan, but their long game is still in play – Arthdal ho!

Drama Geek: I’m so glad that Eunseom is out of the hole, and back on the path to Arthdal’s freedom. His dip in the corpse water was gross, but it highlights the lengths he will go to in order to save the people he cares about.

A Promise

Eunseom immediately wants to traverse the mountain to uphold the promise they made to the dying Sateunik about returning to his home and telling his wife he died. Ipsaeng is the only one who speaks the language of the Momo Tribe so Eunseom drags him along, even though he’s already proved he’s only out for himself.

It’s a very cold journey, but they manage to get to house where Sateunik’s wife is still awaiting her husband’s return. They fumble with the language a bit, but manage to convey what has happened to Sateunik to his wife and the woman that’s visiting her. The wife is devastated, but she at least has closure.

Kmuse: We are finally starting to fill out Eunseom’s personality and see why people will someday choose to follow him into battle. I also really like how he is slowly learning how things work in this new country and what he needs to take on Tagon. Now, are they going to be able to actually have him ready to do that in only 4 episodes? I have my doubts and am concerned it will be very rushed.

Clkytta: I’m going to bet that Eunseom’s strength is going to be with his people. Not just his clan, but the people he has gathered along the way. Eunseom proves time and time again that his strength is loyalty. So he may seem slow, but I bet it’s going to be one of those scenes where people come out from everywhere to support him when the time comes.

MiataMama: Eunseom is the most honorable character in this whole drama. I’m really happy we are to the part of the story where he’s becoming a leader rather than a victim of circumstances.

Drama Geek: It is painful sometimes watching him flounder in this bigger world, where there are many concepts that he just doesn’t get. I am warry that 4 episodes isn’t enough to convince me he has the tools to accomplish what he wants. Then I remember that Tanya is back in Arthdal doing the same thing. Once they combine forces with all the people Eunseom is collecting, they will be a powerful advisory.

Betrayal & Crop Tops

The Momo Tribe is known for always paying back whatever kindness or misdeed to the extreme. So they give them food and shelter, along with a token that, when presented, will garner Momo Tribe help in the future.

Ipsaeng immediately starts scheming about how to make a profit for the two of them, but Eunseom wants to make sure the entire group of slaves benefits from it. So Ipsaeng steals it after Eunseom falls asleep and leaves, at the same time a plot to kill one of the women and her baby. He doesn’t warn Eunseom and leaves him to die.

The woman, who they later find out is the leader of the Momo Tribe, grabs her baby and run into the woods. Eunseom helps her fight off the attackers. She’s been wounded so he tears off the bottom of his tunic (mostly the back half, so no abs, just that scar is bare). Eunseom creates a pretend baby to carry, and runs off so the assassins will follow him, allowing the Momo leader to escape. He falls down an embankment in the dark, and they don’t run after him.

Kmuse: Eunseom and Momo leader have so much chemistry. Is it wrong that I might be Team Momo? Don’t get me wrong, I love Tanya, but I just don’t have many Tanya/ Eunseom feels since the whole drama has had them separated.

Clkytta: The Momo leader is amazing! If she didn’t have a baby to protect, she would have killed them all! I want her to step up and rule the entire land. Have you noticed how her voice gets hard when she’s in leader mode? I’m totally entranced by this character.

MiataMama: I was TOTALLY captivated by the Momo tribe leader – she is fantastic! I am equally mesmerized by her loyal clan members. And after a fleeting comment from Ipsaeng, I’m more than a little curious what’s the purpose (or maybe what’s inside?) those gourd-like canteens they all carry around.

Drama Geek: Hmm, I hadn’t given the canteens much thought. Magic juice or poison? We’ll have to wait and see. I am completely taken with the Momo leader, and I had a hard time not wanting that OTP. Tanya has Saya after all. My favorite though was that Eunseom managed to pull off a crop top in the bronze age. You go Song Joong Gi. LOL.

CGI Bears and More Betrayal

Ipsaeng is still wandering around in the woods, and Eunseom finds him. They travel together, even though Eunseom knows Ipsaeng left him to die. They argue about values, and what it takes to survive. A bear attacks them out of nowhere, and Ipsaeng reaffirms who is number one by slashing Eunseom’s leg, and running off. The bear chases after Eunseom, and he only manages to escape with the help of the two Neathals we’ve met before. After a good long sniff, one of them is able to tell that he’s Asa Hon’s son. But they don’t say anything about it and just leave him there.

Ipsaeng escaped the bear, only the be spotted by the group looking for Olmadae. He’s captured, and our bleeding heart hero decides to rescue him AGAIN! They only managed to get away by falling down another embankment. This time they’ve landed in Ipsaeng’s own tribe’s territory and he’s petrified.

He cannot understand why Eunseom keeps rescuing him after he’s proven he’ll leave him for dead (yeah, we all want to know, too). Eunseom tells him that he needs him as a subordinate, because more people means power. It’s knowledge the man who helped them escaped imparted on him. Ipsaeng asks who Eunseom is trying to gain power to take down. When Eunseom replies, Arthdal, that seems to peak his interest. They find a canoe and float down the river at night, only to wake up with the Ago Tribe staring at them.

Kmuse: At some point I will get pissed if stupid Ipsaeng keeps getting forgiven. He is pissing me off almost more than some of the slave traders. And that is saying something since they were pure scum.

Clkytta: I’m going to laugh if Ipsaeng really is the third son of the Ago tribe. This guy is a survivor, I’ll give him that, but he’s an annoying survivor. I’m not sure why his friendship is so valuable that we keep seeing him. He has to have some level of importance.

MiataMama: Is he really part of the Ago tribe? I have my doubts. But like Clkytta, I’m wondering if there is something more to him than just being a whiny, self-absorbed twit. In the meantime, if he throws Eunseom under the bus yet again, I’m gonna start throwing stuff at my screen. Ugh.

Drama Geek: Ipsaeng will be the key to getting the Ago tribe to join the fight. Tagon and his father have laid pillage to so many surrounding tribes and land. The Ago tribe seems to be one who is only out to protect themselves, and after twenty plus years of Arthdal’s treatment, I’m sure they actually have a reason for their behavior. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t rooting for the bear to eat him, though.

Give Me Some of that Momo Power

The Momo Tribe leader, Karika, declares that Eunseom is someone they must find and repay their debt to. She creates a purple flag with an image that mirrors Eunseom’s back scar, and her tribe fly it as they march out to find him.

Kmuse: I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Looks like Eunseom is starting to gather his army by being awesomely loyal.

Clkytta: I agree Kmuse. I think that’s Eunseom’s biggest trait, loyalty.

MiataMama: Not to be a broken record, but I totally agree with the sentiment about Eunseom’s loyalty. Also, the Momo tribe’s absolutely got his back (in more ways than one, lol), and I am thrilled!

Drama Geek: All hale Momo Tribe. Introducing these new tribes really extends our view of the world, and shows how fractured the world is. But if they can come behind a common goal, then maybe they can change things for the good.

The Real OTP

In celebration of Tagon’s victory, Taealha has a dagger created for Tagon, and then proceeds to paint a beautiful banner that represents the two of them. She tells Tagon that they will have countries named after them and people will sing of them in the streets.

She tells Tagon that she once doubted his insistence to minimize casualties (um, he committed genocide, so I think he hasn’t always worried about shedding blood) but she’s happy they were able to obtain control without a bloodbath.

Kmuse: I can’t help it. I love watching these two scheme their way into power. It also helps that you can feel the total commitment of their feelings towards each other and only the need to be the one on the throne could come between them.

Clkytta: These are the “bad guys” so why do I cheer so hard for them? I love their secret codes to each other too. You want to talk about loyalty, these two wrote the book.

MiataMama: The Arthdal power couple continues to worm their way into my affections. At the close of this story, I fully expect them to both perish in an epically, spectacular fashion, as befits their legendary status. Until then, I’m over here secretly cheering them on!

Drama Geek: All my comments in the previous section were against Arthdal, and not specifically these two. I feel like they’ve been partial victims to this system, and Tagon’s ingut blood has determined his actions for a long time. Could they bring about a better world if they were king and queen? Yeah… I’m pretty sure they’re just going to die in a array of pomp and glory.

Daddy Done Me Wrong

Asa Ron is, of course, not happy about any of this, and Tagon sends him to the White Mountain to plan for a ritual to celebrate Asa Sin and Araman’s return. Tagon places his guards all over the mountain, essentially trapping him. But Asa Ron is no fool, and he orders the Black Tongue be summoned. He also manages to place new servants around both Taealha and Tanya.

Tagon makes a trek to where his father is buried and along the way remembers the first time his Igutu blood was revealed, and his father killed Tagon’s friend and all his family. Then each time it happened, more deaths followed, finally culminating in Tagon purposing spreading the disease and killing all the Neanthal.

Kmuse: Seeing the history of extreme abuse Tagon dealt with as a child goes a long way to excuse some of his actions that happened when he was older. Not that it is a good thing that he killed a lot of people but I now understand why he felt he had to do it. If anyone is a monster in this drama it would be his father.

Clkytta: Seriously, Tagon is a classic tragic hero, and also a classic tragic beast. I know we are all rooting for Eunseom and Tanya, but I’m really rooting for Tagon.

MiataMama: My mama heart ached seeing all that Tagon endured growing up. He just wanted/wants to be loved. Kmuse you are SO right – his father is the biggest monster in this story.

Drama Geek: A monster begat another monster. Tagon put hiding his own blood above the lives of ALL those like him. Dude is evil too. So, while I love that they’ve made him layered and make me sympathize with everything his father put him through, I can’t forgive him of his crimes.

The Fall of Tagon

Asa Ron lays in wait at the grave, and corners Tagon, taunting him with the knowledge that he killed his own father. He gets Tagon to admit it out loud, and then all the clan leaders come out of the darkness. Ready to arrest Tagon.

Tagon won’t be taken down easily, and realizes that he was naïve to think he could assume the throne without slaughtering a few people. He’s ready to attack when Black Tongue stabs him in the shoulder, revealing Taong’s purple blood. They all flip out that he’s igutu as his eyes glow and he starts hissing.

Kmuse: I’m done with Asa Ron. He is annoying, whiny, drug addict and he needs to go. I hope Tagon kills them all for being super annoying and because I kind of want him to become king of everything.

Clkytta: Can Asa Ron just die already? And take his scheming spawn with him? This old man has long outlived his purpose.

MiataMama: Oh, now you’ve gone and done it Asa Ron. You poked the bear. I reeeeeally hope Tagon takes Asa Ron out first! I’ve been wishing for his demise for MANY episodes already. . .

Drama Geek: It is all out battle now. No hiding our secret identities, and no more having to keep people like Asa Ron alive to push the story along. The leaders will be cleaned out, and leave Tagon pretty alone once Eunseom and his followers come back to attack.

Final Thoughts:

Kmuse: I didn’t think of Arthdal much when it was on hiatus. Which made it a surprise that I was instantly sucked back in the second I started ep 13….well, after the 15-minute flashback I was sucked back in. That was the longest intro ever.

Clkytta: I’m prepped and ready for an epic battle. Please tell me we will get an epic battle. I’m curious how it will play out between the twins and Tanya though. I’m still Team Eunseom, but Saya is looking mighty fine.

MiataMama: We’ve only got four episodes left, and a lot of ground to still cover. My biggest fear is that we’re going to have 2-hour long episodes starting next week, lol! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to be back in the middle of all the action and scheming. And based on the teaser for next week, it looks like we’ll have plenty of both! Yeay!

Drama Geek: I am SOOOO ready for next week. All hell is breaking loose, and I am super excited. Fly your purple flag, and let’s go.

Til our next cutthroat moment,

The Fangirls

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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