Special Moon Lovers RAWR - The King Question

kakashi: Since we realized that we have an extra lot to say about this drama, and we want to say it now, we decided to do a series of extra posts about it. In this one, we will ponder the "King Question".
JoAnne: Among all the princes, So shows both the strength and character necessary to be King. Mu may have the character, but without So to help him he'll never keep that throne. Yo and Wook are flawed in ways that will make them terrible leaders. The others are not even in consideration.  
Also because the drama does not even try to let them be more than comical relief or time fillers. But it's okay, they're entertaining enough.
Let's face it, we couldn't handle any more than we've been given.  Could we? Hmmmm.
Episode 13 made it clear: So was a wild beast, but never a bad man, and he's been humanized at this point. It's not just his love for Soo; it's his love for his father and his brothers. For Mu and Baek-Ah, at least, but just as much, what has softened his edges is his understanding that they love him, too. Love him, respect him, and trust him. He's truly not interested in being the king, the way I understand it. If So had been his father's choice, then I think he would happily have taken the throne - it's not that he has no ambition. It's that he's not greedy or grasping
Ah, but I do think that he is his father's choice. It's that "born under the star of a king", plus me remembering that bit from Shine and Go Crazy. The reason why this boy was sent away (quasi as a hostage) was never to discard him, but to remove him from the politics of the court (so he would not be tarnished by fraction fights) and also to "forge" him into a true ruler. The logic is: the harder one has it, the stronger one gets. 
Yes, I remember it from SoGC, and he has made statements in this that lead down that path, too - but do you think he meant he wanted So to supplant Mu? I thought his desire there was sincere, but that he knew eventually it would be So - not by treason or treachery, but fate.
I think Mu is basically just a pawn for the king, so that So has more time to get ready. I'm not saying the King has no affection for his eldest, I think he does. But he knows how weak the Crown Prince is.
There've been times when So said sure, he'll be king, most recently with Yeonhwa. My read on that is that these statements are rhetorical. Sure, he'll be king - because being king will give him 'x', right? No? Oh. In that case, deal's off. With Yeonhwa he's saying that all he wants is Soo's love. If being king could give him that, then he would want to be king - but even while he says it he knows the answer - it would not make Soo love him. In every possible way, both directly and indirectly, So has always been clear to those around him that what matters to him is not the throne, or power. What he wants is family, and love. Sitting on that throne means abandoning love and family. It's the last thing he wants.
Yes, he does not want to be king - if it means hurting someone to get there. He is fiercely loyal to the Crown Prince, for example. But I think he is smart enough to realize that "being king" is not necessarily what this is all about. This is about who lives and who dies - and the one on the throne is the one who decides about that. King Taejo played all his sons against each other from very early on (except for So, whom he removed from this brutal game). These guys know that a new king might very well mean their death. If I remember correctly, Yo says as much to Wook at one stage.
This fits in with my thinking, if not my writing. So would be king if it came to him, but he has no desire to take it via rebellion. Maybe that's because he knows he has a place beside Mu, and the others fear that they'll be killed. But I don't think Mu has shown any signs that he'd immediately move to kill his brothers. I think even if they moved against him, he'd still struggle with that idea. These things change over time, though. If he becomes paranoid, and increasingly deploys So as his weapon of choice... I could see So making a move of his own in that scenario. Down the road. Especially if he doesn't have Soo to steady him.
His intention is only to protect the throne for his brother Mu in accordance with his father's wishes. Call it his love for the idea of family, and his sense of place within the world. If Mu's not part of the picture and the country is in danger of upheaval because of his asshole brothers, he's going to fight. Not for himself, but for the country, because he feels a moral obligation. Yo has probably never felt that in his life, and Wook - well, Wook's compass has been damaged in the storm. He's so far off course he might never find his way back.
My take on Wook is slightly different. Wook never wanted to be king either, but as soon as his wife died, he realized that he cannot lead the quiet life he wanted for himself. There is a lot of pressure on him, mainly from his family, who collectively expects the worst for themselves all the time (because they have experienced it already). It's actually not a damaged compass, at least no initially, but survival instincts. And I do think that the threat is real for them. I even have sympathy for Yeon Hwa (Honey Lee was much better in this role though). Sadly, he is choosing the wrong side and the wrong path, simply because of his jealousy. Very unfortunate.
Look at this way: there've been no additional threats to Wook's family from outside Wook's family.  He's not facing anything particular that anyone else isn't facing, beyond the fact that his sister committed treason, and I'm not giving him a pass on that. Why couldn't he choose to support Mu and make him a strong king, the way that So will? That's one option. Yes, things can change - but right now, his situation is no better or worse than any of his brothers who aren't the crown prince, so all this angst he feels comes from inside his family.
Plus Soo is right; with Mu on the throne (and So to keep him there) they could probably leave. Yeah, he feels pressure. There is still a right thing and a wrong thing. He threw in with Yo not just because Yo could win, but because if Yo did win, it would be as a traitor. He'd do the dirty work and then Wook could clean up and look like a hero. That's just shady. Wook is his father's son, through and through. Once he tastes power, power will be what drives him. He is a small man whose guiding principle is self-preservation at whatever cost. Not a leader at all.