08 October 2016


Special Moon Lovers RAWR - So(o) in Love

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on October 08, 2016
kakashi: For me, Moon Lovers / Scarlet Heart Ryeo is not primarily about the romance - it is about the princes and their rivalry. Mainly No 8 and No 4's rivalry, to be precise. And at the heart of that rivalry is Soo. Which means this drama is about romance even if it isn't, I guess, ha! After Wook's abandonment of Hae-Soo in her hour of greatest need, there is probably not many people left who ship these two together. And yet, Wook loves her.
JoAnne: I agree. He does love her. He just loves other things more.
Does he? I am not sure. I think he really means that thing about power; he wants power to be able to live the life he wants to live. He wants to see his mother and sister safe and he wants to marry Hae-soo. He, just like So, does not actually desire power. Power is a means to an end, and that end has a lot to do with Hae-soo.
I think it starts that way. I don't think it stays that way. I don't think it's that way, already.
Our admiration of Wook has turned into gravest disappointment, if not hate - and so quickly! On the one hand, it is because he chose the cowardly and filial son way (more than once) when she needed him instead of risking his own life and reputation like Soo did. We want heroes and princes on white horses and they damn better throw all reason over board when we need them! On the other, I think the disappointment comes from seeing him doing backstabbing, measly rat things. He lies to Hae-soo, he wants to kill So and he even tricks the meanest of them all, our glorious bandit Yo. And he would have shot him with an arrow from the distance. Wow. That's so low.
Two things he's done, of all the things he's done that I dislike: Turning around and walking away from Soo in that courtyard, and planning up front to let Yo be the fall guy for his desire to be King. Those are the two things I cannot assign to anything but cowardice and his willingness to betray.
But you know, Wook didn't just become like that overnight. He must have always been this guy, but the circumstances in his life made other sides of him dominant. I think we were simply blinded by his gentle ways in the beginning, just like Hae-soo. She, a bit slower than us, falls out of love because this side of Wook is scary. The scariest part about it for her must be that he basically claims he has become like this for her. 
Which is an excuse to himself and an absolute lie. This IS Wook, with his pretense stripped away. This is who he is when things are hard. A deceitful, backstabbing, venomous man.
So on the other hand is not a scary guy, at least not once you get to know him (so he's quite the opposite of Wook whose scariness increases the longer you know him). He does not want to hurt anyone, not even horrible 3rd brother Yo (whom I like because he is so simple in his evilness).
Yo has been entertaining. I'd much rather have to deal with a Yo than a Wook.
Wang So has probably never lied in his life, he is almost brutally honest. He is also tenacious as much as he is loyal. He does not give away his heart easily, but when he does, he won't take it back. I'm not quite sure when he falls in love with Hae-soo (the mask scene? Before?) but it is clear why he must fall in love with her. She doesn't shy away from him, she talks to him - and back at him. She sees how she struggles just as she sees how he struggles. It's an instant bond between people in the same difficult situation.
She showed him that it was possible for others to see what he knew himself to be. Astronomer Choi did that, too, but it couldn't have quite the same impact that Soo must have had - and it wasn't just that. He sensed a kindred soul, someone who felt alone, who wanted to be free.
Her constant rejection of him puzzles him quite a bit, but I don't think it has ever crossed his mind to give up on her. He does not understand why Hae-soo suddenly seems terrified of him (how could he understand it!), but he does realize she cares about Wook a lot. That does not seem to bother him though. To him, she is "his person". And because he says so, it will be so. Ha, the confidence! I think he is entirely oblivious of Wook's intense jealousy though.
He's all about the long game, our So. And I think he understood the real Wook better than we did, anyway. As for the jealousy, I think that for too long, So thought Wook's possessiveness was related to Soo being his dead wife's cousin. I don't think it ever entered his mind that Wook was The Guy.
In between, I was quite annoyed with Hae-soo for being so damn terrified all the time (Big! Eyes!). But truth is, her reaction was not unbelievable. Until episode 13, she thought herself in love with Wook, the guy who promised to get married to her. The thought of seeing him killed by So must indeed have been horrible. So it's quite natural that it took her quite some time to be able to see Wang So as the person he is at this moment and not the person she thinks she knows from the history books again.
But wouldn't you think her decision to try and change that was the more reasonable approach?  She abandoned that very quickly. Of course, I suppose she might have wondered if even trying was what brings it about in the first place.
But what she sees when she looks... a truly and thoroughly good, moral, sensitive, upright, trustworthy guy. One who comes and gives her shelter when it rains, even if it means banishment. One who is ready to leave everything behind for her, right at this moment. One she can turn to when the king is dead, because he would never commit treason. The ending of episode 13 (I hope it's the same for your version, haha) with her offering him her shoulder to cry on is proof that she has fully overcome her fear of this man. Helps that Wook has become such a dick, I guess. You know, I am super happy that they are following the original so closely, but I do hope that we get a different ending. 
I was so glad that she finally saw him for who he is. No matter what happens, I think for her to acknowledge him as a good person would carry So through almost anything. For her to abandon him, truly, I don't know how he would react. There are other people he loves, though. I can't see him ever just 'going rogue'. He is too genuinely good for that. He has reacted too violently in the past, but exposure to other ways has tempered him. I think it's still there, but I think he has other tools now, too.

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