Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 5 Recap

One character steps out of the way.

Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episodes 5 Recap

Wang So makes Ji Mung unhappy when he moves into his living quarters. Wang So tells Ji Mung that he can’t see the stars that only rise in this part of the country from his assigned quarters. Recall that at the end of last episode Hae Soo commented that the stars in this part of the country were wonderful.

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Hae Soo is thrilled to get an array of herbs. Madam Hae tells her it was Wang Wook that procured the herbs for her. That puts a smile on her face. Hae Soo, Chae Ryung, and array of ladies set up a soap maKing station. Hae Soo is completely engaged and enjoying herself. Wang Wook is charmed watching Hae Soo, her happiness evident. Madam Hae can’t help but notice how captivated Wang Wook is by Hae Soo. Madam Hae tells Wang Wook that she wants to find a good man for Hae Soo. She wants Hae Soo to stay in their circle for as long as possible. Wang Wook can only agree with his wife. What would it be like to know that your husband has fallen for somebody else and have to watch it?

Hae Soo is sent to the library for some ink. She is surprised to find Wang Wook their writing a letter for his wife. Did Madam Hae set their meeting up? Wang Wook asks her if she likes poems or music. Hae Soo says she prefers music. He surprised by that. She realizes that in ancient times poems were a more elevated form of entertainment and changes her answer to poems. Wang Wook hands her a poem that he wrote for her. He tells her to read it carefully.

Now comes the hard part…reading the poem. Unable to decipher the ancient characters, Hae Soo first asks Chae Ryung to read the poem to her. But Chae Ryung is a servant and therefore unable to read. Frustrated that she can’t read the poem, she can only think that Wang Wook’s handwriting is as handsome as he is. She mutters to herself that she wishes that she could read the poem. Baek Ah sees her and asks if she’s illiterate. Hae Soo denies this, stating that when she hurt her head, she temporarily lost the ability to read. Baek Ah snatches the poem and starts to read it to her. He recognizes the poem and stops. Madam Hae enters their conversation and completes the poem from memory. Baek Ah asks if Hae Soo knows what the poem is about. She thinks it’s about landscape. He chuckles and asks who gave her the poem. Hae Soo states that Wang Wook gave her the poem to study. Baek Ah is taken aback. Madam Hae gives a placid smile and tells Hae Soo that she’ll need to come up with a good poem to give to Wang Wook. She tells Hae Soo that she’ll be visiting the Queen tomorrow to present the soaps that she made. Hae Soo is thrilled. She takes the poem from Baek Ah and leaves. Baek Ah is not happy with his brother Wang Wook. Madam Hae says it is merely a poem about landscape. Baek Ah counters it is a poem about love. Baek Ah tells Madam Hae she knows very well that this poem can be used to make a confession of love. Baek Ah almost blurts out that he could’ve used that poem to confess his love for Madam Hae but checks himself. Baek Ah realizes that Madam Hae knows about Wang Wook’s feelings for Hae Soo. Like the graceful lady that she is, she won’t confirm this. That scene had a real sweetness between Baek Ah and Madam Hae. Their scenes together in episode 3 hinted at his feelings, but this scene confirmed them. Is it impossible to marry for love in this time?

Hae Soo puzzles over the meeting of the poem. She wonders if Wang Wook is declaring affection for her. She tells herself to stop thinking that way about Wang Wook. She berates herself to control her own heart.

The two queens meet for tea. Queen Hwangbo tells Queen Yoo that Wang Wook, Madam Hae, and Hae Soo are visiting the palace today. Wang Wook, Madam Hae, and Hae Soo into the room. Madam Hae is surprised both queens are in attendance. Wang Wook greets both of them. Queen Hwangbo comments that Hae Soo is lovely. Queen Yoo realizes that Hae Soo is the girl that hit Wang Eun. Queen Yoo says that she hopes that Hae Soo gets along well with her sons. Madam Hae prompts Hae Soo to give Queen Hwangbo her gift. Madam Hae gives Queen Hwangbo the handmade soaps. Queen Hwangbo exclaims how lovely they are. Hae Soo struggles to say the word soft as she describes how the soap will make Queen Hwangbo’s skin feel. Madam Hae tells Queen Yoo they brought soaps for her as well. Queen Yoo barely glances at the soaps. She comments to Queen Hwangbo that if only Madam Hae could give Wang Wook children, then she would be the perfect daughter-in-law. Ouch!

King Wanggun enters the room for a surprise visit. Hae Soo is gob smacked thinking that she’s only seen him in TV dramas. Ha! Now she is seeing him for real. The King notices Hae Soo’s stare. He asks if this is the girl that got into a fight with Wang Eun. Ha! Her reputation precedes her. The King is not happy that Hae Soo bruised his sons face. The Crown Prince tries to defuse the situation and says that Hae Soo is too cute to have harmed Wang Eun. Hae Soo falls to her knees in front of the King. The King asks if she’s afraid of him. Internally Hae Soo tells herself to get a grip. Good kings focus on virtue and bad kings focus on fear. Hae Soo tells the King because he’s good and wise, she’s not afraid of him. The King asks why she thinks he’s good and wise. That’s an excellent question and puts Hae Soo on the spot. Hae Soo is unable to come up with an answer. The King asks if she was trying to use flattery to cover her assault against his son. Hae Soo digs deep into her historical memory and tells the King that he united three lands and didn’t discriminate against those that were not in his land, allowing them positions of leadership. The King laughs at her words. The Crown Prince calls her clever. Hae Soo apologizes in her mind to her junior high history teacher for cursing him when he made her memorize these facts. She blesses him instead. The King tells Hae Soo that fighting is the only thing she’s good at. He tells her a Persian rug is her reward. Queen Hwangbo tells Hae Soo and thanks the King for such a wonderful gift. Queen Yoo looks at Hae Soo with curiosity. Who is this girl that seems to capture the fancy of the men in her orbit? Wang Wook prompts Hae Soo to thank the King. She might’ve gone overboard when she prostrates herself on the floor.

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Hae Soo is desperate to find a bathroom. She spies a tree and considers utilizing it. Wang So surprises her when he puts his arm around her. Hae Soo pulls back and notices is nice clothes and fancy topknot. He is looking good! Wang So asks why she’s at the palace. Hae Soo admires the change and tells Wang So that anybody would know he was a prince now. Wang So comments he was born a prince, he doesn’t need the clothes to make him one. He asks Hae Soo again why she’s there. She tells him that she came to the palace with Wang Wook and she presented a gift to the Queen. She asks Wang So if he’s doing well in the palace. He confirms he’s doing well. Hae Soo asks if Wang So can see his parents every day. Just then she spots Queen Yoo walking their way. Nervous she hides. Queen Yoo approaches Wang So and says you may be able to stay in the palace, but you won’t get everything that you want. She tells him that he’s useless and nowhere as useful as Wang Wook. Hae Soo is shocked by her words and Wang So is aware that Hae Soo is hearing all of this. Queen Yoo says that the only thing Wang So is good for is killing people. She wonders how long he’ll last in the palace. Wang So thanks his mother for her concern. He tells her he won’t be a burden. She strides away from her son. Even though he wishes they wouldn’t, his mother’s harsh words hurt him. Wang So looks around the corner but Hae Soo is gone.

Hae Soo is sorry that she saw that, thinking that Queen Yoo said terrible things to her son.

Madam Hae coughs up blood which worries Queen Hwangbo. Madam Hae falls to her knees and reminds the Queen that on her wedding day she told her if she was a good wife that one day she would grant a wish for her. Queen Yoo asks what Madam Hae wants. Madam Hae asks Queen Yoo to accept Hae Soo as Wang Wook’s wife. Madam Hae says she doesn’t have much longer to live. Could you reject a dying woman’s wish, especially a woman that is kind and dear?

Ji Mung greets Wang Wook. Hae Soo recognizes him as the man she met in the future before she was transported to the past. She surprises Ji Mung by grabbing him and asking if he knows who she is. Hae Soo says they met once before and even shared a drink. Ji Mung doesn’t know who she is. Wang Wook asks if Ji Mung knows who she is, but he denies it.

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One on one with Ji Mung, Hae Soo says that she has been looking all over for him. Ji Mung says that he doesn’t know who she is. Hae Soo says the first time they meet is in about 1000 years’ time. Ji Mung tells her that inside the palace she must watch what she says. He tells Hae Soo that her life cannot change just because she wants it to. Of course those the very same words he said to her in the first episode when she complained about the situation that she was in. Want to bet that Ji Mung knows exactly who she is? I like the playful nature of Ji Mung. As an astrologer/advisor to the King he’s very important but seems unassuming and fun.

Wang Wook leads the way through the snow and Hae Soo literally follows in his footsteps. He finds this charming and increases his stride. She almost falls and he grabs her studying her with his hand. They feel the chemistry and Hae Soo pulls away. Wang Wook asks if she knew Ji Mung. Hae Soo says she thought she knew him, but she was wrong. Hae Soo offers Wang Wook a soap that she made specially for him. He accepts the soap and thanks her. He asks if she knows the meaning of the poem that he gave her. Hae Soo says yes she knows that it’s about a man who is happy and sings. Wang Wook chuckles at her ignorance and tells her to write a poem in response. Hae Soo is surprised. Wang Wook tells her it’s proper etiquette to offer a return poem when you receive one. Hae Soo wonders how she’s going to manage that.

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Hae Soo struggles to copy a poem but the written characters are too difficult to master. She frets that she’s not going to be able to prepare a response as etiquette requires. Then she gets an idea. She puts her response in the library in a spot she hopes Wang Wook will see. She is surprised when all the princes stride into the library. Wang Eun dashes up to her and asks if she’s there to see him. Hae Soo says she just stopped by to drop something off. Wang Eun spots her written response and grabs it. She looks at Wang Wook entreating him to help. Wang Wook realizes that Wang Eun holds Hae Soo’s response to his poem. Wang Wook states Wang Eun is holding a response to a poem he taught Hae Soo. He tells Hae Soo that she can go. She’s out of there in a flash. Princess Yeon Hwa looks at Wang Wook with suspicion. Baek Ah follows Hae Soo. Wang Eun pretends to give Wang Wook the response but pulls away and says they need to see what she wrote. Wang Jung and Wang Eun eagerly look at the paper. They stare at the response mystified. They wonder if she wrote something are drew something. Prince Wang Won looks at the paper. He is also mystified. Wang Wook looks at the paper and is mystified. Wang So looks at the paper and chuckles to himself. Wang Eun asks Wang So if he knows what it is. Wang So tells Wang Eun to raise his arms to the sky and open his mouth in a round shape. Wang So says it’s a face laughing with excitement. Everyone laughs at the drawing. Wang So tells Wang Wook that she must’ve liked his poem a great deal. Wang Wook smiles in pleasure.

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Baek Ah catches up with Hae Soo and pulls her aside. He asks how she can do this to Madam Hae. Hae Soo asks what she’s done. Baek Ah says that she and Wang Wook steal glances at each other. Baek Ah says that she and Wang Wook think about anytime their hands have touched for days. Baek Ah says she wonders what kind of food he likes, what will make them smile, and she’s always thinking about him. Baek Ah says she longs for him. Baek Ah says Hae Soo was a fool if she thought no one could see. Baek Ah says that Madam Hae knows everything. Hae Soo is shocked. Baek Ah says that Madam Hae only loves Wang Wook. Baek Ah warns that he won’t let her hurt Madam Hae. As he turns, he sees Wang Wook. He stares at Wang Wook and walks away.

Wang Wook and Hae Soo stare at each other. Wang Wook apologizes for what Baek Ah said. Hae Soo says it’s no problem, she promised she would not be a burden and that doesn’t seem to be holding true. Wang Wook says this is all his fault. He started the ball rolling by giving her the poem, telling her he had to respond, and then excepting her response. He only wanted to make her laugh and happy. He tells her not to blame herself. Hae Soo says that she’s responded to him, and her feelings for him have grown, therefore she’s culpable too. Tears run down her face and she looks into his eyes. She leaves. Wang Wook stands there alone with tears in his eyes. His innocent flirtation got out of hand and he is sorry. What is strong about Hae Soo and Wang Wook is their gentleness with each other. Wang Wook cares for his wife and Hae Soo. He’s in a tough spot. I feel sorry for him.

Hae Soo takes Wang Wook’s poem and hides it away. Wang Wook takes Hae Soo’s soap and hides it away.

Princess Yeon Hwa gives the King a pillow. He wonders who he should marry her off too. She says she trusts whoever he chooses. When he mentions a far-off Kingdom his other daughter lives in and she’s not excited. She assures her father that whoever she chooses will make her happy. He laughs and says she always makes him happy. She smiles. But you can tell that her feelings for her father are mixed.

Princess Yeon Hwa spots Wang So and tells him she’s still surprised to see them in the palace. Wang So comments the clothes feel weird to him. She tells Wang So her father’s planning on marrying her off. Wang So asks who her new husband will be. Wang Yo interrupts and asks if Wang So thinks that he will be her husband. Wang Yo tells Wang So he got lucky when the King invited him to live at the palace, but the King will never give Wang So someone as precious as Princess Yeon Hwa. Wang So asks if he wants to bet on that. Wang Yo calls him a fool. Wang Yo asks Princess Yeon Hwa could she stand to look at Wang So’s disfigured face for a lifetime. Ouch! Princess Yeon Hwa says she only once a man that will cherish her. Wang Yo says he would treat her as a treasure. Princess Yeon Hwa says that Wang Yo has always been kind to her. She asks Wang So what he thinks of her. Wang So says he doesn’t need an important woman, he only once a woman that will treasure him. I love the way he used Princess Yeon Hwa’s words against her in his response. He says his wife will not care about his face. He leaves. Wang Yo tells Princess Yeon Hwa that Wang So is only blustering. Princess Yeon Hwa wonders what it would be like to turn Wang So into a warm human being. Wang Yo stares at her in disbelief.

Madam Hae Burns clothing and keepsakes. Hae Soo watches her. She coughs and they both see the blood in her handkerchief. Madam Hae asks what Hae Soo feels for Wang Wook. Madam Hae says they’re both foolish. Madam Hae asks Hae Soo to do her makeup. She wants to look pretty one more time for Wang Wook. I must say with the blood on Madam Hae’s lips it effectively relayed that her time is slipping away and she knew it.

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Hae Soo has tears in her eyes as she applies the makeup to Madam Hae. Thinking to herself Madam Hae hopes that when she’s gone Hae Soo will be mindful of her words and actions. Madam Hae thinks that she wants Hae Soo to make a pillow for Wang Wook. Argh! That got me. Madam Hae thinks the Wang Wook has many worries and she wants him to sleep comfortably. Tears fall as Madam Hae looks at Hae Soo and thinks “I want you to take care of him”. Both women are crying now. I’m joining them. That was a truly beautiful scene. Madam Hae clearly showed that she loved Wang Wook and his future happiness is part of her mission before she goes.

Hae Soo finds Wang Wook and tells him that Madam Hae needs him and he needs to hurry. She cries and Wang Wook realizes that something’s very wrong. Wang Wook walks with Madam Hae as a gentle snow falls. Hae Soo follows discreetly behind them. Wang Wook tells his wife they need to go inside. Madam Hae says she wanted to experience the snowfall with him. We are treated to a flashback of when they met. Madam Hae was captivated by Wang Wook from the beginning. Madam Hae says that even though she was not 100% well she only wanted to marry him. Even though he had been exiled from the palace, Madam Hae could only think about strengthening him with her power. In the light snowfall Wang Wook turns Madam Hae to look at him and tells her that he knew her heart. Madam Hae gently touches Wang Wook’s pace. Madam Hae tells Wang Wook that now he needs to care for Hae Soo. She starts to collapse and Wang Wook holds her up.

Wang Wook gives Madam Hae a piggyback. Wang Wook tries to tell her how he feels, but she cuts him off to ease his burden. Madam Hae says that loving him was enough for her. She dies. Hae Soo realizes that Madam Hae has died and begins to cry. Gently Wang Wook tells her not to wake Madam Hae from her sleep. Wang Wook slowly walks with his now dead wife on his back, tears in his eyes.

My Thoughts

Historicals can make death beautiful moments. Madam Hae’s death was a quiet, moving moment with her husband whom she loved. I felt sorry that Wang Wook could not say that he loved her before she shushed him. Undoubtedly Wang Wook did love his wife. There are all different kinds of love. Madam Hae loved Wang Wook. Madam Hae loved Hae Soo. They loved her. And she gave them her blessing to move on together. It touched me.

Hae Soo (IU) fought her feelings for Wang Wook but it wasn’t easy. She was in a bind when Wang Wook told her she needed to reciprocate by sending him a poem. She improvised and drew a character / emoji that only Wang So understood. It charmed all the princes. Hae Soo was surprised to meet with queens. Then the King entered and she was almost overcome. As she recalled her early schooling on this era she was able to define why the King was a good king. Appropriately she gave a mental shout out to her teacher that drilled the facts into her head. Hae Soo has loads of charm. She’s infectious and fun to be with. What I like about the love triangle between Hae Soo, Wang Wook, and Madam Hae is that they loved each other and treated each other with respect. Hae Soo is not a gold digger prying Wang Wook from Madam Hae. She’s a sweet girl that is drawn to Wang Wook in spite of her efforts to stop her heart from responding to him. Baek Ah doesn’t see it that way of course.

Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) moved into the palace. His mother dearest, dreadful Queen Yoo (Park Ji Young), told him he was only good for killing and a complete disappointment. Wang So is able to respond to her hatred with dignity but he can’t deflect all the pain her words cause. I enjoyed Wang So moving into Ji Mung’s quarter so he could see the stars. That was a shout out to Hae Soo and looking at the stars with her the previous evening. Speaking of Hae Soo, they’ve evolved to a nice place, dare I say they are almost friends? I like their easy vibe with each other.

Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) ramped up his relationship with Hae Soo with the poem. His poem could be interpreted as a love poem. Madam Hae and Baek Ah clearly understood Wang Wook’s intent. What started out as a simple poem spiraled to draw in many characters. Wang Wook wants Hae Soo. Wang Wook loves Hae Soo. Wang Wook loves his wife. Wang Wook supports his sick wife. Wang Wook was there for his wife when she died. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a character die during a piggyback ride, but I’m guessing it’s been done before. I felt sorry that Wang Wook was unable to tell his wife that he loved her. Did he have a grand passion for her? No, but he had a steady love for her. Too many times characters only see the grand romantic feelings as love. But love takes many forms and has many levels of intensity. Wang Wook now faces going forward without his wife. He clearly heard his wife give him the go ahead to care for Hae Soo. Will he now pursue a romantic relationship with Hae Soo? One thing that Hae Neul does in his portrayal of Wang Wook is chuckle effectively. Yes, you read correct. I like how he chuckles. There is gentle humor (or more intense) and sweetness when he chuckles.

Crown Prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) was charmed by Hae Soo just like his father. He met Hae Soo when he and the King encountered her visiting the Queens.

Third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) suggested that he was the right man for Princess Yeon Hwa. He is a mean man and proved that when he taunted Wang So about a wife not being able to stomach his disfigured face for a lifetime.

Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) liked Hae Soo’s reply to Wang Wook. He and Wang Eun have a believable brother vibe.

Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) snatched Hae Soo’s reply to Wang Wook and made it public, at least to the princes. He is like an adoring puppy around Hae Soo.

Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) demanded that Hae Soo step away from Wang Wook. He loved Madam Hae romantically but it was unrequited as she was completely in love with Wang Wook. But Baek Ah couldn’t let Hae Woo and Wang Wook weave themselves closer without speaking up and reminding them about Madam Hae. What will he do now that Madam Hae has died?

Ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) doesn’t do anything yet. He’s part of the prince pack but has not distinguished himself yet.

The third song of the OST, “I Love You, I Remember You” is sung by I.O.I. Check it out via the embedded video below:

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in Recaps, Scarlet Heart Ryeo
4 comments on “Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 5 Recap
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    MADAME HAE—I concur with your sentiment “What would it be like to know that your husband has fallen for somebody else and have to watch it?” YES IT WOULD! I don’t think I could be that generous. However, I think the selfless Madam Hae did set up Hae Soo and Wang Wook to meet—she loves her husband and wants him to be happy with Hae Soo when she is gone; she knows the time is near. Still, it strikes me as odd Madame Hae petitioned Queen Hwangbo to allow Wang Wook to marry Hae Soo, except she altruistically wants Wang Wook to be happy.

    Hae Soo is “a sweet girl that is drawn to Wang Wook in spite of her efforts to stop her heart from responding to him. Baek Ah doesn’t see it that way of course.” It will be interesting to see what Baek Ah does—I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself being drawn to Hae Soo.

    The scene when Hae Soo did Madame Hae makeup was touching as was her subsequent death, while Wang Wook carried her back to the house. I also believe Wang Wook loved his wife, he was always so gentle and tender with her. The marriage may have lacked passion, but love and tenderness were definitely there. ❤

    POLITICAL MARRIAGES—King Wang Gun married many women for political alliances and it would not surprise me to see him marrying off his children for more political alliances. I’m quite sure it was revealed in another episode that Wang Yo was already married. It seems incestuous for a prince to marry his half-sister, but I do recall seeing interfamily marriages happen in another saeguk. Let’s keep it all in the family.

    WANG SO AND HAE SOO—Hae Soo was smart to slip away as Wang So’s dreadful mother berated him for existing. I think Hae Soo might be able to more fully understand Wang So, now she is aware of his mother's ghastly treatment. Wan So’s mother and brother Wang Yo never miss a chance to put him down. I have hope they will someday pay for their crimes as the King is aware of their evil doings, unless they kill the king first.

    It seemed to me Ji Mong grasped Hae Soo’s intent about asking about the future as he hushed her. Could it be he understand her due to being able to read the stars or is he a time traveler? Although in the present his front teeth were broken and they are not in Goryeo.

    Hae Soo’s emoticon reply to Wang Wook’s poem was illiterately clever and then became hilarious as Wang So explained it to the others and they acted it out. :p


    • kjtamuser says:

      “The marriage may have lacked passion, but love and tenderness were definitely there”
      * Well said. You know I believe kindness is a crucial element to a loving couple. Wang Wook loved his wife, no question about it.

      “Could it be he understand her due to being able to read the stars or is he a time traveler? Although in the present his front teeth were broken and they are not in Goryeo.”
      * I made the assumption that Ji Mong remembered their meeting in the future. That may be right or wrong. I didn’t notice the teeth difference, good catch!


      • Jane Tilly says:

        Ji Mong, whether it was the contemporary or Goryeo version, or are the one and the same person, played a part in Hae Soo ending up in Goryeo.

        The other question is where is the Goryeo Hae Soo? In the present, dead, or is our contemporary gal simply borrowing her body?


        • kjtamuser says:

          I hadn’t thought of that. Is she in the future living Hae Soo’s former life? Wouldn’t that make an interesting drama? Switch bodies and time travel with two parallel stories – past and future characters coping with their new reality. I’d watch it!


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September 2016

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