Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 19 Recap

Wang So doesn’t have any easy path…and he’s the King.

Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 19 Recap
King Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) wants to talk to Hae Soo (IU) but she’s not interested in returning to her stifling room. Wang So tells her not be upset because of Chae Ryung. He notes Chae Ryung was never sincerely her friend. But Hae Soo’s memories of moments with Chae Ryung tells her otherwise. She tells Wang So that Hae Soo was sincere with her and that’s all that matters. Wang So asks if Hae Soo trusts Chae Ryung more than him. Hae Soo has always had trust issues with Wang So. Hae Soo tells him she wants to leave the palace. She can’t take it anymore. That doesn’t sit well with Wang So who calmly states she can never leave him.

Wang So stares at Hae Soo’s empty bed and the pretty gown that is carefully folded.

Queen Yeon Hwa ponders Wang So’s offer – reject her family and he’ll make their son the Crown Prince. That’s not a hard choice for Yeon Hwa, she wants her son to be the next King.

Hae Soo gives Ji Mong money to give to Chae Ryung’s family. She assures Ji Mong that the King won’t object to her fulfilling her friend’s last request. When Ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) enters the room, Hae Soo stares daggers at him. She announces that Chae Ryung is dead. Wang Won has a minimal reaction. Hae Soo seethes that he should care because Chae Ryung died because of him. Wang Won calls her crazy. Hae Soo promises that he’ll regret his actions one day. Wang Won calls her a haughty mistress. Hae Soo doesn’t like that.

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Wang So summons Hae Soo and tells her he’s going to make her his royal concubine which will garner her respect and status second only to the queen. Just like Royal Concubine Oh. Hae Soo doesn’t care about the titles. She wants to leave the palace regardless. Wang So takes her hands and reminds her how long it took them to get together. He doesn’t want them to implode now. Hae Soo pulls her hands from his. Wang So stares at her in disbelief.

Team Evil, now Team Evil Duo, is comprised of Eighth Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) and Wang Won. Wang Wook wonders what Wang So is planning. He decides hunting with Wang So might get him answers. To that end, Wang Wook decides to present Wang So with a hunting hawk. Wang Won recommends taking away Wang So’s support from Baek Ah. Wang Won says because of Woo Hee it will be easy to break the bond between Wang So and Baek Ah. I knew this was coming, but I’m not going to like watching it.

Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) tries to convince Woo Hee to meet his mother. That conversation is ended when Woo Hee sees her kinsmen lashed to pole with signs that they don’t pay taxes. You can see the fury rise in her eyes.

Wang Wook presses Wang So to protect the powerful families who have been attached by Woo Hee’s Baekje kinsmen. Wang So doesn’t want to involve soldiers, because it will get bloody. Wang So is reminded that he must protect the families. He agrees to send soldier only armed with wooden weapons. Wang So says he wants to avoid bloodshed this early in his reign. Wang Wook lays the trap by suggesting Baek Ah lead the soldiers. Ji Mong and Wang So are surprised by the suggestion. Ji Mong counters that Baek Ah has no military experience. Wang Wook counters that Baek Ah is well liked and intends to marry a Baekje woman. Wang Wook suggests that Baek Ah is being influenced by the Baekje. Wang So calls that slander. Wang Wook calls it rumors.

But Baek Ah wants the role. He doesn’t like that his relationship with Woo Hee has caused Wang So grief. Wang So believe he should intervene personally. Baek Ah states he must do this and stop the powerful families from controlling Wang So’s future decisions. Baek Ah assures Wang So that he’ll be safe and return. Somehow, I don’t think Baek Ah will be able to keep that promise.

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Rats, Baek Ah and Woo Hee go the bath. Recall this was where Wang Eun and his wife spent their final happy moments together. Baek Ah admits he’s concerned about his mission. Woo Hee and Baek Ah promise to marry once he returns. Baek Ah declares that Woo Hee is his eternal companion.  Awk, tears! Woo Hee wishes she weren’t Baekje. She thinks she’s his companion. They kiss. 11 minute screenshot.

Baekje people read the King’s edict. They won’t be harmed and those pressed into slavery will be freed and returned to their homes. They won’t be discriminated against. They will become citizens. The Baekje leader calls the King’s edict a pack of lies. He incites them to raise the hammers and axes against the lies.

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Baek Ah prepares to lead the palace guard to the Baekje. Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) brings armor for his clueless brother. Baek Ah chides him for returning to the palace as he could be executed for treason. As Wang Jung puts the armor on Baek Ah he reminds him that he foretold Wang So would put him in a position that would lead to his death. Wang Jung is mad he wasn’t asked forgetting that he wasn’t around. Wang Jung looks like a man and Baek Ah looks like a boy in that moment. It is obvious that Baek Ah is not prepared for this role. Baek Ah asks if Wang Jung got Hae Soo’s hairpin. Wang Jung confirms this. Baek Ah says the second part of Hae Soo’s message was “I want it”. Wang Jung is surprised. Baek Ah confirms that Hae Soo desperately wants it. Baek Ah doesn’t know what Hae Soo is asking for. Wang Jung doesn’t inform him. Baek Ah asks Wang Jung to continue to be Hae Soo’s friend. Baek Ah says he doesn’t know what will happen to him. Baek Ah asks Wang Jung to support Wang So. Not interested in that, Wang Jung asks where Woo Hee is. Baek Ah says he told her not to come. Wang Jung wishes him well and strides away.


Baek Ah notices the palace guard staring at something. Following their gaze, he sees Woo Hee on the high wall that has a banner asking for unification that will include the Baekje. Baek Ah runs to intercept her. The Baekje people see their princess on the wall and beg her to be careful. As Baek Ah nears Woo Hee, she orders him to stop. He begs her not to jump. She tells him to turn around so he doesn’t witness her death. Why is jumping the only option for Woo Hee? Baek Ah turns and sees Woo Hee deliberately fall to her death. While she falls Woo Hee thinks “I thought I could ignore it and live my life. I was willing to deny my parents. But I can’t turn my back on my people. I will pay for their sins with my lie. Baek Ah, I love you. You are my only companion”. Baek Ah weeps and screams his grief, Hae Soo sinks to her knees when she hears, Wang So stands stunned, and the Baekje fall to their knees. I don’t get why Woo Hee believed suicide was her only option.

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Baek Ah looks at drawings he made of Woo Hee and recalls their moments together. Hae Soo sits beside him. She tells him not to destroy him so he won’t forget Woo Hee. He blames himself for pushing Woo Hee to deny her heritage. Baek Ah declares he was proud of himself for loving this orphan woman. But he was selfish and wrong not to see how Woo Hee felt. Hae Soo tells him that Woo Hee was selfish to reject their open loving hearts. Baek Ah realizes that Wang So knew about Woo Hee. He doesn’t look happy at the realization.

Wang So tells Baek Ah he’s concerned for him. Woo Hee demands to know if Wang So made a deal with Wang So for the edict to treat the Baekje fairly. Wang So states he did not know she would die. He said he wrote the edict because Woo Hee said it was the way to keep Baek Ah safe. Only then did Wang So find out that Woo Hee was a Baekje princess. Wang So declares the edict was the only option he could see to save Baek Ah’s life. He declares Baek Ah’s importance. Baek Ah believes Wang So but can’t easily accept what has happened. With tears in his eyes, Baek Ah says being near Wang So is difficult. Ouch! Another rejection from a trusted person. Wang So begs Baek Ah not to do this. Baek Ah says he failed to protect Wang So. He wishes Wang So well. He calls him Brother. Awk, tears! He leaves not responding to Wang So calling his name. Wang So sinks to the throne.

Yeon Hwa waits for Wang So in her bed chamber. He asks if she’s sure about her choice. She confirms it. They stare at each other.

Wang Wook brings a draped bird cage to Wang So. In front of the ministers Wang Wook declares that he’s brought a hawk for Wang So so he can hunt. Wang Won pipes up that Wang Wook is proving his brother affections. The drape is removed and a dead bird is revealed. Everyone is stunned. Wang So asks Wang Wook why he brought him a dead bird. Did Yeon Hwa have something to do with this? Flustered Wang Wook declares he doesn’t know how the bird died. Wang Won turns on Wang Wook and declares that since he personally transported the bird, the blame and the insult to the King rests on his shoulders. Bam! Did Wang Won have the bird killed? Wang So asks if Wang Wook is cursing the King. Wang So asks if Wang Wook is committing treason. The minister shout that Wang Wook is committing treason. Wang Wook is blindsided. Quickly he gets on his knees and claims he’s been framed. He’s right about that, but it doesn’t matter. Wang So smiles the smile of revenge. Wang So states if it is treason, Wang Wook will pay with his life. Wang Wook stares at the menacing smile of Wang So and knows he’s in big trouble.

An upset Queen Hwangbo tells Yeon Hwa that Wang Wook has been framed and may be killed. Yeon Hwa says that she heard Wang Wook made a blunder that cannot be forgiven. Queen Hwangbo tells Yeon Hwa to save Wang Wook. Yeon Hwa refuses. Ha! I love it! Queen Hwangbo can’t believe it. Yeon Hwa declares she can’t cover up Wang Wook’s mistake. Queen Hwangbo is livid at Yeon Hwa’s lack of caring. Honey, you raised her to be selfish, just like you. By the way, Wang Wook is as selfish as you are too! Yeon Hwa tells her mother she’s the Queen. She doesn’t want Wang Wook to die, but they have to look at the big picture. Bam! Throw your mother’s words in her face! Yeon Hwa tells her mother to let her go. Queen Hwangbo can barely restrain her rage. Yeon Hwa glides out of the room.

Wang Wook is on his knees before an empty throne.

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Hae Soo asks Wang So to forgive Wang Wook. You’ve got to be kidding me. Nope, this is totally Hae Soo. I must not lay my logic on top of Hae Soo. She declares Wang Wook was framed. She begs for his life. She falls to her knees. Going down next to her, Wang So tells her not to injure her knees and asks her to rise. Hae Soo says she knows that Wang So killed the hawk to frame Wang Wook. She reminds him that he promised not to kill his brothers. Wang So looks into Hae Soo’s eyes and she is surprised to see the confirmation. Wang So states that Wang Wook killed Wang Yo and Wang Eun, Wang Wook forced Baek Ah to leave the palace, and Wang Wook tried to split them up. Hae Soo says Wang So that karma will bite him if he kills Wang Wook. She warns him that people will realize it could happen to them too and consider Wang So the enemy. Hae Soo pleads with him not to be reminded as the bloody monarch. Bitterness lacing his words, Wang So agrees to let Wang Wook live but he banishes him to his hometown where he can never leave. Wang So declares that Wang Wook’s greed for the throne will earn him suffocation in his house. Hae Soo recoils at his hate filled words. Wang So stands and muses that this is a much better punishment. He laughs. Hae Soo stares at him in horror.

Wang Wook tries to leave his home but the palace guards block him.

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Hae Soo plucks flowers at the bath. Yeon Hwa sweeps in. Hae Soo offers her sympathy for Wang Wook’s punishment. Yeon Hwa admits that she wanted Wang Wook to be King and pushed him to reach for the crown. She admits she pushed him too hard. Yeon Hwa says she wasn’t the one that changed the heart of her brother. She says Hae Soo changed Wang Wook’s heart from soft to hard. Hae Soo is shocked. Yeon Hwa says that Wang Wook shared Hae Soo’s warning against Wang So. Hae Soo can’t believe that single sentence changed Wang Wook. Yeon Hwa states Wang Wook believed Wang So would be king after Hae Soo told him that. Yeon Hwa says it crushed Wang Wook that Hae Soo acknowledged another man. Yeon Hwa glares at Hae Soo “I pressured him but you were the hammer that pounded him.” Hae Soo recalls Wang Yo’s dying words to her “You started everything. I decided to become King because you covered Wang So’s scar”. Hae Soo recalls her warning to Wang Wook to be careful of Wang So. Hae Soo has another red tinged vision of Wang So. She utters “it was my fault”. Yeon Hwa agrees and spits that Wang Wook’s transformation into someone she no longer recognizes it all Hae Soo’s fault. With tears in her eyes Yeon Hwa declares “You ruined everything, yet you still live without shame”.  Great scene! Look, Hae Soo has tipped the balance between the brothers, that cannot be denied. But Wang Wook made all those choices himself. He let hatred fill his heart. Same thing with Wang Yo. He had hate in his heart. He did the terrible things during his reign all on his own. But Hae Soo won’t see the obvious truth and instead will take responsibility for what she revealed but did not cause. There are two scapegoats in this series, Hae Soo and Wang So. Everyone want to blame them for just about everything.

Hae Soo remembers happy times with the princes. She wonders if it was all her fault. She has heart palpitations and clutches her chest.


While Wang So poses for a portrait, Wang Jung strides into the King’s chambers. Wang So comments that Wang Jung must want to die because he’s ignoring his ordered exile. Wang Jung states he need Wang So’s consent. In person was the only way to have this conversation. He offers a scroll that he says is a decree from Wang Yo, the former King. Bam! Here we go! Ji Mong gives Wang So the scroll. Both brother sneer at each other. Wang So reads the scroll words “I consent to the marriage between Wang Jung and Hae Soo”. Bam! Wang So declares it is a fake edict. He tosses it to the ground. Ji Mong picks it up. Wang Jung states that Wang So became King without an edict. Wang Jung tells Wang So to confirm that hand writing as Wang Yo’s. Wang So declares he won’t allow Hae Soo to marry him. Wang Jung counters that the King’s approval is all he needs. Wang So says that Hae Soo is his woman. He tells Wang Jung to stop this now. But Wang Jung won’t stop. He declares that Hae Soo isn’t a wife or royal concubine. She can marry him. Wang Jung declares the King’s minister know that he’s requesting approval to marry Hae Soo right now. Wang So clenches his fist in anger. Wang So starts to tell Ji Mong to punish Wang Jung for break the exile order but Wang Jung interrupts and says Hae Soo wants to marry him. Wang So stares at him, completely stunned. Wang Jung tells Wang So to talk to Hae Soo for confirmation.

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Little does she know
…Hae Soo smells soaps blissfully ignorant of what is coming. Wang So strides in and gets straight to the point. Wang Jung wants to marry Hae Soo. Wang Jung has an edict from Wang Yo consenting to the marriage. Wang So demands to know if Hae Soo knew about the edict. Hae Soo asks when Wang Jung received the edict. Wang So states it was when Wang Jung return from battle a hero. Wang So says that Wang Jung is claiming she wants to marry him. With confidence Wang So states that can’t be true. He’ll declare the edict a fake. Hae Soo says “I want it”. Wang So stares at her in surprise. Calmly Hae Soo states that revoking an edict could cause him to lose the throne. Hae Soo says when they couldn’t have each other, they only thought about being together. Hae Soo admits the longing was painful. But now with daily contact she’s grown to dislike and sometimes despise him. Wang So repeats “you despise me”? Hae Soo says it’s better they let each other go while there is still love between them. Wang So refuses. He gives her a look that brooches no argument and strides away. Good scene! Hae Soo is calm and clear. But that doesn’t matter. She promised him loyalty forever. Wang So can’t let her simply walk away.

Wang So sits alone on his throne. Yeon Hwa barges in upset that he’s willing to ignore a king’s edict. She can’t believe she showed her loyalty by throwing Wang Wook and her family away, but he’s showing loyalty only to Hae Soo. Calmly Wang So states he’ll never let Hae Soo go. Yeon Hwa warns him that he may want to throw away the throne but she won’t let it happen.

Wang Wook sits alone. He recalls Hae Soo finding him kneeling in front of the throne. Ironic that he’s kneeling for mercy just like she did once. But he turned his back on her while she tried to help him. Hae Soo tells him that the King won’t kill him. Wang Wook warns her that people could suspect her of collusion. But he knows she cares nothing for him. Hae Soo declares she would have made the same request for anyone in his shoes. Bam! Wang Wook swallows that bitter pill. Hae Soo urges him to give it up. He must leave the palace to escape the misery. He must acquiesce. Wang Wook stares at her as she swishes away. He stares at the throne he’ll never sit on and grimaces in pain. Nope, I don’t feel sorry for him. He made this bed. He must lie in it.

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Yeon Hwa sneaks into the room and tells Wang Wook she needs his help. She’s something isn’t she?!


Wang Wook approaches the King and Queen in his chamber. Wang So asks what Wang Wook has to tell him. He notes he’s only allowing Wang Wook to speak with him because Yeon Hwa begged him to. Wang Wook tells Yeon Hwa to step outside. Unnerved, Yeon Hwa doesn’t want to leave, but must. Ha! I love it! Before she goes, she asks Wang So to listen to Wang Wook. Looking at Wang So with purpose, Wang Wook states he must confess something about his relationship with Hae Soo. That surprises Wang So. Wang Wook says there’s something Wang So doesn’t know about Hae Soo. Wang Wook states that he and Hae Soo promised each other they’d marry. Wang So looks at Wang Wook in fury and asks if he wants to die. Wang Wook declares long before Hae Soo and Wang So got together, Hae Soo was his person. Bam! Nice choice of words! Wang So inwardly reels. So Wang So didn’t know this. I thought he did. I can’t believe that Wang So who ferreted out many secrets, missed this one.

Little does she know…Hae Soo is blissfully ignorant of what is coming. Wang So approaches her and declare now he knows why she was willing to go to her knees to save Wang Wook. Hae Soo is stunned. Wang So asks Hae Soo to confirm what Wang Wook told him. Did she promise to marry Wang Wook? Hae Soo confirms this. Stunned Wang So asks Hae Soo to confirm her former love that she never identified was Wang Wook. She confirms this. Wang So recalls the puzzle pieces that should have told him about the relationship between Wang Wook and Hae Soo. Desperately Wang So begs Hae Soo to lie and says Wang Wook is a liar, then they can right their relationship. Hae Soo invokes the “truth zone”. Wang So reels and demands to know how he could hurt him like this? With tears, Wang So utters that Wang Wook was always in her heart. She takes his hand. He pulls away and tell her not to touch him. Wang So declares he will never see her again. Wang So walks away pain evident on his face. Hae Soo falls to the floor stunned at what just happened. She cries.

Hae Soo bids the court ladies goodbye. She smiles serenely.

Ji Mong tells Wang So that sacrifice is necessary to protect the throne but sending Hae Soo away will make Wang So lose himself. Wang So counters that he didn’t throw Hae Soo away, she threw him away.


Baek Ah offers Hae Soo tea before she departs the palace. He tells her that if he’d known about Wang Yo’s edict to marry Wang Jung, he wouldn’t have helped her without questions. Hae Soo admits she didn’t know about the edict either. She only knew the Wang Jung guaranteed a way to leave the palace. Baek Ah knows she doesn’t want to marry. He urges her to refuse. Hae Soo agrees she doesn’t want to marry. But there is no other way to leave the palace, so she will marry. Baek Ah declares their friendship precious. Hae Soo echoes his sentiment. She urges him not to wallow in grief. Baek Ah hoped things would work with Wang So. Hae Soo states they can’t overcome the past pain. Wang Wook arrives. Baek Ah tells him to leave. Hae Soo tells Baek Ah it is okay.

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Wang Wook approaches. Hae Soo thanks him. Wang Wook admits he didn’t do it out of the kindness of his heart. Hae Soo states that is Wang Wook didn’t know she wanted to leave the palace, he wouldn’t have outed their relationship to Wang So. Wang Wook declares Wang Jung will treat her well. He wishes her well. He’s glad this is a clean break. He tells her to forget the past and concentrate on the future. Wang Wook draws a shuddered breath trying to get a grip on his emotions. He tells Hae Soo that he thinks she understand him and if so, there is nothing to be sad about. She smiles. He clasps her shoulder like he did long ago. He tells her to go. He hugs her. He says “Forget us. Forget everything. This life is over”. He steps back and smiles. She smiles. He walks away.

Hae Soo stares at the palace.

Wang So stares at Hae Soo’s empty room. He holds the robe.


Hae Soo thinks “If I had not met him, I would not yearn for him. If I did not know him, I would not think of him so much. If we had not been together, I would not have to disappear. If I did not treasure him, I would not have so many memories. If I did not love him, we would not need to throw each other away. If we had not been face-to-face, we would never had been together. Perhaps if I had not met you…”


As the pain of losing the woman he loves overtakes him, Wang So cries. Can he really let her go?

My Thoughts

Our couple implodes. I shake my head that it was Wang Wook’s revelation of their past relationship that was the last straw. That was unsatisfying because I find it unbelievable. What do I think about the end of the leading couple? It was inevitable. I became almost numb to their drama. Wang So was clear from the beginning that he wanted Hae Soo. When he realized he cared for Hae Soo he told her. Hae Soo didn’t want Wang So romantically and faithfully loved Wang Wook for too long. Our couple had happiness for 3 episodes (14, 16 and 17). That’s not enough. Wang So deserved better than Hae Soo gave him. I feel sorry for him. I feel more pity than empathy for her.

Hae Soo (IU) leaves Wang So to marry Wang Jung. Hae Soo didn’t know Wang Jung had the edict when she said “I want it”. But he did and it opened the door to her freedom. Wang Wook pushed the door open wide when he told Wang So about his past relationship with Hae Soo. When Wang So confronted her, Hae Soo could only admit the truth. Her relationship with Wang Wook was her choice. She fixated on Wang Wook for a ridiculous amount of time. She ignored Wang So for a ridiculous amount of time. All these were her choices. She didn’t fully trust Wang So. Her fear of Wang So becoming the bloody king paralyzed her. Leaving the palace was her choice. In the end, Wang So was right, Hae Soo rejected him more than he rejected her.

King Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) lost the love of his life. He was honest about his feelings for Hae Soo from the beginning. His candor cost him again and again as his enemies used her to hurt him. I have a hard time accepting that Wang So did not know that Wang Wook was Hae Soo’s love interest. The puzzle piece montage clearly showed Wang Wook’s personal interest in Hae Soo. I wish the writer had chosen something else to implode our couple with. Wang So doesn’t look smart in this scenario. Wang So is smart. He’s aware of the truth of the palace yet we are supposedly to believe he didn’t know this. I’ll stop ranting.

Wang So stands practically alone with only Baek Ah nearby but yet removed from Wang So. Only Ji Mong is close to Wang So now.

Do I accept Wang So’s actions without recrimination? Yes, I do. Wang So is fair even when he’s ruthless. Everyone acts shocked by his choices but they all watched Wang Yo do much worse. Wang So has always gotten the short end of the stick. Hae Soo didn’t trust him. His power-hungry brothers hurt him. His mother hated him to the bitter end. I like Wang So. I respect Wang So. I feel empathy for the hardships life has dealt him.

Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) imploded Wang So and Hae Soo. He meant to hurt Wang So and he succeeded. That’s been his life for years. I enjoyed Wang Won turning on him. I enjoyed Wang So framing him. Poetic justice. He deserved it. His last scene with Hae Soo was good. There was a glimmer of the old Wang Wook. She accepted him for who he was even when he was horrible.

Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) used to edict to marry Hae Soo. Wang Jung stood up to Wang So and demanded Hae Soo’s hand in marriage per the edict. That was a strong scene for Wang Jung. It was lovely to see Wang Jung stand by Baek Ah and fret about him leading the palace guards on a mission. That was loving. Wang Jung’s disdain for Wang So is undeserved.

Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) watched Woo Hee die. Baek Ah had the sorrow of Woo Hee dying in his arms. I disagree with her choice to jump off the wall. She wanted to spare Baek Ah? She plotted against Baek Ah’s father and Wang So while spying for Wang Yo. She kept this to herself. But she reached the end of her rope even though the King promised to save her kinsmen. Whatever. What matters is that Baek Ah is still alive. He didn’t die. That makes me happy. He’s a sweetie and I like him a great deal.

Ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) turned traitor on Wang Wook. He deserves the same treatment next episode. He’s scum.

Here we are, only 1 episode to go. The series could have ended with this episode and I’d be okay with it. If the final episode is satisfying, I’ll be happy to rescind that. What’s my wish list for the final episode?

Wang So. Can Wang So be happy without Hae Soo? I don’t know. My wish for Wang So is to find happiness in his children. I don’t see how he can achieve romantic happiness. Hae Soo is the love of his life.

Hae Soo. My wish for Hae Soo is contentment with Wang Jung. He cares for her and will protect her. Will she die in the past? Was being sent from the future a one-way trip?

Baek Ah. My wish for Baek Ah is finding another woman to love. Woo Hee was okay but he can do better.

Wang Jung. My wish for Wang Jung is contentment with Hae Soo. I’d love him to appreciate Wang So but don’t think that’s possible.

Yeon Hwa. She bears Wang So a son.

Wang Wook. He lives in isolation the rest of this life.

Wang Won. He dies.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in Recaps, Scarlet Heart Ryeo
14 comments on “Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 19 Recap
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    Unfortunately it was inevitable our OTP So-Soo would break up.😢 Wook and Yeon Hwa successfully conspired to isolate Gwangjong from his peeps. Wook and Won set out to separate Baek Ah and So; I believe their intention was to get Baek Ah to be at odds with So about Hubaekje, due to Woo Hee or allow Baek Ah to be collateral damage in the skirmish. I cried for Baek Ah when Woo Hee committed suicide. Did her death quell the Hubaekje revolution? I am disappointed 😞 Baek Ah chose to leave Gwangjong’s side, when the King was doing his best to accommodate Woo Hee and her fellow citizens.

    I am dumbfounded Won is walking around freely given last episode’s revelation of Gwangjong’s knowledge of his and Wook’s complicity in Hyejong’s (Mu) poisoning…then again Wook is roaming freely. Won turned on Wook in a heartbeat with the hawk incident. I was disappointed in Gwangjong framing Wook and seeing the glee in his eyes with the “Gotcha”. As for the King being clueless about the eight prince being the time traveler’s former love…it is hard to believe the King did not know…but the portrayal was same in the Chinese series. Love must be blind and oblivious.😎

    Did Woo have a butterfly effect on the future? I’m glad Jung can be Soo’s safe harbor to get her out of the palace. I think Soo wants to remove herself from influencing Gwangjong or seeing him be vengeful towards his brothers. Queen Yoo 2.0 alone would be enough for me to get out of Dodge, AKA the palace. 🏰

    I concur with your wish list but would add wanting the back story about Ji Mong’s brush with or relationship to the future, AKA contemporary times. Inquiring minds want to know.


    • Jane Tilly says:

      Correction: Soo and the butterfly effect. @#$& 😲autocorrect.


    • Review Leaver says:

      Regarding Ji Mong:
      What a mystery he has been.
      I second your need for some back story on Ji Mong. That has been a forever awaited scene for me with this series….Sigh……I don’t think we’re getting any insight to this going forward however…….

      Regarding Woo Hee:
      She always worried about her people and Baek Ah.
      I believe Woo Hee felt as long as she was alive her Hubaekje people would feel there was a possibility to reclaim independence and fight to go back to claiming their Hubaekje country as independent. Also, due to this- as long as she lived, Baek Ah was going to be a bit walking target, as he is known to be close to the king. That was why this was happening to start with anyways.

      Now that she got So to sign off and guarantee her the safety of her people and merge them into his own society, just imagine if she lived;- the king would be seen as taking sides and if she married Baek Ah, all the trouble that Wook is trying to stir up by using them will never go away until someone dies. I believe that is why she felt suicide was best. It would save Baek Ah’s life from the machinations of the palace (as long as she lived- it would be he they target since he was so close to So), and it would ensure that her people would merge with Gwangjeon’s new vision of unity, and not continue to rebel behind her- for she was their last hope for that. By dying, she resolved the chance for her old land to be reclaimed and resolved the issue of why they could not join the new country made of their merging, which the new king allowed. This is why she mentions that she will die to clear the sins of the two kings (the one who formed their Hubaekje land, and the one who destroyed it- King Taejo).

      She was not collateral damage. She was the price to pay to save both her people and the love of her life. It was tragic circumstances, that don’t make sense when you watch the scenes of her jumping. Again SHR writing needed to be more clear about her reasons- which you come to only by realizing what would have happened has she not died.

      You may say she could have convinced her people to join Goreyo. But there would always be in them someone who would claim she sold out due to Baek Ah and again he would be in danger. Or another who would lead the rebellion thinking she would want them to , but had been silenced by any marriage she would have to Baek Ah. Her problem would not go away until she died.

      Regarding the Hae Soo’s Ripple Effect and Yeon Hwa/Wang Yo accusation scene:

      Yes, I do believe Soo was sent to the past to have a ripple effect upon the princes.

      During the scene it appears that Yeon Hwa blindly blames Hae Soo ( in a way that sounds blind to her own faults) ; however I disagree with the feeling that everyone just likes to blame So and Soo for their faults as her reasoning during this scene.

      I think she acknowledges her plotting, poisoning, treason faults for sure in an encompassing statement of her pushing Wook. Therefore, I do think she is giving that credit (the show again has poor writing of that scene wording). I believe what she and Yo are blaming Soo for is not the outcomes of their own machinations. They were plotting and evil like that even before she ever went to Goreyo. What they both are so enraged about, is that despite their baseline issues, once Hae So showed up, things went really off the rails. They could not predict things. Her effect on everything was not explainable in the rules of their normal game of thrones. She changed everything. And if you think about it- Hae Soo did.

      Soo definitely is the King Maker in this SHR series. Whether it was Mu, or Yo or So- she played critical roles in the next king being made. Had she chosen Wook when Yo died, So likely could not have taken the throne. So in this way Yeon Hwa (as much as we hate her) has a point. Soo decided that Wook would not be the king, and that So would. This may truely have been the turn point around Wook’s dark side dominance. He always had it, but controlled it until Soo began having her effects (in hiding So’s scar ) and compounding it with claims that So would get everything, including the throne. This was a brother who was nothing compared to Wook at the time- so it would have been a hard wake up call for Wook, and very well may have awoken the monster withing. Especially when the girl he loved began to defer to So in fear of him harming Wook (as she did when he took her out of the palace- when she refused to go back with Jung and Wook, and insisted So would take her).


      • kjtamuser says:

        “as long as she lived, Baek Ah was going to be a bit walking target…there would always be in them someone who would claim she sold out due to Baek Ah and again he would be in danger. Or another who would lead the rebellion thinking she would want them to, but had been silenced by any marriage she would have to Baek Ah. Her problem would not go away until she died.”
        * Your thorough explanation was welcome. As you noted, the writer does a disservice to the character & plot point when viewers have to discern the details.

        “once Hae So showed up, things went really off the rails. They could not predict things. Her effect on everything was not explainable in the rules of their normal game of thrones. She changed everything”
        * Another good explanation. I agree that Hae Soo threw a wrench in their understanding of how to manipulate to get what they wanted.

        “may have awoken the monster withing. Especially when the girl he loved began to defer to So in fear of him harming Wook”
        * Wang Wook was jealous of Wang So once he caught the first glimmer of Wang So’s interest in Hae Soo. He wasn’t secure with Hae Soo’s obvious devotion to him. Wang Wook had uncertainty in him but it was buried by his peaceful life that was up ended when Wang So returned to the palace.


      • Jane Tilly says:

        Thank you @RL for the Woo Hee explanation–Woo Hee sacrificing herself for the greater good – her people and Baek Ah’s safety – makes sense, although none the less tragic for our sweet Baek Ah. I shudder to think of Baek Ah’s response if Gwangjong had executed his eternal companion for the treasonous activity of spying for Jeongjong (Yo) or murdering the minister who was ready to rat her out for spying. Gwangjong may have very well known of her treachery but chose to remain silent out of his bromance with Baek Ah.


    • kjtamuser says:

      “Baek Ah chose to leave Gwangjong’s side, when the King was doing his best to accommodate Woo Hee and her fellow citizens”
      Yet again, Wang So is deserted. It’s not fair.

      “I am dumbfounded Won is walking around freely…then again Wook is roaming freely.”
      Won deserves to get his in the final episode. I shake my head how Wang Wook was able to say goodbye to Ha Soo when he was under lock and key. Wang So’s orders, exile for Wang Jung and house arrest for Wang Wook suffer from poor enforcement.

      “Did Soo have a butterfly effect on the future?…I concur with your wish list but would add wanting the back story about Ji Mong’s brush with or relationship to the future.”
      Good question, will we find out, will the future be addressed again?


  2. Review Leaver says:

    We are on the final stretch …… and while it was hard to watch, as we have come to love Wang So so much, I felt that the show finally brought in full circle the characters we began with. I think today I am going to just take up Wang So here for now. He was the Star of today’s episode in my eyes.

    WANG SO:

    I had mentioned before that SHR powered up Wang So to be near super-hero like from the 4th episode onwards and more so after the 11th episode.

    However please recall that Wang So’s character was introduced initially in the first 3 episodes to us as a tormented abused child, who has major abandonment issues, and who has no idea of what love is.
    This is the young man we were introduced to in episode 1 where he slays an innocent horse to prove that he is not going back. This is the prince who rides through the streets careless of whether people have to fall off the roads to avoid him and his horse. This is who we met when he goads an assassin into killing Hae Soo as she gets in the way during that fight and then that same night choke holds her to get more information about the culprit she witnessed. This is the man we met when he kills an entire monastery to protect his mother in a bid to gain her favor. This is the man who we met when we first see General Park and him meet, where he validates his massacre of people, and his ability to decide who lives and dies. Note that he did not clearly state to General Park that he did not want the throne.

    This Anti Hero, not -so -nice -guy Wang So disappeared for a while, but I had spent the whole series wondering if he was really instead a misunderstood wrongly documented king versus a true anti-hero in hiding. Was he an Anti-hero whose character was just so well written and put together and enacted, that despite all he is, as an audience, we just happen to adore him and love him to the point of overlooking and forgiving his sins and true personality?

    So’s character development since episode 11 made it seem that the story writer had smoothed out and softened all of Wang So’s jagged edges, and colored him a light grey instead of the black he first wore when introduced………….
    The SHR series showed him as selfless, and a heroic misunderstood soul whom history had blamed wrongly. In fact during Eun’s death scene we all must have wondered if Wang So’s actions and brutal reputation were misinterpreted circumstances written incorrectly in history.

    However the past two episodes show us that Wang So’s character is true to himself. He just didn’t have the power and circumstances to come out again till now. Wang So is an Anti Hero we adore and love, to a point that we will find fault with anyone who is not on his side. We found in the past 3 episodes that he is not in any way different than the man we were introduced to in the first 2-3 episodes, and this personality comes in full blast when allowed the powers of a king.

    Before he was powerless and scarred and new to the palace without any support. During this weak period, Wang So had discovered a person willing to befriend him for the first time in his life- and I believe that those two factors masked his personality for a while. However, circumstances have allowed him the power of deciding and controlling the fates of people- with or without their consent, and what we see is not all that pretty.

    Wang So was always a very cunning, aggressive and ambitious man. He came to Goreyo perhaps unconciously wanting to see what the throne was about- but at that time, had no power and was limited by his scar. Both of these kept him from even thinking he could aim for the throne. He slowly transformed into a scarless, more powerful player for the throne (Which is why Wook and Yo spend the whole series going crazy about his factor in the throne wars.) With Eun’s death he faced a turning point change which pushed So over the edge toward his pursuit of the throne. It may have began with the reason of protecting himself and not being reduced to an animal on a leash used to kill his own brothers……….but it definitely did not stay that simple now , did it?

    When he chose to leave Hae Soo that time for the throne, I didn’t see him (despite his very strong love for her), knowing he could go back or get her again. So when he left her , it was possibly permanent. In his mind that was the day he threw her away for the throne.

    He did so because much like Queen Hwangbo’s advice to Yeon Hwa, General Park educated him that he could not have it all. He willingly sacrificed the price of Hae Soo to go after the throne. Even when she risks her life to meet him, he knows he cannot have both and at first resists her overtures.

    When she meets him in hiding , the Wang So that Hae Soo meets has a greed for the throne that had grown beyond just protecting siblings. He wanted it for itself- and the powers to change the world that it allows its owner. Hae Soo clearly asks him to give it up for her, in a very nice way. He does not accept. But once he weakens and he has had her again, he is even more greedy- and wants both her and the throne. In that way he is no different than Wook was…………….and so I found Yeon Hwa’s comments to Hae Soo causing the Wook turned evil issue by taking sides on the throne rights and about her causing all this in some way very pertinent (see my comment above in response to JT for more on that scene).

    In epidsode 18 and 19 we find that So is still capable of murder and justifications for it. Just as he justifies his killing the monks to General Park, or the horse to the soldier ; he now is powerful enough that only Hae Soo validates (if he feels like it) any justification for any of his action as a king.

    Wang So was for a time softened by love, but he has never really changed. It’s like Lady Oh had warned Hae Soo long ago: People don’t change for you……so don’t think you can change them.

    His coup to gain the throne from Yo (he would have killed him had he lived, right?), his brutal execution of Chae Ryung, and his exile of Jung, and not allowing his mother to see Jung, while he got his revenge on her death bed, as well as what we saw today, with his framing Wook……………we see his aweful shades come out.

    He dealt with Yeon Hwa to betray her family- and to me, that red curtain meet up signified that he slept with her once she agreed to sacrifice her family for him. He didn’t do that out of love. That was political motivation and machinations at its best.

    Though he “loves ” Hae Soo, it has truely become more of a possession he keeps than a love. He did not title her before someone insulted her. He controls what she speaks,who she can see, what she does all day. Hae Soo is a prisoner kept in a gilded gold cage. Even when she asks him to release her, he does not. Jung’s marriage which Hae Soo acknowledges she is not fond of, is her only chance to escape his obsessive control and fear of losing her. Wang So has gone back to being who he grew up as. When Hae Soo begs for Wook’s life, his morph from concern to scary justification about his intentional framing and murder of a brother. While Wook is awful- you cannot do that. Wang So admitted he had framed him- and questioned why it was not acceptable………….then agreed to let Wook live an imprisoned life, which was more cruel punishment and relishes this……………

    While Hae Soo seemed horrified, I think she had always feared this person below the mask………it was why she never allowed herself to fall in love with him at the start. It was why she has always suspected his motives…………however, they are all very consistent to his core personality.

    Given Wang So’s return to his his dark side, he is truly a king and person to be feared. He loves Hae Soo, but because of his past abandonment issues and lack of love, he is a bit of a monster created by circumstances (thanks Queen Yoo) even in that. He has not married her, and is overly protective and controlling because he fears losing her. That is not really how you show love. Love is shown through discussion of decisions, and seeing each other as equals without control over the other’s actions and thoughts. The reason Hae Soo is leaving is really because she cannot live like this ………its encaging, tormenting and unacceptable to who she is and her own morals and ethics.

    Hae Soo is a modern day girl; and to justify framing and killing someone would not be ok to her, no matter how awful that person was. Even if it was Wook or Chae Rung.

    Imagine today if we had a friend who was betrayed by another- and her boyfriend decides to roll her up and beat her to death…. = He would be wrong. This is where she is coming from. However she is aware Wang So is from a different era of morals, but understanding this does not allow her to accept his views .
    This is why she states the need to leave and end things while they still love and respect each other, and not when they fully despise and hate each other. She knows he is not going to change for her. He is going to keep making very aggressive choices that benefit him as a king, and that she is not going to be able to stomach and accept. They are going to slowly erode her image of the man she loves, and leave her not knowing who this man is, and come to hate him.

    Also she has never wanted to share her husband. Nor has she wanted the throne. She is a target and has to deal with Yeon Hwa. Wang So now has married twice and not yet given her a title( till Won insults her). Yes we can say he proposed many times before, but Hae Soo did not love him then, and then after his return from later Jin had been told by King Taejo he would be a king for sure, and knows this will not allow her to be with him.

    Currently Wang So is showing control issues in their relationship. He does not let her question him, and does not want her to know about his king role or decisions, and she has become a dress up doll he keeps in his room until he chooses to go to her. He also (as I understand it from the scene shown) likely has slept with his wife for political reasons, and yet Hae Soo is left dangling to watch the aftermath of all this. And none of it is morally or ethically acceptable to her.

    Now, when he knows she is sick, he talks about kids and continuing their relationship- and does not even listen when she says she cannot do this anymore and wants out. She tells him that 3 times this episode. It takes a Marriage Edict from the prior king, a threat to his throne and validity and Hae Soo’s own support of this option to even slightly hold Wang So back. Even then he does not agree.

    She understands he is surviving but cannot take his side here. She just wants out. I think while it is romantic to think Wang So is in need of her support and love and understanding; in reality if any of us had been forced through what she has gone through, we would have already been long gone.

    It took Wook’s support by meeting So and regaling him with their history to break Wang So’s hold on her and allow her to leave the palace. Wook may have done it to look like it was for YeonHwa, but I believe he read between the lines ( in Hae Soo’s statement that you had to leave the palace to stop the torment) , and decided (when he heard about Jungs marriage and Hae Soos acceptance, but that So was not allowing it from Yeon Hwa in her request for his help) to step in and kill two birds with one stone. He cold anger Wang So into freeing her, and secure his sister’s request for safety and the throne by doing so. It interestingly brought out the old nicer Wook for a glimmer there at the end.

    Wang So may regret losing her, but I await to see if he goes full dark Gwangjeon next episode instead of giving up the throne and forgiving Hae Soo. Given the preview it looks like he will………..


    • kjtamuser says:

      Talk about analysis! RL, your brain is functioning. I must make this brief…

      I agree with the idea that Wang So was always a wolf, though he wore sheep’s clothing for a while.

      His abandonment issues drive everything this character does.

      That’s why he has an iron grip on Hae Soo, his biggest fear is her leaving him. But his death grip (and other factors of course) turn his fear into reality.

      Hae Soo fears that Wang So will become the bloody King. She cautions those she loves to not get in Wang So’s path. But in the end she succumbed to his magnetic pull. She promises to never leave him. She believes he has changed. As you noted, Madam Hae was clear – don’t expect someone to change for you. That good advice. Advice many don’t take. I know it’s true, you cannot expect someone to change, that is a recipe for disappointment.


    • Jane Tilly says:

      Agreed that with the political power plays So has reverted to his true nature–there is power in being feared. The reality of the double edged sword is being feared also isolated him. I adore So, but am not thrilled with the brutality of his actions, neither is Soo. I do understand why Gwangjong chose to be brutal, even though I dislike it. Wook successfully separated Soo from So, unwittingly assisted Soo in leaving the palace – I’m not sure he wanted her to get her way, but wanted to punish her.

      I can’t help but wonder if Ji Mong was instrumental in Soo’s journey to Goryeo. Ji Ming’s dialog in an earlier episode indicated Jeongjong (Yo) was not destined to be King, indicating Soo had a butterfly effect on history-who knows how much of an effect, as she seems to have affected many of the princes’ lives. Should Soo have listened to Ji Mong to not interfere with “fate”?


    • Hae Soo says:

      Review Leaver, that was an excellent analysis.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelli says:

    Honestly, the major complaint I have with our lead couple is their inability to communicate properly. How in at least a six year relationship would you not at least discuss a former interest? They didn’t need to get into details, but it’s a stretch to believe it didn’t come up. The stubbornness of those two is staggering. Neither could at any time make a concession, or at the very least, try to see the other’s point of view.


    • Review Leaver says:

      I believe given Hae Soo’s personality, she would have told him way back- even when she first confessed by the sea shore to Wang So that she loved another. However, after asking if it was Baek Ah, he immediately told her that as long as it wasn’t Baek Ah, he could kill any other man. This shut her up long and good. Again, when he asks her about Jung being that person – he is angry and confesses he spent the whole night nearly breaking down doors. He is angry enough to want an explaination from her (before likely confronting Jung) and I bet the only reason he was held back from breaking the door and killing Jung immediately that night was the fact that he had gotten married and not given her any answers about that. Given this- and Hae Soo being aware of his underlying streak of ruthlessness when it comes to things he wants – I don’t fault her for not telling him. However, it did allow Wang Wook to cause some damage when he divulges this detail. However, I agree with Hae Soo, that he did it only when he realized it would help her. She wanted to leave, and he had understood her well enough to get that from her brief statement of “you have to leave the palace to end this torture”. When he likely heard from Yeon Hwa that Jung and Soo wished to marry, but So was not allowing it, and thereby risking throne and her life in the process, he decided that getting that story out was the best way to help everyone. He risked his life to do that. I dont’ think it was only for Yeon Hwa whom he must have known had abandoned him to his fate. I think that was for Hae Soo.

      Wang So on the other hand has always communicated well to Hae Soo , but after becoming a king, some of his choices and actions are things he knows she will not agree with him on. He is scared to loose her and tries to not let her in on his plans only after he decided to become a king. Again, not sure we can fault him there.

      It is unlikely these two could compromise who they were so much to change. Given the time period and politics behind their roles, it was inevitable this would part them.


    • Jane Tilly says:

      So few couples consistently communicate well with each other all the time and we all have deal breaker items. So had reached his limit of being controlled and/or disdained; he felt achieving the power of the throne was his only option. While both Soo and So are being stubborn, Soo had been very accommodating up until Chae Ryung was executed-her deal breaker. Up to that point Soo supported So’s desire to seek the throne and encouraged So to marry Yeon Hwa to ensure his power and protection, despite her misgivings. I could not have endorsed So’s marriage to Yeon Hwa; that power hungry piece of work would have been my deal breaker.


  4. Jane Tilly says:

    I was just watching episode 19 again and was struck by the intensity of Queen Hwangbo’s melt down when Yeon Hwa refused to attempt to help Wook. I thought Queen Hwangbo threw Wook away in favor of Yeon Hwa several episodes ago. Does that mean forfeiting his life is not part of “throwing him away”?

    I do not like the person Wook became in his quest for the throne, but it was wonderful to see a glimpse of the formerly sweet 💖 Wook with his farewell to Soo.


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November 2016

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