Arthdal Chronicles Episode 5 Recap
Part 1, The Children of Prophecy
Tagon (Jang Dong Gun) enters the room with Eunseom (Song Joong Ki) and his father. Eunseom assesses that Tagon has a knife.
Flashback…Sanoong, leader of the Saenyeok tribe and head of Arthdal tells Eunseom that his son wants him dead. If he dies, then Eunseom will be blamed.
Tagon slashes his knife at the throat of the man in chair. He tips the man’s face back to confirm victory over his father. He’s stunned to see a warrior, not his father.
Tagon turns and stares at Eunseom with an assessing half-smile. Sanoong steps into the room. He stares at his son.
OMG! Great start to this episode!
Asa Ron, leader of the Hwinsan tribe, learns Tagon went in alone to “save” his father.
Hae Mi Ho (leader of the Hae tribe), learns Tagon went in alone to “save” his father. Mi Ho realizes Sanoong’s life is in danger.
Eunseom tells Sanoong it is time to keep his promise.
Flashback…Sanoong stares at Eunseom’s pendant and asks if he’s really Asa Hon’s son. He promises to help the Wahan as Arthdal owes his mother a debt.
Tagon scoffs that his father finds a way to save himself in every situation. Sanoong states the prophecy is true. Sanoong sneers that Asa Ron and his son conspired to kill him.
Eunseom tells Sanoong it is time to keep his promise and tell his people that a Wahan warrior saved him.
Both father and son ignore Eunseom. Sanoong states Tagon tried to kill his mother and now he tried to kill his father. Tagon states he was only trying to survive. Sanoong counters if that were true, he would have accepted his offer to leave Arthdal.
Flashback…Sanoong tells Tagon to leave Arthdal. Tagon falls to his knees and promises to kill the other tribe, he knows a way.
Eunseom yells at Sanoong it is time to keep his promise and tell his people that a Wahan warrior saved him. Tagon scoffs.
Sanoong declares Tagon has committed a mortal sin attempting to kill his father. He walks to the window. Tagon apologizes. Tagon kneels in front of his father. Sanoong is gob smacked.
The Wahan wonder what is going on. Their great mother, Tanya (Kim Ji Won), wonders too. One of them realizes that is Sanoong is killed, the Wahan will be punished in mass.
Tagon asks his father to forgive him. Sanoong points out he just tried to kill him. Tagon counters this has happened between them before.
Flashback…Sanoong hugs a young Tagon and begs him to forgive him for trying to kill him.
Sanoong says that day was a mistake. He left fatherly love cloud his judgement. Tagon counters that he’s the better choice in this room. He urges his father to let their mutual love of power to align them. Tagon promises if they stand together at the window, the people will love Sanoong best. Tagon points out that with the gift of psychic powers from the gods, Asa Ron is no threat.
Fed up with the maneuvering Eunseom demands Sanoong keep his word.
Tagon stands and threatens his father if he chooses the Wahan warrior over him, stating he can easily dispatch him.
Eunseom wonders if he can defeat Tagon.
Tagon wonders if he can defeat Eunseom, kill his father, before others arrive.
Sanoong asks how he can trust his son. Tagon reminds him they both share the same weakness, perhaps they should have never turned on each other. Tagon offers his hand. Sanoong stares at it. Eunseom can’t believe Sanoong is considering his traitorous son’s offer. Eunseom tells Sanoong he won’t allow it. Tagon counters he’ll handle the warrior and they can unite in front of the people.
In a tense moment, Sanoong stares at Tagon’s hand, Tagon’s knife, Eunseom’s knife. He runs to the window. Tagon lunges at his father. Eunseom lunges at Tagon. They slash. Sanoong moves and Tagon slashes at his neck. Sanoong grabs his neck and blood gushes.
Sanoong falls against Tagon. He tells his son that he was sorry all those years ago but killing him would have been the better choice. Tagon agrees telling his father he should have killed him when he was young and weak. Sanoong falls to the floor and dies. Eunseom can’t believe it.
Tagon thinks “I finally did it Taealha.”
Feel sorry for Eunseom. It was a decent plan, but he wasn’t dealing with honorable leaders. He and the Wahan are screwed.
Asa Ron watches his seer spin and knows something has happened.
Mi Ho wonders why father and son hate each other so much.
Tagon laughs at Eunseom’s plan to free his people. He calls him clueless. As Tagon arranges his father’s body he tells Eunseom his actions will cause the death of his people. Eunseom declares he’ll tell the truth. Tagon counters that no one will believe him. Eunseom asks what will happen to his people. Tagon states they’ll be slaughtered.
Eunseom decides to fight. Tagon flings him to the floor. He knows Eunseom is special. Eunseom lunges to his feet. They fight until Eunseom’s knife breaks and Tagon is ready to deliver the death blow. Eunseom runs and flings himself out a side window.
So Tagon knows Eunseom has special abilities. Does he realize how special?
Sanoong’s right-hand man (and son), Dan Byeok, decides he and the guards will storm the tower. Tagon’s men advise waiting. Dan Byeok and his men enter. Tagon’s men follow.
They find Tagon weeping over his father’s body. He apologizes to Dan Byeok that he couldn’t stop the murdering Wahan warrior. The guards fall to their knees and call for their dead leader. Dan Byeok can’t believe it.
Mi Ho arrives. The guards bring Sanoong’s body. The Wahan stares. Chae Eun stares. Mi Ho can’t believe it. The crowd falls to their knees and calls for their dead leader. The order to close the gates is given. Tagon howls in pain. Mi Ho stares. Tanya wonders what happened to Eunseom.
Tagon is going for the academy award with his display of grief.
Asa Ron arrives. He sees Tagon weeping over his father. Tagon lifts his head and gives Asa Ron a meaningful look.
Tagon rises, points to the Wahan and declares their representative has fled after killing Sanoong. Tanya is relieved Eunseom is alive. Tagon asks the crowd how should vengeance be taken. The crowd scream for the Wahan to die. Tagon stares at Tanya. The crowd stares throwing rocks at the Wahan. They rush the defenseless slaves. Tagon smiles. Asa Ron realizes that Tagon killed his father.
The horse throws Eunseom. He “hears” the cries of his people. He “sees” the Wahan being attacked and killed. He recalls Tanya’s mother’s words “we have no idea if you will help us or bring calamity upon us”. He recalls Tagon’s words “you will be the one that kills your own people”. Eunseom yells his pain. Then he realizes something as he stares at his arm.
Tanya and the fellow survivors reel. Tanya tells her dead mother that she was wrong, the great white wolf didn’t protect them. She believes this is the end of Wahan.
Eunseom stares in disbelief and at his arm wrap. It isn’t his. It came from Tagon. He silently tells the Wahan to hang in there, it isn’t over yet.
Don’t understand that, but I like his belief all is not lost.
Tagon watches his father and hopes his afterlife is good. Dan Byeok is still in shock. Mi Ho watches Tagon and sighs.
Tagon enters quarters after nodding good night to his men. Taealha (Kim Ok Vin) charges with a knife and Hae Tauk calls out. Tagon pins Taealha. They stare into each other’s eyes. She smiles. Taealha is happy Tagon still has his feet. Tagon announces his father is dead surprising both women. Taealha rushes to Tagon and touches his face. She murmurs he really did it as she hugs him. She tells him he did well. Tagon cries. She cries. She kisses him. Their passion grows. Hae Tauk exits.
Nothing like patricide to stoke passion. These two are perfect for each other.
Chae Eun is livid when Eunseom arrives demanding to know if he killed Sanoong. Doti wants them to stop yelling. Eunseom calmly states he did not kill Sanoong. He looks at Chae Eun and says she knows who did. She doesn’t want to believe it. Eunseom only wants to know where Tagon lives. Chae Eun calls him crazy to want to tangle to Tagon but Eunseom stubbornly states this is the only way he and the Wahan can survive.
Taealha asks why Tagon didn’t kill the Wahan warrior. Tagon says he couldn’t chase him and have no plans about him. Taealha is surprised to realize that Tagon was wounded during the fight.
Was that blue blood?
Chae Eun tells Eunseom he blew it and the Wahan are doomed. Eunseom states he knows Tagon’s secret that can destroy him. Tired of being called stupid, Eunseom points out he’s thinking and reassessing while being the one at a total disadvantage of not understanding Arthdal. He yells he must save his people. Chae Eun asks what Tagon’s secret is.
Flashback…Eunseom fights Tagon who tells states Eunseom may be special but there’s more than meets the eye. Eunseom listens as Sanoong admits he tried to kill his son. Tagon and Sanoong admit they have a shared weakness. Eunseom recalls cutting Tagon and his blood on his arm wrap.
Eunseom recalls the familiar blue blood. He knows Tagon is Igutu.
Taealha isn’t happy that the Wahan warrior may know Tagon’s secret. Tagon doesn’t know if the Wahan warrior realized. She pushes him to remember.
Flashback…Eunseom fights Tagon. When Eunseom flees, Tagon touches the wound on his thigh with his hand. The blood is blue. Tagon freaks and quickly binds the wound so he won’t be discovered. He grabs Eunseom’s broken knife. He kneels before his father’s body just before the warriors enter.
Tagon tells Taealha it was only a fleeting moment when his blood might have been seen.
Eunseom tells himself he isn’t the last Igutu. He thinks this is how two children of monsters cross paths.
Moo Baek goes to the sacred cave of the white mountain and introduces himself to mother of the white mountain, Asa Sakan. He asks for wisdom. She asks if he knows about the three heavenly objects – sword, mirror, bell – that created the world. He does. She notes the same three items will be sent to end the world. She declares the signs show that time has come. Moo Baek doesn’t understand. Asa Sakan states there must have been patricide at Arthdal last night. She declares the killer must battle to save the world. She charges him with helping to save the world. Moo Baek doesn’t understand. She explains the three tribes of Arthdal united and are able to speak to the gods. But if Arthdal falls, the humans will revert to savages. Moo Baek asks if the great mothers went south. Asa Sakan confirms this. Moo Baek asks if they could have ended in Lark. Asa Sakan confirms this. He asks if the great mother left her byeoldaya. Asa Sakan denies this stating the byeoldaya was taken.
As he walks away, Moo Baek stares at the byeoldaya (ancient writing on a disc) he brought from the Great Mother’s Cho Seol (Tanya’s mother) sacred place and holy bag. He flips it over and stares at the backside, the one that Asa Sakan doesn’t know about.
A reward is offered for information to capture the Sanoong’s assassin. Dan Byeok vows to capture and kill the man that killed his father.
Taealha brings Tagon his ceremonial outfit. She wonders if the Wahan warrior is a descendant from their ancestors. She guesses the Wahan warrior knows nothing of Igutu and blue blood would be meaningless to him. Tagon thanks her for making him feel better. She kneels before him and states today he becomes a god. She chose him and today is important for both of them. She doesn’t want him distracted by the Wahan warrior. They repeat their vows and do their secret handshake.
Those two are perfect for each other.
Mi Ho demands that Taealha is found. Dan Byeok arrives. Mi Ho doesn’t understand why the Wahan warrior would kill Sanoong. Dan Byeok asks if he believes Tagon killed Sanoong. Mi Ho points out that Tagon had the perfect scapegoat in the Wahan warrior. Mi Ho points out that Tagon will now become leader. He forces Dan Byeok to consider that he may no longer be valued and the Hae tribe may lose standing too. Dan Byeok can’t accuse Tagon without proof. Mi Ho urges him to find the Wahan warrior, the only witness. Dan Byeok asks where Taealha is. Mi Ho lies that she’s sick in bed.
Dan Byeok tells his men to find the Wahan warrior and Taealha.
Mi Ho worries that if Tagon becomes leader, he’ll be forced to share their metal making secrets and their security will be gone. He knows only one person can stop Tagon. He exits. Gil Sun (who works for Tagon) watches and orders him followed.
Gil Sun reports to Tagon that Mi Ho is headed to the great shrine. Taealha quips her father is predictable. Tagon says he must act next.
Asa Ron watches Mi Ho enter his lair. Mi Ho claims to have something to confess.
Tagon goes to Dan Byeok to ask for his help. Dan Byeok wonders if Tagon killed their father.
Mi Ho asks if Tagon came up with the idea for Asa Ron to declare him gifted with psychic powers from the gods. Asa Ron’s scoffs. Mi Ho retorts that Asa Ron must have met privately with Tagon. Mi Ho admits his own daughter has fallen under Tagon’s spell. Mi Ho declares Tagon has played both of them. Asa Ron asks what his point is.
Tagon asks for Dan Byeok’s permission to perform the ritual to send their father’s soul to god. Tagon lies that he can only talk to Dan Byeok about these important matters. Tagon says Dan Byeok is the leader of their tribe. Tagon admits he is illegitimate and doesn’t know who his mother is. Dan Byeok asks if Tagon killed their father. Tagon feigns outrage. He claims his warrior attacked father so he could know if their father was plotting against him. Dan Byeok asks again if Tagon killed their father. Tagon feigns outrage. Dan Byeok yells that Tagon hated their father. Tagon changes tack and claims that he didn’t want to kill their father, he wanted to kill Dan Byeok. He wanted the approval Dan Byeok had from their father. Now, he’ll never get that approval. Dan Byeok states their father took Taealha. Tagon says he wanted to kill Mi Ho for forcing his daughter to be a spy and putting a wedge between himself and their father.
Mi Ho tells Asa Ron that Tagon wants to be the King of Arthdal. Asa Ron recalls a king is a supreme leader Mi Ho’s tribe once had. Asa Ron scoffs at the idea. Mi Ho tells Asa Ron he must become the next leader of Arthdal and pledges to help. Asa Ron counters a priest cannot become leader. Mi Ho cites one that did. He urges Asa Ron call out Tagon for Sanoong’s death at the tribal meeting then banish him. Mi Ho tells Asa Ron to become the next leader.
Moo Gwang helps a supposedly exhausted Tagon away. Dan Byeok watches his brother be helped away. Moo Gwang asks Tagon what to do with the Wahans. Tagon smiles.
Moo Gwang tells his fellow warriors that Tagon has ordered the Wahans beheaded and their heads displayed at the marketplace. Moo Gwan points out that putting the blame on the Wahans for Sanoong’s death, will stop anyone from assessing their culpability in the chain of events.
The soldiers inform the Wahan they’ll all die via beheading tomorrow. One turns on Tanya citing her involvement with Eunseom as causing this mess. They cry. Tanya’s father reminds her of the prophecy from the day of her birth. He cries. She cries. He calls her cursed. He calls Eunseom cursed. Tanya accepts her father’s verdict. She states she can’t dance or dream. She notes she cast a spell on Eunseom so he would come for them. She cries that’s the reason they will all die. The Wahan cry beheading won’t allow them to go the gods after death. They all cry. Tanya’s father makes his last judgement. He declares if they can’t go the white wolf after beheading, they could kill each other now to facilitate the crossing. They all cry.
Chae Eun tells Eunseom the Wahan will die by beheading tomorrow. Eunseom declares he must speak with Tagon. Chae Eun tells him think before reacting. Eunseom declares if he’ll die trying to save him.
Asa Ron is informed that Tagon is performing the death ritual for his father. Asa Ron is not happy about that and leaves to intercept.
Mi Ho is happy that Asa Ron isn’t happy about Tagon’s actions.
With warriors, Dan Byeok, et all in attendance, Tagon performs the death ritual for his father. He calls to Araman Haesulla and Kanmoreu to facilitate his father’s passage.
Eunseom watches the citizens rush to see Tagon perform the death ritual.
Hae Tauk begs Taealha to let her go and watch the ritual. Taealha warns her to stay out of her father’s sight. Eunseom watches Hae Tauk exit the courtyard where Taealha stands.
Asa Ron arrives. Mi Ho arrives. Asa Ron asks Tagon is he’s ever dreamed. Everyone stares. Tagon says no. Asa Ron asks if he’s ever heard the voices of the gods. Tagon says no. Asa Ron declares Tagon cannot perform the death ritual. Tagon reminds Asa Ron about his psychic powers from the gods. Asa Ron retorts that is only for the battlefield. The crowd buzzes. Asa Ron orders Tagon to cease and desist.
Tagon looks like he’ll do as Asa Ron bids but then he turns and tells Asa Ron to kneel before him. He repeats his order. He declares that he is only borrowing this body.
Ah, Tagon declares he is channeling Araman Haesulla. Dude, someone else has that claim, but you don’t know it yet.
Asa Ron freaks and yells this is an act.
Tagon goes for the academy award and declares he is only using Tagon’s body. He helped Asa Ron rise to his position. Tagon asks Asa Ron why he can’t see who he really is. The crowd buzzes.
Moo Baek walks through the crowd toward Tagon.
Taealha walks and hopes all is going as planned. Eunseom puts a knife to her throat.
Tagon continues the act. People wonder if he is Araman Haesulla.
Moo Gwang declares they are listening to Araman Haesulla.
The fireflies that Taealha released buzz around Tagon’s head. The crowd buzzes. All of Tagon’s warriors proclaim he is Araman Haesulla. The crowd kneels. The sight of the fireflies swarming Tagon has everyone believing.
Taealha asks who he is. She goes for a knife but Eunseom stops her. He hands her the arm band with Tagon’s blue blood on it and tells her to give it Tagon. He warns her if Tagon better not harm any of the Wahan. He leaves. She opens the arm band and sees Tagon’s blue blood on it.
Tagon basks in the glory of being declared the reincarnated Araman Haesulla. Asa Ron and Mi Ho know they can’t stem the tide.
Meanwhile the REAL reincarnated Araman Haesulla (Eunseom) strides through the night. He thinks that if Tagon hurts the Wahan, Tagon’s birth secret will be exposed to all.
Taealha shakes in fury. If Tagon’s secret is exposed, her dreams won’t be actualized.
Another riveting episode. Writers Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon must love to play chess. Every character made significant moves this episode. It was NEVER boring.
* The Arthdal leader, Sanoong (leader of the Saenyeok tribe) is dead, killed by his son Tagon. It said everything when Sanoong rejected Tagon’s “heart felt” plea for forgiveness and instead moved to declares his son’s machinations. But Tagon’s lightning reflexes allowed him to slit his father’s throat before the shutters could be opened. Even in death Sanoong was a pawn used by Tagon. Sanoong kept Tagon’s birth secret because it would destroy him. He had the chance to kill Tagon many times but never did it. He deserved the deadly strike Tagon delivered.
* Asa Ron (leader of the Hwinsan tribe) wanted stop Tagon from performing the death ceremony. But Tagon thwarted Asa Ron. How ironic that the visual tricks Asa Ron typically use for power, were deftly used by Tagon against him. Will he end up kneeling before Tagon next episode?
* Hae Mi Ho (leader of the Hae tribe) couldn’t stop Tagon either. It was a bad day for Mi Ho: his daughter supports Tagon over him, his ally Sanoong was killed and Mi Ho KNEW Tagon did it but couldn’t prove it, and Asa Ron was unable to stop the ascension of Tagon. Do I feel bad for Mi Ho? Nope. You play with fire, you get burned.
Tagon (Jang Dong Gun) (Sanoong’s son) killed his father and is posed to ascend to King. He is smart, evil and one heck of an actor. He convinced his brother that he didn’t kill their father, though logic screamed that Tagon committed patricide. His smile when he ordered the Wahan beheaded reminded us that this good-looking man with soulful eyes relishes cruelty and sees others as pawns in his master chess game to ultimate power. We have a glimmer of hope, Eunseom knows Tagon’s BIG secret…he is Igutu.
Tanya (Kim Ji Won) accepted responsibility for bringing Eunseom into the tribe’s orbit. While that seemed like a negative this episode, it will be a positive in future episodes. Eunseom will save this tribe.
Eunseom (Song Joong Ki) learned Tagon is Igutu just like he is. Nothing like some blue blood to change the fortunes of our down but not out Eunseom. I must say that Song Joong Ki has done well as the reactionary one step behind Eunseom. With little screen time, I want Eunseom to succeed but the cards of knowledge, politics, and might are stacked against him. Even Eunseom doesn’t know that HE is the reincarnated Araman Haesulla and his horse is the reincarnated Kanmoreu. With the people’s susceptibility to mystic, Eunseom’s true identity, and Tagon’s fear of the truth, Eunseom has a chance to succeed.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as terrific. My rating chart is below: