Arthdal Chronicles Episode 13 Recap
Part 3: The Prelude to all Legends
Tanya (Kim Ji Won), the Wahan great mother and direct descendant of Asa Sin, uses the slingshot fashioned from her dress, takes a rock, and takes aim. Tanya takes her shot and breaks the ceiling. Asa Sin’s bell falls into the water! Everyone tries to see what fell in the water. Tanya lifts the star bell out of the water. She moves it. It RINGS! Everyone is startled at the gentle sound. They kneel and declare she is Asa Sin, their great mother. Tagon (Jang Dong Gun) smiles. Saya (Song Joong Ki) stares. Taealha (Kim Ok Vin) is stunned then smiles. The mother of the white mountain, Asa Sakan, wants to intervene but can’t. with Asa Ron (current high priest that Tanya could usurp because she’s a direct descendant) know this means trouble for him. Hae Mi Ho (former leader of the Hae tribe) is likely calculating how to use this for his advantage.
Tanya repeats the words Taealha had her memorize but speaks in the Wahan tongue. She declares the Wahan should no longer be slaves and forced to kneel to Arthdal.
Kitoha worries that if Tanya is the direct descendant that Moo Gwang’s days are numbered per her prediction. Then he laughs. Yang Cha watches them bicker.
Moo Baek, Chae Eun, Nun Byeol and Saya are in the crowd outside the shrine waiting for word…is Tanya the direct descendant of Asa Sin?
Taealha and Tagon smile at each other. Her note was correct, Tanya could find the bell.
Taealha bows then stands to ask Tanya when the reincarnated Araman Haesulla will return to Arthdal. Tanya states he already came to Arthdal but no one recognized him. She declares he is the one that will protect her.
Tanya tells Tagon to stand before her. Tagon declares she is the direct descendant. In return, per the plan, Tanya declares Tagon is the reincarnated Araman Haesulla. Tagon internally reveals. Taealha smiles in triumph. The crowd calls to Tagon as the reincarnated Araman Haesulla.
The messenger runs to the crowd outside to report what he witnessed. The first part of the report is clear – Tanya found Asa Sin’s bell. The crowd goes wild. The second part of the report dispensed – Tagon is the reincarnation of Araman Haesulla. The crowd goes wild. The second part of the report wipes the smile from Moo Baek’s face.
Tagon’s men revel in the report that Tanya is the direct descendant (except Moo Gwang). But they all cheer when they learn Tagon was declared the reincarnated Araman Haesulla. They ring around Moo Gwang chanting crescent moon.
The men teasing Moo Gwang is fun to watch.
Tagon and Tanya greet the crowd. As they lift their hands, the crowd goes wild. Tanya can’t believe all these people are cheering her. Tanya thinks “Eunseom…I can rescue you now.”
Doldambul (aka slave hell) … Eunseom (Song Joong Ki) wrapped as if he were dead and the slave master rise, from the mining pit. The slave master points to the other wrapped bodies and orders them dumped in the swamp.
The site manager is surprised to learn soldiers from Arthdal are there. Yeonbal strides in.
Yeonbal arrives to the staging area for the bodies. He asks if the old man died. The slaver master confirms this. Yeonbal wants to see the body. The slave master blocks his path stating the plague is contagious. Yeonbal pulls back the covering one a body. He notices it is breathing. Slowly everyone notices the bodies are making small movements. Dal Sae goes from grief stricken to stunned. Yeonbal approaches the slave master and demands to know what is his game. Eunseom realizes there’s no time to waste. He springs up and order the others to run.
A massive fight ensues. The soldiers and managers appear to gain the upper hand but Dal Sae and another free the penned slaves. Now the fight tips the other way. The sheer number of slaves and their pent-up fervor overwhelm. Dal Sae saves Eunseom from getting injured and orders him to flee. He declares this is payback for the wrong he committed against Eunseom.
The slave master yells his frustration at being forced to flee without the jewels.
The slaves make their way through an opening in the gate. Yeonbal realizes the old man is gone. He orders his men to find him.
Eunseom carries the old man one his back. They end up by the swamp littered with dead bodies. The old man tells Eunseom to leave him to die.
Back at Arthdal the Wahan slaves wonder what everyone is buzzing about. Soldiers arrive and tell them to come with them.
Back at slave hell, the pursuers arrive at the swamp. They search the dead bodies but don’t find Eunseom and the old man. They run on. Eunseom and the old man have hidden in the water and rise up. The old man warns Eunseom that he’ll slow him down and they’ll be captured. Eunseom declares he’ll never leave anyone behind again.
Tagon and Tanya enter the throne room. Everyone bows. Tanya stumbles not used to the long dress. Yang Cha steadies her and gently maneuvers to stand next to Tagon. With a ready plan, Tagon declares things are now to be set right. The direct descendant is home. On cue, Tanya declares they must perform a ritual to inform the gods of the news. She directs Asa Ron to prepare for the ritual. Knowing Tagon has a plan underway, Asa Ron has no option but to demur and agree. Then Tagon states the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts must be sent to the Great Shrine. The assembly protests stating they are trouble makers and a Wahan warrior killed Tagon’s father. Tagon counters they wronged the Wahan tribe first and the killed Wahan warrior might have been another direct descendant, so it is time to end the hostility and make peace. Tanya thinks this is inly the beginning. Tagon notes the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts worship the direct descendant and now that she’s back, they should be allowed to worship in the open. Taealha declares it’s time for a week long party. Tagon agrees.
Yang Cha actions were kind, are you sensing a shift?
After the meeting, Tanya reminds Tagon that he must keep his word. Taealha and Saya agree. Yang Cha can’t help but notice that Saya looks just like the Wahan warrior (Eunseom) that supposedly killed Tagon’s father. Tanya asks Tagon to free the slaves within Arthdal and those sent to Doldambul. Tagon states she doesn’t need to ask. He signals Yang Cha who opens the door to admit Moo Baek. He bows to Tanya and introduces himself. Tanya remembers that Chae Eun telling her that Moo Baek saved Eunseom. But she also remembers Moo Baek from the day her village was destroyed and the Wahan were enslaved. Tagon tells her to make her request to Moo Baek. Tanya does so. Moo Baek assures her the fastest horse will be sent. He catches sight of Saya and can’t believe what he’s seeing. Tagon informs Tanya that Moo Baek brought the byeoldaya (ancient writing on a disc) from in the Wahan sacred place. Moo Baek nods and steps out of the room.
Moo Baek walks away wonder who the Eunseom look alike was in the room.
Tanya arrives at the Great Shrine. She’s taken to Asa Ron’s old office. She’s floored by the opulence. Asa Ron’s support team welcomes her. She’s measured for a new robe. She states she must talk to Moo Baek.
Moo Baek orders Kitoha to go to Doldambul and bring back the Wahan slaves. Kitoha states that Yeonbal is likely there as they speak. He worries that Moo Baek’s brother Moo Gwang is in trouble. Moo Baek cuts him off and states he wants to talk to Yang Cha.
The escaped slaves and thrilled when Eunseom arrives with the old man. Eunseom asks where Dal Sae is. They admit he was recaptured. Eunseom asks his doctor friend to care for the old man while he goes to rescue Dal Sae. They all wonder where Ipsaeng is. They realize he’s likely still at Doldambul.
Sure enough Ipsaeng is still wrapped and pretending to be dead.
The site manager takes stock. Eleven slaves were recaptured and twenty-two escaped and then there’s the slave master who also fled. Yeonbal isn’t happy the old man got away. Just then the slave master is brought in. The site manager promises he’ll pay.
Ipsaeng is dismayed the bag of jewels is likely at the bottom of the pit. He starts to move and sees Dal Sae being beaten and interrogated about Eunseom. Then he sees the slave master brought into the same room where Dal Sae is. He decides to flee and runs straight into Eunseom and another slave. He defends his cowardly ways. Eunseom declares he’s going to save his friend. Ipsaeng states he’ll help though his goal is to get another chance to find the bag of jewels.
Eunseom disarms the guard and enters he room where Dal Sae and the slave master are held. Ipsaeng sees the site manager striding to the hut and signals via a bird call. The slave master tells Eunseom to hide. The site manager tells the slave master it’s time to play. He holds a hot knife to the man’s throat and order him to declare he is worthless. Eunseom remembers the slave master forcing him to make similar declarations. He watches the torture.
An abuser being abused doesn’t excuse what he did.
Yeonbal decides they need to search for the old man. He orders the site manager brought to him.
The site manager isn’t happy to be summoned but leaves.
Eunseom frees Dal Sae who flops over. He helps Dal Sae up. He stares at the slave master knowing if he leaves him, he’ll die.
Ipsaeng helps the slave master and Eunseom helps Dal Sae as they make their way away from Doldambul. At the camp, the slave master claims the bag of jewels was taken by Goldu. Ipsaeng isn’t happy. They decide they better keep moving. Ipsaeng and the other slave help Dal Sae start walking. Eunseom steps to the slave master. He doesn’t believe the bag of jewels were taken by Goldu. He asks why the slave master is willing to die for the jewels. The slave master states the jewels are a way to buy power through warriors. That gets Eunseom’s attention. The slave master points out that the high priest rules Arthdal not Moo Baek the best warrior. Eunseom starts to walk away. The slave master asks why a filthy Igutu saved him. Eunseom takes the man shirt and declares if he lives through this, he’ll owe his life to a filthy Igutu.
Eunseom catches up with the others. Ipsaeng isn’t happy they are going to find Sateunik’s wife and children like they promised in the pit before Sateunik died. Dal Sae struggles to stand. Eunseom tells the other slave to take Dal Sae to the doctor while he and Ipsaeng visit Sateunik’s wife.
The guard Eunseom disarmed is beaten by the site master for letting Dal Sae and the slave master escape. A captured slave is brought in. He tells the slaves destination to visit Sateunik’s wife. Yeonbal declares they will follow.
Eunseom and Ipsaeng struggle against the cold. Eunseom hugs Ipsaeng to stay awake. Ipsaeng describe the tribes in an effort to stay awake.
Arthdal…Tanya asks Moo Baek why he let Eunseom live. Moo Baek states it is a long story one he can hardly believe himself. Tanya brings up the Eunseom look alike. Moo Baek asks who that is. Tanya counters it is a long story that she can hardly believe. Moo Baek ask for the condensed version.
Moo Baek tells Yang Cha that Tanya doesn’t know everything about the twins. Moo Baek believes they need to keep quiet that Eunseom may be alive. Yang Cha shakes his head no. Moo Baek counters that Tagon will see the withholding as betrayal. He notes Eunseom’s twin would then be accused of killing Tagon’s father. Moo Baek is firm, they must keep this secret…for now.
A Wahan slave now solider doesn’t understand why everyone looks at him. Gil Sun takes him aside. He tells him the news and sends him to the Great Shrine.
The Wahan are brought to the great shrine. Tanya enters. They surround her. They ask if the great white wolf was the original great mother of Arthdal. When the Wahan solider enters, they surround him. Tanya assumes he was sent to Doldambul. He corrects this stating he became a solider. He’s dismayed to learn the Wahan from Doldambul will return. His betrayal will become known. Tanya’s father enters the room. They surround him. Tanya’s eyes fill with tears. His eyes fill with tears. They hug each other and cry. Saya watches the reunion.
Moo Gwang drinks and recalls Tanya’s prophecy about his death and his last words. Moo Baek enters. Moo Gwang declares this mess stems from the byeoldaya and Tagon’s master plan to leverage it. Moo Baek states Tanya is the direct descendant. Moo Gwang scoffs that she’ll be thrown away once she’s served her purpose and he wants to be the one to slit her throat.
Tanya’s father says her mother would be proud. He asks what will happen to Wahan members. She states they are no longer slaves. Tanya’s father surprises her by stating he’s happy working for the Hae tribe, it brings out his inner tinkerer. Tanya is happy he’s fulfilled and repeats he isn’t a slave and can choose to do what he wants. She lowers her voice and states Eunseom is alive and his look alike is here in Arthdal. She warns him not to react when he sees the look alike. She asks him to spread the word among the Wahan.
Eunseom and Ipsaeng trudge on. Ipsaeng complains this is too hard.
Sateunik’s wife doesn’t want to leave the mountain. She’ll tells her friend Xabara she’ll miss her husband when he returns. But she wants the others to return to the sea. She tells them not to bring the baby. They hear the shouts about incoming strangers.
Tanya tells Ipsaeng to tell the men holding the swords they are not here to cause harm. But Ipsaeng doesn’t really speak the language. Eunseom blurts out Sateunik’s name. His wife comes out. She’s distraught when they provide her proof that her husband is dead. The guards look suspiciously at each other when two women discuss the current situation.
Eunseom and Ipsaeng eat heartily. Ipsaeng wonders where a jewel could be. He eyes the baby. He wonders if Xabara is the mother. He can’t recall what Xabara means.
Yeonbal and his men split to cover more ground.
Xabara thanks Eunseom and Ipsaeng for coming to them. She offers them a token as thanks. Ipsaeng seems pleased.
That night Ipsaeng explains the token guarantees other of the tribe will be kind when they see the token. He can’t believe that Eunseom won’t split the profits if they sell it. Instead Eunseom states any profit should be split among the survivors Ipsaeng wonders why he’s saddled with Eunseom.
The suspicious guards nod at each other.
Ipsaeng decides to leave without Eunseom. He takes the token from the sleeping Eunseom. He believes Eunseom will regret his ethics one day.
Ipsaeng sees the suspicious guards kill one of the leaders. The guards head up to where Xabara is. She leaps from the building with the baby and runs. Sateunik’s wife crawls out of the room bleeding. Eunseom finds her. She begs him to save Xabara.
Ipsaeng runs through the woods.
The three guards pursue Xabara. They surround her. She demands to know if Guika ordered this. She places the child near a tree so she can fight the men. They state they’ll be purged of sin when they die. They fight. As one of the men goes in to kill the baby, Eunseom arrives, and snatches the baby in his arms. They run. The men pursue.
Eunseom and Xabara hide. Eunseom sees the cut on her arm. He makes a tourniquet. He makes a dummy baby. He tells her he will lure the men one way and she must go the other way. As he heads away his shirt lifts and Xabara sees the blue imprint on his back. Eunseom calls to the guards and runs. Unfortunately, he sees the soldiers and runs the other way.
Yeonbal and his men and his men arrive to find a dead man outside the house.
Eunseom finds Ipsaeng who is shocked to see him alive. Eunseom can’t believe that Ipsaeng fled and didn’t warn anyone. Ipsaeng gives up the token.
Yeonbal and his men question Sateunik’s wife.
Ipsaeng remembers what Xabara means…it means she’s the leader of the tribe.
Xabara and men from the tribe ride up to the house. One of Yeonbal’s men know who she is. Xabara demands to know why Arthdal men are there. Yeonbal explains they are looking for someone but don’t want a fight. Xabara orders them to leave. Greatly outnumbered, Yeonbal and his men comply.
Xabara’s men push the traitor guard onto their knees. Xabara gives the signal and their heads are cut off.
Xabara tells her tribe that she, Karika, the Xabara of the Momo tribe, is indebted to someone. A man that saved her and the heir of the tribe. But she doesn’t know who he is or his name. She tells her men he has purple lips and symbol on his back like the cloth she displays. She orders her men to find the man. They all give a blood oath and swear they will replay their debt to the purple lips man. They wave the flag with the symbol.
As Eunseom walks, we see the symbol on his back.
Another tribe enters the picture. Writers Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon split the episode between Eunseom’s escape adventures and the political ramifications of Tanya’s successful claim of being the direct descendant of Asa Sin. Eunseom needs men. The Momo have plenty of men and the tribe owes Eunseom a debt for saving their leader and heir apparent. It appears that Eunseom’s manpower issue could be solved by the Momo. After the perfect cliffhanger of episode 12, this episode couldn’t deliver the same tension and climax. But Tanya’s declaration to be Asa Sin’s direct descendant went smoothly with Tagon and Taealha’s backing. The Wahan were freed from being slaves. They finally were treated like people.
Saya (Song Joong Ki) was noticed by Moo Baek and Yang Cha. His days of no one that knew what Eunseom looked like, interacting with him are over. He had little to do but watch events unfold this episode.
Asa Ron (leader of the Hwinsan tribe) got evicted. Asa Ron couldn’t fight fate. He followed Tagon’s orders to leave and prepare for a ritual to tell the gods the good news the direct descendant was back in Arthdal.
Hae Mi Ho (leader of the Hae tribe) watched events unfold. That’s it. We saw him watch the action at the Great Shrine. Not sure if he had a line of dialog this episode.
Tagon (Jang Dong Gun) was smiling on the outside and grinning on the inside. Once again Tagon sees that Taealha has his back. They are a force. They directed Tanya to declare Tagon was the reincarnated Araman Haesulla. Keeping his word to restore the Wahan to non-slave status was no hardship. What’s next the rung in the power ladder for Tagon and Taealha?
Tanya (Kim Ji Won) is the acknowledged direct descendant of Asa Sin. Tanya immediately demanded the Wahan be freed and the slaves be retrieved from Doldambul. She took a gamble and confided some details to Moo Baek. He told Yang Cha that Tanya doesn’t grasp the nuances of the twin Igutus (Saya and Eunseom) and elected not to tell Tagon that Eunseom is alive. Tanya’s reunion with her people and her father was a lovely moment.
Eunseom (Song Joong Ki) escaped, returned from Dal Sae and let the slave master come too. Eunseom’s moto is “leave no man behind”. He helped the horrible slave master escape and left him to find his own path. He made the point that riches are not everything. But the slave master sneered that money buys power. Eunseom realized that isn’t something he has, but may need. I found Ipsaeng irritating. He is a liar, a theft and is a fair weather friend. But Eunseom saved him from the cold and tolerated his antics. I’d prefer Eunseom be paired with someone more honest, he’ll encounter enough traitorous people in the upcoming episodes. He doesn’t need one walking right next to him. What the link between the Moma symbol on the flag and what he has on his back?
Will there be only one song in the OST? Check out Ailee singing “The Poem of Destiny”
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My rating chart is below: