Tuesday, February 14, 2017

“The Moon That Embraces The Sun” synopsis by episode (Eps. 1-20, no spoilers) with embedded videos of memorable scenes

Official trailer with English sub (may contain some spoilers)

Music video

Music video

From Wikipedia: “Moon Embracing the Sun” (also known as “The Moon That Embraces the Sun” or “The Sun and the Moon”) is a 2012 South Korean television drama series, starring Kim Soo-hyun, Han Ga-in, Jung Il-woo and Kim Min-seo.

The historical-fantasy drama is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Jung Eun-gwol. It tells of a secret, poignant love story between a fictional king of the Joseon Dynasty and a female shaman against the backdrop of a Korean traditional palace; and the conflicts and conspiracy of vying political powers.

The drama reached a peak rating of 42.2%, thereby gaining "National Drama" status. It won the Best Drama and Best Actor awards in the television category at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards, and multiple awards at 2012 MBC Drama Awards, including Drama of the Year.
Jump to synopsis of Episode 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; Free 500-plus interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises based on “The Moon That Embraces The Sun” and other Korean historical dramas (external link); Lessons in photography from “The Moon That Embraces The Sun”

How I wrote these episode summaries with no spoilers

1. I assumed that you will be reading these summaries and watching the videos chronologically.

2. I narrated the main actions in each episode without revealing the plot’s twists and turns.

3. At the beginning of each summary starting with Episode 2, I placed in a table a recap of the major twists and turns of the previous episode. But because you have already watched the video of the previous episode, they aren’t spoilers anymore.

(I used this same structure in my synopses of “Six Flying Dragons,” “The Flower in Prison,” “A Jewel in the Palace,” “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds,” “Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People,” “Jumong,” and “Saimdang, Light’s Diary.”)

Episode 1: The butterfly, the riddle, and the mystical stones

The Queen Mother and Lord Yoon conspire against Prince Uiseong, the younger half-brother of King Seongjo, by fabricating a treasonous plot. But Ari, a shaman from Seongsucheon witnesses everything. (Seongsucheon is the government bureau in charge of the shamanic rituals for the royal family.)

On the run, Ari meets the pregnant Lady Shin in the woods. Later, she has visions of Lady Shin’s future daughter.

Ari is eventually captured, and Lord Yoon tortures her to implicate Prince Uiseong in the treasonous plot.

Lady Shin gives birth to a daughter whom she names Yeon-woo.

Years later ...

Lady Shin and Yeon-woo attend a ceremony at the palace where King Seongjo will welcome those who passed the civil service and military exams. Yeon-woo’s brother Yeom placed first in the civil service exams, while his best friend Woon topped the military exams.

Also attending the ceremony are Lord Yoon (now the Minister of Personnel) and Yeon-woo’s father Heo Young-jae (Chief Scholar of the Office of Special Advisors).

But during the ceremony, Yeon-woo gets distracted and wanders off to an isolated place in the palace. There, she meets a young man trying to climb over the wall.

When King Seongjo orders a reshuffling of the royal tutors, the Queen Mother orders Minister Yoon to place their allies as the new tutors of Crown Prince Lee Hwon.

Prince Yang-myung, the half-brother of Crown Prince Lee Hwon, arrives in the capital after wandering around Joseon. As he thinks about what gifts to give to his best friends (Yeom and Woon) and the girl of his dreams, he hears about the mystical stones that can cure any sickness. Lining up to buy some of these stones, he meets Jang Nok-young (Ari’s friend and the current State Shaman).

A fight later breaks out between Prince Yang-myung and the men selling the mystical stones.

Episode 2: The Royal Tutor, best friends, and Yeon-woo’s letter

Episode 1 recap: As Prince Yang-myung watches her from atop a wall, Yeon-woo finds out that the young man whom she accused of being a thief is none other than Crown Prince Lee Hwon.

Prince Yang-myung enjoys a happy reunion with his best friends Yeom and Woon. But the mood turns serious when their talk turns to Yeon-woo and Crown Prince Lee Hwon.

Yeom is selected to be the Literature tutor, but Crown Prince Lee Hwon feels insulted that Yeom is only 17 years old. That night, Yeom asks Yeon-woo how he can clear up the misunderstanding between him and Crown Prince Lee Hwon.

During their next meeting, Yeom challenges Crown Prince Lee Hwon that if he can answer his riddle, he will quit as the Literature tutor.

While Crown Prince Lee Hwon is going through books looking for the riddle’s answer, his sister Princess Min-hwa arrives and tells him that the answer is so easy. Later, he meets Yeom in his study quarters; unknown to them, King Seongjo and Chief Scholar Heo are outside the quarters, listening to them argue about the riddle’s answer.

Yeon-woo takes her servant Seol to buy some paper at the market. After Seol leaves to go to the blacksmith, Prince Yang-myung arrives at the paper store.

When it starts to rain, Prince Yang-myung takes Yeon-woo to his greenhouse. While they’re talking about King Seongjo, Yeon-woo remembers what Crown Prince Lee Hwon said about Prince Yang-myung. Meanwhile, Seol has been accused of being a thief and is being beaten in the home of a government official.

During their next session, Yeom brings to Crown Prince Lee Hwon a letter and a gift from Yeon-woo. While they’re talking, Princess Min-hwa shows up.

When King Seongjo rejects Princess Min-hwa’s request that she study with Yeom as her teacher, Minister Yoon proposes a solution.

State Shaman Nok-young visits her friend Ari’s grave. Later, on the Queen Mother’s order, she goes to the palace. At the palace gate, she becomes startled as she sees Yeon-woo and Bo-kyung (Minister Yoon’s daughter).

Episode 3: “Eunwolgak” (Hidden Moon Pavilion)

Episode 2 recap:

Yeon-woo rescues Seol from being beaten by Bo-kyung’s servants.

Crown Prince Lee Hwon is amazed by Yeon-woo’s calligraphy and deep knowledge of poetry.

Yeon-woo and Bo-kyung are chosen to be Princess Min-hwa’s study partners.

State Shaman Nok-young realizes that Yeon-woo is the girl that Ari asked her to protect.
Crown Prince Lee Hwon finds out that Yeon-woo is one of the two girls chosen to be Princess Min-hwa’s study partner. Despite his eunuch Hyung-sun’s protest, he sends a note to Yeon-woo asking to meet her in secret.

Yeon-woo and Bo-kyung are brought before the Queen Mother for an interview. From an adjacent room, State Shaman Nok-young secretly observes them.

Prince Yang-myung goes to the palace, and Crown Prince Lee Hwon asks him to play “cuju” (Joseon football) with him, Yeom, Woon, and some royal guards. Finding out about the game, Princess Min-hwa takes Yeon-woo to watch the game.

After watching the game, Princess Min-hwa, Yeon-woo, and Bo-kyung return to their study quarters. On their way, they meet King Seongjo.

Prince Yang-myung anxiously meets King Seongjo and makes what he calls his first and final request.

At home, Yeon-woo asks her servant Seol for advice about the letter that she got from Crown Prince Lee Hwon. Seol tells her that it’s cowardly not to confront the person who sent the threatening letter.

Minister Yoon learns about the letter and reports it to the Queen Mother.

The next day, Crown Prince Lee Hwon orders his eunuch to bring Yeon-woo to “Eunwolgak” (Hidden Moon) pavilion. But gossip soon circulates about their meeting, and it reaches the Queen. When King Seongjo learns about it, he orders Crown Prince Lee Hwon brought before him.

The Queen Mother pushes for the selection of Crown Prince Lee Hwon’s bride. Later, at the end-of-year ceremony at the palace, Crown Prince Lee Hwon meets Yeon-woo but ignores her.

Episode 4: The Crown Princess

Episode 3 recap:

Prince Yang-myung asks his father King Seongjo to arrange his marriage to Yeon-woo.

Eunuch Hyung-sun thinks Bo-kyung is Yeon-woo and brings her to meet Crown Prince Lee Hwon.

While being scolded by King Seongjo, Crown Prince Lee Hwon reveals that he’s in love with Yeon-woo.

During the ceremony, Yeon-woo hears a voice telling her to flee. Later, Crown Prince Lee Hwon takes her to Eunwolgak, with Prince Yang-myung and Bo-kyung secretly watching them from a distance.

After clearing up their previous misunderstanding, Crown Prince Lee Hwon tells Yeon-woo that he will definitely marry her.

The royal order prohibiting marriage and asking for all eligible girls to present themselves is posted all over the capital. But Crown Prince Lee Hwon is disappointed when Yeom tells him that Yeon-woo is not a candidate. Yeon-woo’s father wants to obey the royal order, but Lady Shin fears the possible consequences if Yeon-woo isn’t chosen.

Realizing that the Queen Mother has already chosen Bo-kyung as his bride, Crown Prince Lee Hwon talks to his father and pleads for a fair selection process. Later, he orders his eunuch to bring a Sungkyungkwan scholar to the palace in secret.

After meeting a disgruntled Prince Yang-myung, King Seongjo goes to see Princess Min-hwa, who tells him that she also wants to get married.

Yeom confronts Yeon-woo and discourages her from submitting her name as a candidate.

While arguing with the Queen Mother about the selection process, King Seongjo reminds her of how she plotted against his half-brother Prince Euisung.

The night before the first round of selection, Prince Yang-myung visits Yeon-woo and asks her to elope with him.

Episode 5: The curse

Episode 4 recap:

King Seongjo decides to directly choose who Crown Prince Lee Hwon’s bride will be, shutting out and angering the Queen Mother.

Yeon-woo is chosen as the Crown Princess, and on her first night alone at Eunwolgak, Crown Prince Lee Hwon surprises her with a puppet play.

The Queen Mother asks State Shaman Nok-young to invoke a shamanic curse against Yeon-woo.
Because of State Shaman Nok-young’s curse, Yeon-woo is cast out of the palace, with Minister Yoon and his minions calling for the punishment of her father Chief Scholar Heo and brother Yeom.

The Queen Mother calls for Crown Prince Lee Hwon and blames him for everything that’s happening and will happen to Yeon-woo and her family.

State Shaman Nok-young visits Yeon-woo’s father and tells him that exorcism is the only way to save Yeon-woo.

Crown Prince Lee Hwon escapes from the palace to see Yeon-woo. Prince Yang-myung, meanwhile, is living far away from the capital and is unaware of what’s happening.

As Yeon-woo becomes more sick, Chief Scholar Heo sends Yeom away and sells Seol to a new master. He prepares the medicine that Shaman Nok-young prescribed and gives it to Yeon-woo.

Episode 6: King Lee Hwon

Episode 5 recap:

Using the last ounce of her strength, Yeon-woo writes a letter to Crown Prince Lee Hwon.

After drinking the medicine, Yeon-woo dies peacefully.
After the burial, Prince Yang-myung confronts Crown Prince Lee Hwon and blames him for failing to protect Yeon-woo.

Minister Yoon tells Bo-kyung that she will be the Crown Princess.

After State Shaman Nok-young gets the Queen Mother’s permission to leave her duties at Seongsucheon, she immediately goes to Yeon-woo’s grave.

Chief Scholar Heo is exiled, and Lady Shin breaks down emotionally and psychologically over Yeon-woo’s death. Meanwhile, Princess Min-hwa is overcome with fear and guilt over her role in Yeon-woo’s death.

Years later ...

After a game of golf (“Joseon polo”) with the ministers, King Lee Hwon takes them to the Office of the Royal Secretary where he berates them for preventing the people’s petitions from reaching him.

When Minister Yoon arouses her fear that Prince Yang-myung might covet the throne, the Grand Queen Mother pressures King Lee Hwon to take a vacation in Ohnyang.

Prince Yang-myung goes back to the capital and stays at Yeom and Princess Min-hwa’s house. While walking alone at night, he imagines Yeon-woo walking beside him.

At the palace, King Lee Hwon wakes up after a dream. Together with his bodyguard Woon, he goes to Eunwolgak.

While performing a ritual on a mountain near Ohnyang, Shaman Nok-young senses a disturbance in the heavens.

Episode 7: The shaman

Episode 6 recap:

The drug that Shaman Nok-young prepared didn’t kill Yeon-woo; it placed her in a deep state similar to death.

Shaman Nok-young rescues Yeon-woo from her grave, but as a result of the shock of being buried alive, Yeon-woo loses all her memories. Shaman Nok-young tells her that she’s a shaman who was abandoned by her family.

Because of the disturbance in the heavens, Shaman Nok-young plans to visit the seer, taking Jan-shil along with her. While waiting at the port for the boat, she warns Yeon-woo and Seol not to meet or befriend anyone in the village. Later, the boat arrives; among its passengers is Prince Yang-myung.

Finding out that King Lee Hwon’s entourage is passing by the village, Yeon-woo pleads with Seol that they should see the King. Seol reluctantly agrees, but on their way, they get into trouble with a soldier.

The villagers bow down while King Lee Hwon’s entourage passes by, but Yeon-woo suddenly stands up and causes a commotion. Seol pulls her away, but as they run, the soldiers and Prince Yang-myung chase after them.

King Lee Hwon and Woon escape from their entourage and walk around the village. Noticing a spy sent by Minister Yoon, they escape towards the woods, where King Lee Hwon sees a vision of the teenaged Yeon-woo. He runs off to chase the vision, with Woon following him.

That night, over food and wine at the royal residence in Ohnyang, King Lee Hwon asks Prince Yang-myung if he still thinks of Yeon-woo.

Back in the palace, the ministers become alarmed when King Lee Hwon decides to investigate the funds going into a construction project. Minister Yoon then secretly meets the State Shaman.

Queen Bo-kyung visits King Lee Hwon in his quarters and asks him to take in a concubine who can give him an heir.

The Queen Mother decides to replace the State Shaman and recall Shaman Nok-young to the palace.

Episode 8: The human talisman

Episode 7 recap:

King Lee Hwon meets on the mountain a young shaman (whom he doesn’t know is actually his beloved Yeon-woo). He gives her the name “Wol” meaning “moon.”

To force Shaman Nok-young to return to the palace, the court officials sent by the Grand Queen Mother kidnap Wol (aka Yeon-woo).
As Wol escapes from her kidnappers, she runs into Prince Yang-myung, who’s in disguise and running away from people seeking his favors.

The Royal Astrologer tells the Grand Queen Mother that Shaman Nok-young refuses to come back to the palace. He suggests using Wol as a human talisman to absorb the negative energies from King Lee Hwon.

Wol is brought into King Lee Hwon’s quarters after he had fallen asleep; Woon is struck silent as he recognizes Wol as the shaman from Ohnyang. With Wol beside him, King Lee Hwon dreams of Yeon-woo and audibly speaks her name.

During the meeting with the ministers, the father of the boy who King Lee Hwon met in Ohnyang is brought to court. After questioning him, King Lee Hwon releases him from his forced duties and allows him to go back to his family.

Pleased with King Lee Hwon’s renewed energy, the Grand Queen Mother goes to Seongsucheong to meet Wol.

Wol reunites with Seol and Jan-shil, but Shaman Nok-young tells her that she must leave the palace immediately. She refuses, however, saying that she’ll serve King Lee Hwon for the next 30 days.

On the third night of her duties, as King Lee Hwon is asleep and dreaming of Yeon-woo, Wol reaches out to touch him.

Episode 9: Saving Wol

Episode 8 recap:

Prince Yang-myung gets knocked out cold as he tries to save Wol.

Shaman Nok-young becomes head of Seongsucheong again.

Woon saves the father released by King Lee Hwon from the assassins sent by Minister Yoon.

Because of the commotion at the King’s quarters, the Royal Astrologer orders Wol locked up in jail.

Searching for Wol, Prince Yang-myung goes to the palace and meets the Royal Astrologer and the Grand Queen Mother. Later, he goes to a temple.

Thinking about what the Grand Queen Mother said, King Lee Hwon asks Woon about Prince Yang-myung. Later, he asks Woon to check up on Wol.

Seol pleads with Shaman Nok-young to save Wol by telling King Lee Hwon who Wol really is.

Lady Shin dreams about Yeon-woo, and later Yeom finds her in Yeon-woo’s former quarters.

Queen Bo-kyung complains to the Queen Mother about the rumors that she has heard about King Lee Hwon keeping a woman near him every night.

The ministers wonder why King Lee Hwon hasn’t exposed their plans of training a private army in the guise of a construction project.

Woon pleads on Wol’s behalf while King Lee Hwon practices his archery. Meanwhile, Wol is taken from the prison and strapped to a chair. The Royal Astrologer orders her to be punished, and as Seol and Jan-shil scream in terror, a guard takes a hot iron to brand her on the forehead.

Episode 10: The three letters

Episode 9 recap:

King Lee Hwon saves Wol and allows her to continue being his human talisman.

Wol meets Prince Yang-myung at the paper store and advises him to open his heart to a new relationship.

Queen Bo-kyung sees King Lee Hwon and Wol inside his quarters.
Queen Bo-kyung backs down from entering the King’s quarters.

Against the protest of his head eunuch, King Lee Hwon calls for the Royal Physician.

The next day, King Lee Hwon reads the letter that Wol wrote to him. After Hyung-sun gently reminds him of Queen Bo-kyung, he goes to the Queen’s quarters, to the delight of the Queen Mother and the Grand Queen Mother.

Queen Bo-kyung orders her head court attendant to find someone among King Lee Hwon’s attendants who can be her spy.

At the market, Prince Yang-myung and Jan-shil meet each other.

King Lee Hwon tells Wol that he read her letter that expressed her resentments, but Wol says that he misread her letter. While they’re talking, King Lee Hwon suddenly remembers Yeon-woo. He stands up and tells his head eunuch that he wants some fresh air. In Eunwolgak, he orders his head eunuch, Woon, and his attendants to stand back and to leave him and Wol alone.

Wol is shaken by King Lee Hwon’s words, and after getting back to Seongsucheong, she asks Shaman Nok-young who she really is.

Prince Yang-myung goes to Yeom’s house, and Woon arrives with a message from King Lee Hwon. Later, that night, Yeom finds the letter that Yeon-woo wrote before she died; Prince Yang-myung, meanwhile, meets Jan-shil on the road.

In the palace, Yeom creates a stir among the court ladies and Minister Yoon’s allies. He gives Yeon-woo’s letter to King Lee Hwon and counsels him to move on and to cherish Queen Bo-kyung.

Episode 11: Wol, Yeon-woo, and the puppet play

Episode 10 recap:

King Lee Hwon is shocked by the similarity of the handwriting in Yeon-woo’s very first letter to him and in Wol’s letter. He orders Wol brought to him immediately, but as the guards escort her, Prince Yang-myung grabs her aside.
Shaman Nok-young intervenes and orders the soldiers to take Wol away from Prince Yang-myung.

Despite logic and past events, King Lee Hwon thinks that Wol is actually Yeon-woo. When Wol arrives in his quarters, he cross-examines her about her past.

After Shaman Nok-young kicks Jan-shil out of Seongsucheong, Wol tells her that she wants to stop serving the King and to leave the capital with Seol and Jan-shil.

At the temple, Prince Yang-myung tells his mother that he will no longer give anything up for King Lee Hwon.

King Lee Hwon studies Yeon-woo’s last letter with Woon and his head eunuch; later, he orders Yeom to go on a vacation.

The ministers question King Lee Hwon’s explanation of Yeom’s vacation; later, as King Lee Hwon berates the staff of the records room for their negligence, Woon steals some records.

After Shaman Nok-young visits the Grand Queen Mother, she meets Queen Bo-kyung, who asks her if she can meet Wol.

King Lee Hwon and Woon secretly leave the palace to investigate the true circumstances of Yeon-woo’s death.

As Wol walks along in the market, she begins having flashes of memories and hearing voices. When she becomes dizzy and starts to fall, someone grabs her and keeps her steady — it’s King Lee Hwon.

Episode 12: The consummation

Episode 11 recap:

King Lee Hwon rescues Wol from one of the ministers, and later, they watch a puppet show. But unknown to them, Prince Yang-myung sees them from afar.
Prince Yang-myung confirms with Woon what King Lee Hwon thinks about the similarity in looks of Yeon-woo and Wol. Later that night, he confronts Wol on the street, asking why she didn’t keep her appointment with Jan-shil.

While waiting for Wol to come to his quarters that night, King Lee Hwon is surprised to see Queen Bo-kyung standing in front of him.

After the head eunuch of the late King Seongjo commits suicide, King Lee Hwon orders that a certain judicial officer be secretly brought to the palace.

Minister Yoon warns the Grand Queen Mother that King Lee Hwon is secretly investigating Yeon-woo’s death years ago.

The new date for consummation between King Lee Hwon and Queen Bo-kyung has been set, but King Lee Hwon says that he’s not well enough. Queen Bo-kyung assures her father, Minister Yoon, that this time, King Lee Hwon won’t be able to say no — she will use Wol against him.

In Seongsucheong, Wol thinks about the confusing things that King Lee Hwon has told her. Later, she receives numerous gifts that make her fellow shamans jealous of her good fortune; she also gets a letter from Prince Yang-myung.

When King Lee Hwon refuses to follow the consummation date with Queen Bo-kyung, Minister Yoon threatens him that Wol can be put to death for failing her duties as a human talisman.

Episode 13: Wol’s arrest and interrogation

Episode 12 recap:

The judicial officer turns out to be the Sungkyungkwan scholar who helped King Lee Hwon when he was still the Crown Prince. King Lee Hwon orders him to secretly investigate Yeon-woo’s death.

Thinking of Wol’s safety, King Lee Hwon goes to Queen Bo-kyung’s quarters. Meanwhile, in Seongsucheong, Prince Yang-myung offers Wol a way out of her situation by eloping with him.
King Lee Hwon collapses and is rushed back to his quarters. As the Royal Physician attends to him, Wol arrives.

The “Euigeumbu” (Royal Investigative Office) questions the Royal Physician and the three officials from the departments of Geography, Astronomy, and Astrology on what caused King Lee Hwon to collapse.

Queen Bo-kyung tells the Queen Mother and the Grand Queen Mother about her dream of a woman wearing white clothes. Meanwhile, the ministers begin planning on pressuring King Lee Hwon by letting the Confucian scholars know that he has been keeping a shaman in his quarters.

Hong Kyu-tae (the former Sungkyunkwan scholar) continues investigating Yeon-woo’s death years ago. Later, he leads the Royal Investigative Office in arresting Wol.

Minister Yoon visits Wol in prison and threatens her; later Shaman Nok-young also visits her.

During Wol’s interrogation by Minister Yoon, King Lee Hwon arrives and questions his authority.

To save Wol, Shaman Nok-young goes to see the Grand Queen Mother. Later, King Lee Hwon also visits the Grand Queen Mother.

As Wol’s interrogation continues, Prince Yang-myung shows up and says that Wol was with him at the time that King Lee Hwon collapsed.

Episode 14: The eclipse and the exorcism

Episode 13 recap:

Despite being tortured, Wol refuses to implicate King Lee Hwon; she also covers up for Prince Yang-myung.

King Lee Hwon begs on his knees for the Grand Queen Mother to save Wol.

Prince Yang-myung confronts King Lee Hwon and says that he’s willing to sacrifice everything for Wol.
Wol is convicted as a lewd woman who tried to seduce a member of the royal family; she is sentenced to serve at an overcrowded and underfunded public health care center.

After visiting the Grand Queen Mother, King Lee Hwon visits Wol in prison.

When the Grand Queen Mother begins hearing cries from Eunwolgak, the Royal Astrologer assures her that it’s because of the upcoming solar eclipse. He says that there’s a way of cleansing Eunwolgak of its evil spirit.

The ministers order that Prince Yang-myung be placed under house arrest.

Shaman Nok-young bribes a jail officer so that she can visit Wol in prison. She finally reveals to Wol that her friend asked her years ago to protect her by all means. Wol becomes confused with Shaman Nok-young’s words and sudden use of formal language.

As Wol is paraded through the streets on her way to the public health center, people start throwing stones at her. Lady Shin and her servant are in the crowd, and when she sees Wol, she cries out, “Yeon-woo!”

To Wol’s surprise, her escorts transfer her to another set of soldiers. The soldiers bring her back to the palace, and the Royal Astrologer locks her up in Eunwolgak.

The solar eclipse begins.

Episode 15: The confessions

Episode 14 recap:

The Royal Astrologer wants to use Wol to absorb the evil spirit in Eunwolgak, even if it causes her to die.

Hong Kyu-tae reports to King Lee Hwon that Yeon-woo’s body remained warm hours after her death.

During the eclipse, Wol meets the spirit of 13-year old Yeon-woo; it finally dawns on her that she and Yeon-woo are one and the same person.

Wol forces Seol to confess and to tell her everything that has happened for the last several years to her family and about the drug that Shaman Nok-young gave to her father. Later, she sends Seol on a mission.

Prince Yang-myung’s house arrest is lifted, and Woon cautions him to stay away from Wol. But he still goes to the public health center, and after he treats a young girl, the nurses there ask him to help them out since the doctors there are always being called away.

King Lee Hwon sends Hyong Kyu-tae to see the court lady who supervised Yeon-woo’s court education. On his way there, Hyong Kyu-tae sees Seol.

Along with Seol, Yeon-woo visits her father’s grave. But her mother, Yeom, and Princess Min-hwa are also on their way there.

Seol urges Wol to reveal herself as Yeon-woo to her family, but Wol refuses.

As Wol returns to the public health center, she sees Prince Yang-myung playing a stick game with several kids. Prince Yang-myung forces her to join the game. Later, he gives her a stone, which she names “haewooseok” (a stone to which she can tell all her problems).

Queen Bo-kyung orders her attendant to bring Wol to her quarters in secret.

Episode 16: The revelation

Episode 15 recap:

Yeon-woo overhears her mother confess to Yeom that his father was unable to bear the guilt over Yeon-woo’s death and committed suicide.

After being attacked by two masked men, Hong Kyu-tae finds the court lady dead.

Prince Yang-myung realizes that “haewooseok” is the name of the stone that he gave to Yeon-woo years ago.

After seeing Prince Yang-myung playing with Wol and the children, King Lee Hwon warns him to stay away from Wol.
Queen Bo-kyung is shocked to see how Wol resembles the Yeon-woo that she knew from years past. When Wol tells her that Yeon-woo’s spirit in Eunwolgak wishes her well, Queen Bo-kyung shouts at her to get out.

Wol passes by Eunwolgak and decides to go inside. When she opens the second-story window (just like what she did years ago as the Crown Princess), she sees King Lee Hwon, alone and staring back at her.

At the public health center, Wol finds Shaman Nok-young waiting for her. She tells her that she’s not yet ready to talk, but Shaman Nok-young tells her that King Lee Hwon wants to know about how Yeon-woo died.

In the palace, Prince Yang-myung confronts the minister who has been stealing the funds meant for the public health center.

The Grand Queen Mother finds out about Shaman Nok-young’s meeting with King Lee Hwon.

As Wol comforts a young girl who refuses to eat or be treated, Prince Yang-myung sees her and hopes that she isn’t Yeon-woo. Meanwhile, at the palace, King Lee Hwon considers the possibility that Yeon-woo is alive.

Hong Kyu-tae visits Yeom and asks him about Yeon-woo’s death years ago. Later, an old servant tells him that Yeon-woo’s grave was disturbed the day after her burial. As they’re talking, Seol passes by them.

Queen Bo-kyung has been traumatized by Wol’s visit, and as her father Minister Yoon comes to her quarters, she orders him to leave.

Based on Hong Kyu-tae’s report, King Lee Hwon calls again for Shaman Nok-young.

Episode 17: The duel

Episode 16 recap:

Shaman Nok-young tells Wol about Princess Min-hwa’s role in the shamanic curse used against her. She warns Wol that her brother Yeom will be in danger if the truth is ever revealed.

King Lee Hwon finds out from Shaman Nok-young that Yeon-woo is alive and that she’s none other than Wol.

King Lee Hwon goes to the public health center and addressing Wol as “Yeon-woo,” embraces her. But then, assassins attack them. Woon and Prince Yang-myung arrive, and a fight ensues. As Woon and King Lee Hwon fight off the assassins, Prince Yang-myung escapes with Wol (Yeon-woo).

King Lee Hwon orders Woon to find Prince Yang-myung and Wol (Yeon-woo). Later, he meets Minister Yoon who tells him that a good hunter must continuously pursue his prey.

Minister Yoon tells the Grand Queen Mother that Yeon-woo might be alive and that Shaman Nok-young is missing.

The Grand Queen Mother tells King Lee Hwon to stop investigating events for the sake of someone close to him.

Episode 18: Princess Min-hwa

Episode 17 recap:

King Lee Hwon challenges Prince Yang-myung to a sword fight over Yeon-woo. Later, he brings Yeon-woo to the palace and hides her in a secret closet in his quarters.

In the throne room, King Lee Hwon gives Yeon-woo the second hair pin that he ordered made for her years ago.

King Lee Hwon and Yeon-woo lie beside each other at night in his quarters. Meanwhile, Queen Bo-kyung finds out that her spy has been transferred elsewhere, leading her to think that King Lee Hwon is hiding something in his quarters.

Hong Kyu-tae reports to King Lee Hwon about how his father’s investigation involved Princess Min-hwa. Alone afterwards, King Lee Hwon remembers his father’s words of forgiveness and caution.

Princess Min-hwa goes to the palace and reports to the Queen Mother that she’s pregnant. Later, she visits King Lee Hwon.

King Lee Hwon tells the Grand Queen Mother that, for the sake of her health, she must leave the palace.

Prince Yang-myung goes home from the temple and sees the noblemen waiting at the gate. Unlike before, he invites them all in.

Minister Yoon brings to the palace his young niece, which alarms Queen Bo-kyung. Later, he visits Prince Yang-myung, with a dagger hidden inside his clothes.

Episode 19: The coup

Episode 18 recap:

With Yeon-woo hearing everything from inside the secret closet, King Lee Hwon tells Princess Min-hwa that he knows about how she participated in the shamanic curse against Yeon-woo.

Yeon-woo tells King Lee Hwon to forget about everything that has happened.

When King Lee Hwon ejects the Grand Queen Mother from the palace, Minister Yoon and his allies decide that it’s time to strike back.

When Minister Yoon offers to depose King Lee Hwon, Prince Yang-myung says that all he wants in return is Yeon-woo.
Minister Yoon finally convinces Prince Yang-myung to betray King Lee Hwon.

Minister Yoon and his minions put up all over the capital posters that reveal how King Lee Hwon has been keeping a shaman in his quarters.

Fearing that her father Minister Yoon plans to abandon her, Queen Bo-kyung calls for the former head of Seongsucheong. Meanwhile, Yeon-woo asks permission from King Lee Hwon to meet Shaman Nok-young.

As Lady Shin leaves for a temple, someone shoots an arrow past Yeom; attached to the arrow is a note about Princess Min-hwa.

Reacting to what happened later in Yeom’s house, King Lee Hwon orders Woon to check on the Grand Queen Mother.

Minister Yoon and all the conspirators meet with Prince Yang-myung to plan their coup during the royal hunt.

Alone at night, Prince Yang-myung is visited by Woon. Prince Yang-myung asks him, “Will you remain my friend despite what I have chosen to do?”

Episode 20: Finale

Episode 19 recap:

Yeom finds out about Princess Min-hwa’s role in the plot against Yeon-woo.

Seol dies trying to protect Yeom from the assassins sent by Minister Yoon.

As the royal entourage prepares to leave the palace for the hunt, Prince Yang-myung, Minister Yoon, fellow ministers, and their soldiers attack King Lee Hwon.
As Minister Yoon shouts at him to kill King Lee Hwon, Prince Yang-myung flashes back to that day when he fought with King Lee Hwon over Yeon-woo.

As the battle rages, Queen Bo-kyung walks alone in the palace, dragging a white cloth with her.

Meanwhile, acting on King Lee Hwon’s order, Hong Kyu-tae takes Yeon-woo to a safehouse far away from the palace.

Spoiler alert: Videos below do not have English subs, but they’ll give you a pretty good idea of how this drama ends.

Prince Yang-myung

Yeon-woo reunites with her mother and brother

King Lee Hwon and Yeon-woo get married

King Lee Hwon plays the gayageum for Queen Yeon-woo’s birthday

Lessons in photography from “The Moon That Embraces The Sun”

From Episode 2: bokeh (aesthetic quality of the blurred areas),
direction of light

From Episode 2: foreground and background blur;

From Episode 2: low angle shot
(low angle point of view)

From Episode 2: foreground blur as natural frame

From Episode 2: selective or differential focusing

From Episode 2: shooting odd-numbered group is easier

From Episode 2: lines of direction, partial frame, focus on the eyes

From Episode 5: foreground and background blur, partial frame

From Episode 6: reflections

From Episode 6: compressed or stacked perspective

From Episode 7: local frame

From Episode 7: selective or differential focusing

From Episode 7: shapes, warm and cool colors

From Episode 7: foreground blur, partial frame

From Episode 7: rim lighting

From Episode 7: sidelighting, shallow depth of field

From Episode 8: high angle shot,
available light

From Episode 9: high angle point of view, partial frame

From Episode 9: off-center emphasis,
shallow depth of field, selective or differential focusing

From Episode 9: shooting against the light

From Episode 9: line of direction, rule of thirds,
background blur

From Episode 9: rule of thirds, focus on the eyes,
foreground and background blur

From Episode 10: high angle shot, Dutch tilt,
diagonal lines

From Episode 10: shallow depth of field

From Episode 10: foreground blur, partial frame

From Episode 19: foreground and background blur,
dynamic symmetry

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