Monday, February 12, 2018

“Chuno, The Slave Hunters” synopsis by episode, Eps. 1-24 (no spoilers)





The Slave Hunters is a 2010 South Korean action historical drama set in the Joseon Dynasty about a slave hunter (played by Jang Hyuk) who is tracking down a general-turned-runaway slave (Oh Ji-ho) as well as searching for the woman he loves (Lee Da-hae).

It ranked number one in the ratings starting from Episode 5 and had an average 32% rating in viewership.


It won numerous awards such as Best Drama in 5th Seoul International Drama Awards, 3rd Korea Drama Awards, and 37th Korea Broadcasting Awards. Lead actor Jang Hyuk won the Best Actor award in the International Emmy Awards. (From Wikipedia)
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; 21; 22; 23; 24; Historical backgrounders and other information; Lessons in photography from “Chuno”

How I wrote these synopses with no spoilers


1. I assumed that you will be reading these synopses 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 synopsis starting with Episode 2, I placed in a table a summary 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/recaps of “A Tree With Deep Roots,” “The Princess’s Man,” “The Flower in Prison,” “Saimdang, Light’s Diary,” “The Moon That Embraces The Sun,” “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds,” “Jumong,” “Dong Yi,” “Rebel: Thief Who Stole People,” “Yi San,” “Jejoongwon,” “Six Flying Dragons,” The King’s Doctor,” and “A Jewel in the Palace.”)

Cast of characters (adapted from DramaWiki)




Note: Click the picture above to view or download a bigger copy.

Episode 1


Lee Dae-gil and his fellow slave hunters Janggoon “General” Choi and Wang-son capture some runaway slaves (Eop-bok, his wife, and their 13-year old daughter)) at an isolated tavern near the Qing border and bring them back to their owner in Hanyang.

The nobleman who owns Eop-bok and his family punishes him and his wife; he also gives Eop-bok’s daughter to his lecherous father.

Dae-gil became a slave hunter 10 years ago under Chun Ji-ho, in order to find his beloved Eonnyeon. At a tavern in Hanyang, he meets Chun Ji-ho, who asks him to work under his group again. When he refuses, Chun Ji-ho orders his men to beat Dae-gil up.

Song Tae-ha is a government slave who’s assigned to the stables of the Military Training Command; the Command is run by a stoic but cruel officer named Hwang Chul-woong. Walking with a limp, Tae-ha is bullied by his fellow slaves every time something goes wrong at the stables.

Dae-gil asks the artist Bang Hwa-baek to draw more portraits of Eonnyeon that he can show to people who might have seen her somewhere. When Wang-son finds out where Eonnyeon is, Dae-gil jumps on his horse and rushes there.



Episode 2



Chuno aka The Slave Hunters - Saving The Slaves - Warming Eunnyeon’s Hands. Jang Hyuk, Lee Da Hae from Magic Casements on Vimeo.
Episode 1 recap:

Ten years ago, Dae-gil was a nobleman who’s in love with a slave named Eonnyeon. But Dae-gil’s father finds out about it, punishes Eonnyeon, and then sells her. In retaliation, Eonnyeon’s brother Keunnom kills Dae-gil’s father, burns down the house, and slashes Dae-gil with a scythe.

Dae-gil rescues Eop-bok's wife and daughter; he also gives them some money and tells them to hide in Mount Worak.

Unknown to his fellow slaves, Song Tae-ha was once a general in the Joseon army who served under Crown Prince So-hyun. After delivering a horse to be treated by a horse doctor, he secretly receives a message that is passed on to him by a scholar.
Eonnyeon is now a noble lady named Hye-won; as she’s getting married to a widower, Dae-gil rides into a trap.

While she’s waiting for her husband during her conjugal night, Hye-won and her brother talk about their past as slaves and how he killed Dae-gil. That night, she decides to abandon her husband.

Enraged, Hye-won’s husband offers a big reward for any bounty hunter who can bring her back. At the same time, Hye-won’s brother sends out his men, led by swordsman Baekho, to find and protect her.

Left State Minister Lee Kyoung-sik and his allies create intrigue in the royal court by circulating among the people hundreds of drawings that show the atrocities against children in Jeju Island. Despite protests by their fellow ministers, they say that people are beginning to think that King Injo is trying to kill all the children of the late Crown Prince So-hyun.

The slaves at the stables plan to escape when most of the officers and their men leave for the annual royal procession, but Tae-ha walks in and hears about their plan. After being beaten up by the leader of the slaves, Tae-ha goes to an isolated corner and reads the letter that was secretly given to him by the scholar; the letter is from Crown Prince So-hyun.

After the slaves escape, Dae-gil and his crew are hired to pursue them.



Episode 3


Episode 2 recap:

Hye-won (formerly known as Eonnyeon) escapes, disguises herself as a man, and goes on the road.

Tae-ha finally reveals himself as a warrior and leads the other slaves as they escape from the stables.
While General Choi and Wang-son pursue the other runaway slaves, Dae-gil engages Tae-ha in a sword fight. But then, Chun Ji-ho and his men arrive and start raining arrows on them.

While visiting the grave of Crown Prince Sohyeon, Tae-ha remembers the days that they spent in Qing. Meanwhile, Chun Ji-ho threatens artist Bang and the horse doctor to betray Dae-gil.

As Dae-gil, General Choi, and Wang-son prepare to leave Hanyang and pursue Tae-ha, they meet Seolhwa, a young woman who has escaped from her dance troupe. Seolhwa pleads her way into Dae-gil’s group, to the surprise and consternation of tavern owners Big Aunt and Little Aunt, who both have been trying to attract General Choi’s attention.

Eop-bok (the slave whose wife and daughter were freed by Dae-gil) meets several other slaves who are plotting a revolt. To save Chobok, a female slave who has become interested in him, he agrees to join the group and to use his skill as a hunter to kill the nobles.

Two men find out that Hye-won is a woman who has disguised herself as a man. Along the road, they catch up with her and start to assault her.

Episode 4


Episode 3 recap:

Tae-ha rescues Hye-won, but he collapses because of his wound from the arrow that Chun Ji-ho fired at him.

Using a rifle that has been provided by the mysterious leader of the slaves, Eop-bok shoots at Dae-gil and hits him on the forehead.
The bullet grazes Dae-gil’s forehead, knocking him off his horse. Through the streets and on the rooftops, General Choi and Wang-son immediately chase after Eopbok.

Hye-won brings Tae-ha to a mountain temple where a monk helps to treat his wound. In his half-conscious mind, Tae-ha remembers how his wife and child died at the hands of Qing soldiers.

To foil Tae-ha’s plans, Left State Minister Lee Kyoung-sik asks Commander Hwang Chul-woong to kill a Confucian scholar named Lim Young-ho and the 4-year old Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan), the last surviving son of Crown Prince Sohyeon. When Commander Hwang Chul-woong refuses, Minister Lee Kyoung-sik fires him from his post at the Military Training Command and locks him up in jail. Later, he also hires Dae-gil to bring back Tae-ha, dead or alive.



Episode 5


Episode 4 recap:

Yunji, the female assassin who was hired by Lord Choi (Hye-won’s husband), kills two of the men who were sent by Hye-won’s brother. Later, at the temple, Tae-ha rescues Hye-won from the other men.

Rushing from the temple, Dae-gil, General Choi, Wang-son, and Seolhwa reach the river where Tae-ha and Hye-won have taken a boat. Dae-gil then aims his bow and arrow at Tae-ha.
Tae-ha and Hye-won escape, but Dae-gil and his crew continue to pursue them over land.

In jail, Commander Hwang Chul-woong remembers how he became the head of the Military Training Command and Minister Lee Kyoung-sik’s son-in-law.

In Jeju Island, as the plague rages on, a devoted court lady continues to take care of the 4-year old Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan). But she’s constantly bothered by a constable who asks her to elope with him.

Riding all night, Dae-gil and his crew finally catch up with Tae-ha and Hye-won at an isolated tavern.

Episode 6


Episode 5 recap:

The constable who’s constantly bothering the court lady betrayed Tae-ha years ago.

Through Seolhwa, Dae-gil finds out that Tae-ha tricked him and his crew; he rushes back to the tavern to pursue after Tae-ha.
Tae-ha and Hye-won escape through the mountain, but after finding out that slave hunters are pursuing them, Hye-won refuses to go with Tae-ha anymore.

Yunji, the female assassin, comes across the bandits who previously accosted Tae-ha and Hye-won. Meanwhile, Dae-gil and his crew go to a government library to find out who Tae-ha really is and where they can possibly find him.

Minister Lee Kyoung-sik visits Lim Young-ho, the Confucian scholar whom Tae-ha is trying to contact. Later, after returning to Hanyang, he releases Commander Hwang Chul-woong from prison.

Upon reaching Chungju, Tae-ha and Hye-won go on their separate ways. But Hye-won is recognized by policemen, and Yunji catches up with her.

Meanwhile, along with Chun Ji-ho and his men, Commander Hwang Chul-woong reaches the house of Lim Young-ho. But Tae-ha is also on his way there.

Episode 7


Episode 6 recap:

As Hye-won is chased by her brother’s men, Dae-gil joins the fight between Commander Hwang Chul-woong and Tae-ha.
As Hye-won is captured by her brother’s men, the fight between Dae-gil and Tae-ha continues in the marketplace. But Yunji also arrives and, from a rooftop, she hurls a knife against Hye-won.

After ordering Chun Ji-ho and his men to clean up the mess in Lim Young-ho’s house, Commander Hwang Chul-woong continues searching for Tae-ha.

Back in Hanyang, Minister Lee Kyoung-sik orders his subordinate to corner the market on water ox horns, the chief material for Joseon bows. Meanwhile, Eop-bok gets an order to kill an abusive nobleman.

After treating Hye-won’s wound, Tae-ha takes her through the woods at night. But the bodyguard and men of Hye-won’s brother are waiting to ambush him.

Episode 8


Episode 7 recap:

The bodyguard of Hye-won’s brother shields Hye-won from the knife thrown by Yunji. But as Tae-ha and Hye-won are escaping on a horse, Dae-gil himself throws a knife that hits Hye-won on the back.

Eop-bok shoots the nobleman and his bodyguards, and Chobok steals the money from the nobleman.

To stop her brother’s men from following her, Hye-won tells them that she has married Tae-ha in simple rites on the mountain.
As Dae-gil carries a drunken Seolhwa on his back, he remembers his promise to Eonnyeon years ago.

Tae-ha takes Hye-won to the house of his former superior in the military, but Commander Hwang Chul-woong catches up with them there.

Through his allies, Scholar Jo (a disciple of Lee Young-ho) contacts Tae-ha’s men who are now all slaves; he orders them to regroup at a designated place and to protect Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan).

Having lost their money and their horses, Dae-gil, General Choi, and Wang-son take to the streets to get some money. Meanwhile, Seolhwa is captured by her former dance troupe.

Tae-ha and Hye-won reach Wando and spend the night at an inn. But Dae-gil has figured out where they will be, and in the morning, as they walk along the street to board a ship, Yunji also attacks them.



Episode 9


Episode 8 recap:

Commander Hwang Chul-woong kills his former superior in the military.

Dae-gil rescues Seolhwa from her dance troupe.
While Tae-ha is fighting against Yunji, he loses his headband, and Hye-won sees the slave tattoo on his forehead.

Dae-gil is ambushed by the men of Hye-won’s brother; to his shock, the swordsman Baekho shows him a drawing of Eonnyeon (aka Hye-won).

On their way to Jeju, Tae-ha tells Hye-won everything about his past. Meanwhile, Commander Hwang Chul-woong and Chun Ji-ho are also sailing towards Jeju on a warship.

After killing the abusive nobleman, Eop-bok turns over the one thousand nyang draft. To his surprise and anger, the person who will change the draft into cash is none other than the slave who deceived him and his family.

Dae-gil and Seolhwa reach Baekho’s hometown; in the meantime, General Choi discovers the secret message in the piece of paper that he kept from Lee Young-ho’s house.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong and Chun Ji-ho reach Jeju; as they walk towards the hut where Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) lives, the constable who has been bothering the court lady runs berserk and kills all the other constables.



Episode 10


Episode 9 recap:

Tae-ha kills Yunji, while General Choi kills Baekho, the bodyguard of Hye-won’s brother. Dae-gil takes Baekho’s identity tag and goes to his hometown, leaving behind General Choi and Wang-son.

Dae-gil finally finds Keunnom, the brother of Eonnyeon (aka Hye-won) who killed his father and burned down their house years ago.

The constable who went berserk escapes with Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan), with the court lady running after them.
Arriving at the hut where Lee Seok-kyeon (aka Prince Gyeongan) lived, Tae-ha and Hye-won find the dead constables. While Tae-ha is looking for a clue on where the young prince has been taken, an officer and about a dozen soldiers arrive and order them to surrender.

Hanseom, the constable, reveals to the court lady who he really is, and why he’s protecting the young prince. But as they continue on running to safety, Commander Hwang Chul-woong finally catches up with them.

Having learned from Keunnom what really happened in the past and that Eonnyeon has married Tae-ha, Dae-gil drowns himself in wine and despair.



Episode 11


Episode 10 recap:

After he reveals to Dae-gil that they are half-brothers, Keunnom stabs himself with Dae-gil’s knife.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong kills the court lady, but Tae-ha rescues Hanseom and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan). Ordering Hanseom to set sail if he doesn’t comes back in time, Tae-ha returns to the mountain for Hye-won.
After escaping from Jeju Island, Tae-ha, Hye-won, and Hanseom proceed to Unju Temple, bringing Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) along with them.

Panic grips Hanyang as Eop-bok kills two more noblemen in a gisaeng house.

To save face with his superiors who have been demanding that the killer of the nobles be arrested, Chief Oh interrogates horse doctor Ma-ui and arrests tavern owners Big Aunt and Little Aunt.

As they walk back to Hanyang, Dae-gil tells Seolhwa how he met General Choi and Wang-son 10 years ago. Meanwhile, Wang-son teaches General Choi how to get free food and lodging by seducing women.

Dae-gil and Seolhwa meet General Choi and Wang-son along the road; upon finding out what the secret message is in the letter that General Choi got from Lee Young-ho’s house, Dae-gil steals a horse and rushes to Unju Temple.

Episode 12


Episode 11 recap:

As his fellow slaves get several other rifles, Eop-bok teaches them how to shoot.

Tae-ha reunites with his men at Unju Temple.
King Injo learns from Minister Lee Kyoung-sik that the Qing delegation has arrived in Hanyang and that it’s led by General Ingguldai (a close friend of the late Crown Prince Sohyeon).

When Dae-gil, General Choi, and Wang-son arrive at the main temple, Tae-ha and his group have already left. But they learn from a young monk what path Tae-ha’s group took from the temple, and Seolhwa catches a glimpse of Hye-won at the temple gates.

Still injured from his fights in Jeju Island, Commander Hwang Chul-woong reaches Hanyang. He collapses on the street, but Chief Oh recognizes him and takes him to Minister Lee Kyoung-sik’s house.

Tae-ha presents Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) to Scholar Jo and his followers. But conflict soon arises when Scholar Jo orders Tae-ha to abandon Hye-won and to plan a revolt to overthrow King Injo. To keep Hye-won by his side, Tae-ha asks her to marry him.

At an inn where they’re staying overnight, Dae-gil tells General Choi that if it’s true that Eonnyeon (aka Hye-won) is married to Tae-ha, then he cannot allow her to live in peace, not after what he has been through for the last 10 years.



Episode 13


Episode 12 recap:

King Injo masterminded the death of Crown Prince Sohyeon, his wife, and two of their sons.

Hye-won agrees to marry Tae-ha.

General Ingguldai wants to take Lee Seok-kyeon (Crown Prince Sohyeon’s surviving child) and to raise him as his own.
Dae-gil backs off from attacking Tae-ha and Eonnyeon (aka Hye-won). As he staggers back to the inn, the wedding proceeds.

Chun Ji-ho returns to Hanyang; when he can’t find any of his men, he looks for artist Bang. Later, he vows revenge against Commander Hwang Chul-woong.

Having recovered from his injuries, Commander Hwang Chul-woong tracks down, one by one, all the scholars who might know where Tae-ha is hiding.

After the wedding, Hye-won goes to the temple; unknown to her, Dae-gil is also in the temple, venting, praying, and bowing before a statue of Buddha. But she also meets Scholar Jo there.

On a mountain, Eop-bok patiently tries to teach the other slaves how to use the rifles. To his surprise, Chobok asks if she can also learn how to shoot.

After being rebuffed by King Injo, General Ingguldai orders his men to go to Jeju and get Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan).

Wang-son finds out where Tae-ha is hiding, but when Dae-gil says that they should just forget everything and return to Hanyang, they begin to fight.

Episode 14


Episode 13 recap:

Chun Ji-ho sneaks into Minister Lee Kyoung-sik’s house but decides not kill Commander Hwang Chul-woong’s wife.

At the market, Hye-won (aka Eonnyeon) finally finds out that Dae-gil is still alive.
Hye-won (aka Eonnyeon) quickly hides so that Dae-gil won’t see her.

Eop-bok and the other slaves have been ordered to kill four or five noblemen who will be passing by their way on the mountain.

Scholar Jo orders Tae-ha and his men to go and contact the nobles who have promised to help them with money and troops. But Tae-ha questions Scholar Jo about their group’s priorities; he wants to lay down first the principles that their group will abide by.

Wang-son sets out all by himself to capture Tae-ha at the scholars’s compound, but Commander Hwang Chul-woong is also on his way there.

General Choi realizes what Wang-son has done. Later, Dae-gil and Seolhwa arrive at the inn and find no one there. After seeing fireworks lighting up the sky, Dae-gil rushes up to the mountain.



Episode 15


Episode 14 recap:

Eop-bok kills three of the noblemen, but the other slaves panic and run away, leaving their rifles. Later, the slaves think that there’s something suspicious about the way the noblemen moved and used swords.

General Choi battles Commander Hwang Chul-woong on the mountain.
Dae-gil fails to find the bodies of General Choi and Wang-son on the mountain. Hearing Dae-gil shout Tae-ha’s name, Commander Hwang Chul-woong decides to complicate matters by making Dae-gil think that Tae-ha killed his friends.

Hye-won tries to muster enough courage to reveal to Tae-ha everything about her past.

Eop-bok prepares to ambush another nobleman.

While waiting for Dae-gil, General Choi, and Wang-son to return, Seolhwa tries to learn how to sew; meanwhile, Chief Oh comes along with Chun Ji-ho as he searches for the bodies of his men.

Despite his differences with Scholar Jo, Tae-ha sends out his men to accompany the scholars in accomplishing their assigned missions. But after Tae-ha entrusts Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) to Hye-won and moves out, Scholar Jo carries out his secret plan.

After burning Eonnyeon’s portrait and putting on pieces of General Choi’s and Wang-son’s ornaments, Dae-gil sneaks into the compound to kill Tae-ha in revenge. There, after 10 long and arduous years, he finally meets Eonnyeon (Hye-won) face-to-face.

Episode 16


Episode 15 recap:

The mysterious leader of the slaves rescues Eop-bok and the other slave.

Dae-gil slaps Seolhwa and orders her to stay away from him.

Scholar Jo kidnaps Lee Seokgyeon.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong kills all the scholars and Tae-ha’s men, except for Hanseom who has taken a different route.

Tae-ha rushes back to the compound and sees Dae-gil holding a spear that’s pointed against Hye-won.
Promising Hye-won that the duel will be over quickly, Tae-ha leaves the compound and leads Dae-gil to an empty, snowy field.

Hye-won finds out that Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) is missing; she rushes to the town to look for Scholar Jo. But Commander Hwang Chul-woong has learned from one of the scholars about Scholar Jo’s plot and where he can be found.

Eop-bok and his fellow slaves meet their mysterious, young leader; they’re stunned when he says that if they reach some 10,000 members, they can overthrow the nobles and King Injo.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong sends the bodies of General Choi and Wang-son to Minister Lee Kyoung-sik as a warning.

Episode 17


Episode 16 recap:

Dae-gil captures Tae-ha and turns him over to Minister Lee Kyoung-sik.

After waiting for several days, Hye-won decides to leave the compound, bringing along Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) with her.

Dae-gil is arrested and brought to the same prison where Tae-ha is being tortured. When Minister Lee Kyoung-sik’s subordinate asks him the whereabouts of Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan), Dae-gil refuses to answer. Later on, Commander Hwang Chul-woong arrives with his prisoner Scholar Jo.
Commander Hwang Chul-woong begins to torture Dae-gil and Tae-ha.

After debating with the other ministers about Qing’s interference in Joseon’s political affairs, Minister Lee Kyoung-sik and his subordinate plan to implicate Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) in a treasonous plot by manipulating Scholar Jo.

The young leader orders Eop-bok and the other slaves to attack the house of one of the most influential noblemen in the capital.

Despite their injuries, General Choi and Wang-son manage to escape from their guards.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong is ordered to return to his post at the Military Training Command by Minister Lee Kyoung-sik, but he refuses because he wants to continue looking for Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) and to kill him. Later, as he leaves the house and walks along the deserted street, Chun Ji-ho ambushes him.

Hye-won tries to get Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) out of the capital, but she hesitates at the gate when she sees that the soldiers are stopping and questioning all women who are traveling with a young child.

Dae-gil and Tae-ha are led to a public square where they will be hanged.

Episode 18


Episode 17 recap:

Hye-won makes it appear that she and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) are sick with a contagious disease; the officer and the guards thus allow them to leave the capital.

Chun Ji-ho visits Dae-gil in prison and promises to help him escape in exchange for money that he can use for his revenge against Commander Hwang Chul-woong. But the next day, as the soldiers place the rope around Dae-gil’s neck to hang him, Chun Ji-ho is nowhere to be seen.
With Dae-gil hanging on and Chun Ji-ho hesitating, chaos breaks out when unidentified men attack the policemen guarding the public square. As the unidentified men and Tae-ha escape, the police officers and their men chase them through the streets.

Minister Lee Kyoung-sik releases Scholar Jo from prison and entices him to join the government; meanwhile, General Choi and Wang-son try to seek refuge with bandit leader Jjakgwi in Mount Worak.

Dae-gil and Chun Ji-ho escape through the woods, but Eop-bok takes his rifle and hunts them down.

Episode 19


Episode 18 recap:

General Ingguldai sends his men, in disguise, to rescue Tae-ha.

As Dae-gil wails over Chun Ji-ho’s death, Eop-bok decides to postpone taking his revenge.

Tae-ha and Dae-gil reach the town at the same time, but Hye-won and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) have already been arrested.
To Hye-won’s surprise, Dae-gil and Tae-ha help each other in rescuing her and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan). With policemen searching all over town for them, they hole up in a small shed through the night.

The young leader tells Eop-bok and the other slaves that, by the end of the month, some 200 slaves with rifles and swords will simultaneously attack the Tribute Bureau and the Slave Tribunal.

After Scholar Jo sells out everyone who supports Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan), Minister Lee Kyoung-sik orders Commander Hwang Chul-woong to immediately go to Suwon and capture the ringleader, the former Royal Secretary.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong questions Officer Oh, artist Bang, and the tavern ladies. Later, as he walks along the street, he passes by the slaves who are waiting for Eop-bok for another mission to kill noblemen.

Because of his anger towards Dae-gil, Jjakgwi continues to make things difficult for General Choi and Wang-son in Mount Worak; meanwhile, Seolhwa arrives in the capital.

Under cover of darkness, Tae-ha, Dae-gil, Hye-won, and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) try to slip out of town, but they’re soon spotted and chased by policemen. While Tae-ha is fighting off the policemen, Dae-gil takes the young prince away from Hye-won and runs.

Episode 20


Episode 19 recap:

Eop-bok kills another nobleman.

With Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men hot on their trail, Dae-gil leads Tae-ha, Hye-won, and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) to Mount Worak. But almost immediately, a fight breaks out between Dae-gil and Jjakgwi.
As Dae-gil reunites with General Choi and Wang-son, Jjakgwi allows Tae-ha, Hye-won, and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) to stay in Mount Worak. But unknown to them, General Ingguldai’s men have followed them there.

Seolhwa takes a horse from the stables and rides towards Mount Worak.

Eop-bok, Chobok, and the other slaves dream about what their lives would be after they overthrow the nobles. Meanwhile, as Tae-ha says that he will leave Mount Worak immediately, Hye-won asks him what his goals are.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men scour the mountains, searching for Jjigwak’s hideout.

Episode 21


Episode 20 recap:

Hye-won sees Dae-gil as he embraces Seolhwa.

Tae-ha plans to meet Crown Prince Bongrim and plead for the safety and welfare of Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan); he entrusts Hye-won to Dae-gil.

Hye-won and Seolhwa get to know each other as they help prepare for the feast.

Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men finally find out the location of Jjakgwi’s hideout.
Tae-ha writes down for Hye-won everything that Crown Prince Sohyeon wanted to accomplish for Joseon. Later, during the feast, as Seolhwa gets drunk and starts singing and dancing before everyone, Tae-ha leaves the hideout. But along the way, he sees Dae-gil waiting for him..

As the slaves practice shooting to improve their marksmanship, the young leader surprises Eop-bok by saying that they will attack their targets (Tribute Bureau, Capital Bureau, Slave Tribunal, and the palace itself) the very next day, not at the end of the month. He also makes Eop-bok responsible for taking care of any straggler in their group.

In Suwon, Hanseom reaches the former Royal Secretary whom he was asked to contact, but Scholar Jo arrives and confronts them with dozens of policemen. Later that night, as he arrives in Suwon, Tae-ha goes to the Royal Secretary’s house.

Episode 22


Episode 21 recap:

Dae-gil goes along with Tae-ha on his mission.

Hye-won comforts Seolhwa who despairs over not being able to gain Dae-gil’s affection.

Hanseom dies, and the former Royal Secretary is arrested.

Despite Dae-gil’s doubts, Tae-ha decides to go to Hanyang and try to contact someone inside the palace, but Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men pursue them.
General Ingguldai’s men find out that the Mount Worak sentries were killed by Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men. They decide to infiltrate the hideout and kidnap Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan).

In Hanyang, Tae-ha asks Dae-gil to contact a eunuch in the East Palace who can take his message to Crown Prince Bongrim. But Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men are already watching the East Palace.

In the woods, Eop-bok and the slaves with rifles meet for the first time the slaves who have been trained in swordsmanship. Later, other slaves with rifles join them. Meanwhile, their young leader finds out that someone has betrayed their group.

With Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men hiding in the shadows, Tae-ha meets with Crown Prince Bongrim. At the same time, however, the slaves start attacking the Tribute Bureau.

Episode 23


Episode 22 recap:

Crown Prince Bongrim tells Tae-ha that he’s powerless to help him and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan); he orders Tae-ha to never meet him again and to take the young prince to Qing.

As Dae-gil and Tae-ha fight off Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men on a dark, narrow street, the slaves burn down the Tribute Bureau.

Eop-bok kills the slave who got captured during the attack.
After escaping from Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men, Dae-gil and Tae-ha seek refuge in the tavern.

Because of the continuing violence against the noblemen and the attack on the Tribute Bureau, Minister Lee Kyoung-sik and his allies urge King Injo to authorize the nationwide census that will send some 100,000 slaves to build the defenses in the northern borders.

Tae-ha decides to take Hye-won and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) and secretly join General Ingguldai and his entourage as they return to Qing. Dae-gil then sends a message to General Choi in Mount Worak.

Chobok’s master sells her to another nobleman, who then marries her off to a widower-slave. When Eop-bok finds out about it, he goes berserk.

In Mount Worak, Hye-won finds out that the Military Training Command killed the sentries and already knows where the hideout is.

Dae-gil and Tae-ha try to escape from the capital, but they’re blocked each step of the way by soldiers from the Military Training Command.

Eop-bok’s fellow slaves wait for him and the two hundred other slaves who will join the attack on the Slave Tribunal. But their young leader becomes impatient, takes a rifle, and fires at the tribunal.

Episode 24: Finale (with spoilers)


Episode 23 recap:

Eop-bok kills his master and then rescues Chobok.

The young leader betrays the slaves, as he turns out to be a government agent.
After sending Chobok off to Mount Worak, Eop-bok rushes to his fellow slaves to join the attack on the Slave Tribunal. But the young leader, Chief Oh, and the men from the Capital Bureau have massacred the slaves.

Dae-gil’s letter reaches Jjakgwi, who also learns that the Military Training Command has found out where the hideout is. With Hye-won and Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan), he marches off with his men, General Choi, Wang-son, Seolhwa, and General Ingguldai’s men.

As Dae-gil and Tae-ha continue to escape while being pursued, Eop-bok goes near the palace and studies its defenses.

King Injo approves Minister Lee Kyoung-sik’s plan to send 100,000 slaves to build fortifications in the northern borders in preparation for war with Qing.

Taking four rifles with him, Eop-bok assaults the palace all by himself and kills Scholar Jo, the young leader/government agent, and Minister Lee Kyoung-sik.

On their way to Yicheon where Dae-gil bought houses and farmland, Seolhwa decides to leave General Choi and Wang-son and to look for Dae-gil.

Chief Oh is arrested and tortured for failing to arrest Eop-bok after he killed his master.

Dae-gil and Tae-ha link up with Hye-won, Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) and the men escorting them. Jjakgwi, along with his men and Dae-gil, then return to Mount Worak, but along the way, Dae-gil decides to follow after Tae-ha and Hye-won.

Dae-gil goes ahead of the group to get a boat that they can use to link up with General Ingguldai’s entourage; he also gets a pair of shoes as his final gift to Hye-won.

One group from the Military Training Command catches up with Tae-ha and Hye-won’s group along the river. As they kill all of General Ingguldai’s men, Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men also arrive.

Tae-ha fights Commander Hwang Chul-woong and his men all by himself, but Hye-won is stabbed by one of the men.

Sensing that something is wrong, Dae-gil leaves the boat and rushes to the river side. As he faces off with Commander Hwang Chul-woong, he orders Tae-ha and Hye-won to run away with Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan).

As Dae-gil and Commander Hwang Chul-woong fight one-on-one, the second group of men from the Military Training Command arrives.

Dae-gil dies, and Seolhwa buries him by the river side.

As they escape, Tae-ha tells Hye-won that they will stay in Joseon.

General Choi and Wang-son begin living as farmers in the land that Dae-gil bought for them.

Years later, King Hyojong (former Crown Prince Bongrim) recalls Lee Seok-kyeon (Prince Gyeongan) from his exile; he also prohibits slave hunting.



Historical backgrounders and other information


A. “Chuno” was shot with the revolutionary “Red One” 4K digital camera.

How RED Cameras Changed The Game (New York Film Academy)

This camera was first manufactured and sold in 2007; it had a “12 megapixel sensor that was ... capable of capturing flawless footage at 4k resolution” and was capable of shooting at up to 60 frames per second. The camera’s sensor had a native color balance of 5,000 degrees and a dynamic range of up to 66Db.

Analog Meets Its Match in Red Digital Cinema’s Ultrahigh-Res Camera (2008)

[Red One] is the first digital movie camera that matches the detail and richness of analog film. The Red One records motion in a whopping 4,096 lines of horizontal resolution—“4K” in filmmaker lingo—and 2,304 of vertical. For comparison, hi-def digital movies like Sin City and the Star Wars prequels top out at 1,920 by 1,080, just like your HDTV. (There's also a slightly higher-resolution option called 2K that reaches 2,048 lines by 1,080.) Film doesn’t have pixels, but the industry-standard 35-millimeter stock has a visual resolution roughly equivalent to 4K. And that’s what makes the Red so exciting: It delivers all the dazzle of analog, but it's easier to use and cheaper—by orders of magnitude—than a film camera. In other words, Jannard’s creation threatens to make 35-mm movie film obsolete.

Peter Jackson sends a thank you to Red Digital Cinema from New Zealand (2010)



B. Slavery during the Joseon Dynasty

Nobi (Wikipedia)

Nobi were members of the slave class during the Korean dynasties of Goryeo and Joseon. Legally, they held the lowest rank in medieval Korean society. Like the slaves, serfs, and indentured servants of the Western Hemisphere, nobi were considered property or chattel, and could be bought, sold, or gifted.

Nobi: Rescuing the Nation from Slavery

One of the interesting aspects of pre-modern Korean history is the existence of a huge number of slaves, perhaps averaging 30% or perhaps 40% of the population for the Chosŏn dynasty.

The institution of slavery in Korea has a very long history and there are a number of unusual and interesting features of it. Slaves, for example, could own property for which they were taxed, though this appears to have been uncommon. They were given base names which often had the suffix “kae” which apparently implied a tool of some kind. The slaves were not prohibited from marrying commoners though their offspring could then often be enslaved. Marriage with the Yangban was banned, but this ban was sometimes ignored and slave women were sometimes taken on as secondary wives or concubines of the elite.

A Look at Slavery throughout Korean History

Most Korean citizens could trace their lineage back 5 or more generations on both mother and father lines, however this didn’t apply to slaves.  In household register only one generation each of paternal and maternal lines were recorded for the nobi. And often there were no paternal lines recorded (my speculation being that they were probably the illegitimate children of the male lords with a slave woman)

One of the earliest laws regarding slavery, the Jongcho law, stated that the slave’s children would remain slaves even if one of the parents was a non-slave.  However in 1397 the Jongyang law was established and it stated that if the mother was common then the child was common thereby reducing the number of slaves and increasing the number of tax-paying citizens.  But like all things, this law was itself reversed in 1430 so that the landowners could have more field hands.  Thus the number of slaves rose steadily from 1430-1700s. As was the trend worldwide in the late 19th century the Gabo Reforms were enacted and slavery was abolished.

Three major events happened in Korea in 1894 (The Korea Times)

Slavery, hereditary social status, discrimination against widows and concubines, and many other forms of determining social privilege were legally abolished.

This did not mean that everything changed overnight. Some of these ideals took years and even decades to realize, but the Gabo Reform's initiation and articulation of momentous change proved significant and durable. The “spirit of Gabo” persisted as a driving force for social and political reform and shaped the subsequent emergence of modern Korea.

Lessons in photography from “Chuno”


Warm colors, (partial) silhouette

Shallow depth of field, focus on the eyes

Dutch angle or Dutch tilt
High angle shot, off-center emphasis
Lines of direction
Low angle shot
Low angle shot
Partial frame
Aerial perspective, diagonal lines
Compressed perspective, aerial perspective
Partial frame, line of direction
Background blur
Compressed perspective, dynamic symmetry
Conveying depth through overlapping forms
High angle shot, chiaroscuro (interplay of light and shadow)
Local frame, low angle shot
Partial frame, background blur, diagonal line
Aerial perspective, scale
Foreground and background blur, partial frame,
warm colors, color temperature
Background blur, cool colors, color temperature
Establishing shot, Rule of Thirds
Low angle shot
Linear perspective, partial frame
Rule of Thirds
Symmetry
Foreground and background blur, partial frame
High angle shot
Foreground and background blur, partial frame
Symmetry

Linear perspective, background blur

Available (existing) light
Cool colors
Dutch angle, low angle shot
Dutch angle, low angle shot
Shallow depth of field, foreground and background blur
High angle shot
Focus on the eyes, diagonal lines
Out-of-focus element as foreground (partial) frame
Out-of-focus elements as foreground frame
Aerial perspective, scale
Sidelighting, background blur
Lines, Rule of Thirds, high key lighting
Natural frames