Thoughts on Hong Gil Dong

I find myself constantly going back to edit my episode 24 recap for the drama so I figured I might as well write a new entry and dump it all here before I move on.

I love the Hong Gil Dong that the Hong sisters have created before the screen. Aside from the thoughtful and quick witted Gil Dong that he is, this guy has a boyish charm about him that makes you smile each time he says, “it hurts”. Yet his stubbornness and oblivion to reality is frustrating, and his demise disheartening. If he were a tragic hero, his downfall is composed of not just his tragic flaw but Chang Whui’s strong character. Ironic to think that Gil Dong failed so many times to go to Qing Dynasty when he tried to, but refused to go when he is given the chance.

Chang Whui’s character development feels like it’s Just a plot device to bring about Gil Dong’s demise. He blossomed without producing a reasonable fruit. We see Chang Whui softens, falls in love, finds a purpose for his kingship, sacrifices himself to save the life of another, suffers through unrequited love, faces the unveiling of the truth, and becomes more determined but impatient at the same time. So what do these transformations lead to? All the character development and angst set him up for finally agreeing to let go of Enok and shedding a tear in his lonely palace for his fellow ex-comrades Gil Dong and Enok and Hwang Bin Dang. That’s IT? What an expensive plot device and waste of character development.

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