Friday, February 24, 2012

Queen Seon Duk Synopsis

In order to protect Deokman, who was born a twin and prophesized to bring the downfall of the Silla kingdom (e.g. ending the line of kings), her father King Jinpyeong ‘abandoned’ her in order to protect her from killed by Mishil, a power and influential lady politician of Silla times. It has always been Mishil’s dream to be the Queen, which was what led her to help the previous king to the throne. However, when she learn that he would not make her his Queen, she not only abandoned the son they had together, but also plotted his downfall.

In his place, Mishil promoted King Jinpyeong to his position, cornering him to make her his Queen. But her hopes are soon dashed when Maya, King Jinpyeong’s fiancée became pregnant, thus making her the Queen. Unhappy about the twist in events, Mishil tries to find ways to make the couple’s life miserable. When she finds out that Maya is pregnant with twins, she makes use of a prophecy of old to claim that the twins will harm the nation and must be eliminated, or the lineage
of kings would end. To save Deokman, her father hands her to a palace maid and they manage to escape the evil clutches of Mishil.

When Mishil finds out that they had escaped, she orders her subordinate to find them and kill them to eliminate her source of problems. So her subordinate is in hot pursuit of the palace maid and Deokman. Some years pass and the palace maid takes the role of Deokman’s mother. Deokman does not know her lineage and is happily living in the desserts, making friends with and learning from the various merchants that pass through the place.

It would seem that Deokman has an innate ability to lead, as can be seen from one instance when she and some merchants were captured and about to be executed for the sale of illegal tea. The person-in-charge gives Deokman a chance for them to leave by asking her to choose one out of two chess pieces. He shows her one and tells her that the one she sees is “death”, so since there are two the other has to be “live”, but he does not show her the words on both pieces. In the end, she takes one piece and swallows it claiming that if the one left is “death”, it would mean that she had swallowed “live” so he should let them go. Stumped, but keeping his word he lets them go.

By this time the subordinate has caught up with Deokman and her ‘mother’, in their attempt to escape him, her ‘mother’ falls into a sandpit, but not before telling Deokman to head to Silla to find out about her identity. Thinking that her mother has perished into the sandpit, Deokman makes her way to Silla. Unbeknownst to Deokman, her ‘mother’ is actually saved by Mishil’s subordinate, but she suffers from a nervous breakdown and is unable to speak. He ends up falling in love with her.

When in Silla, Deokman becomes a Hwarang and gets acquainted with Yoo-shin, commander of the team she manages to get in. Deokman assumes the identity of a boy, and the people around her are none the wiser. It is only later on that Yoo-shin discovers her true gender but keeps quiet about it as he starts to develop some feelings for her. Deokman also unknowing meets her twin sister Princess Cheonmyong. They become close and even joined forces together to oppose Mishil, when she finds out who she is.

However, Mishil devised sinister plans to have the two Silla princesses exiled from the kingdom, and she could take over the throne. Unfortunately, Princess Cheonmyong was accidentally killed instead of Deokman, sending many people after her; those that want to kill her and those that want to save her.

While escaping with Yoo-shin confesses his feelings for her and tells her that they should elope together, but she refuses and insists on going back and claiming her right as a princess. She even voices her intention to become the Queen regent. Yoo-shin tells her that it will be a lonely path, but she insists she can endure it. So he promises to stay by her side (any hopes of romance are quashed). The both of them meet an interesting character along the way, Bi-dam (who is actually Mishil’s abandoned son). Bi-dam is a cool, cunning character and appears to be heartless, but in reality it is just because he was not brought up correctly, has difficulty expressing himself and has inferiority complexes, along with some warped thinking, but a fun and interesting character for the series. Di-dam also starts to fall in love with Deokman and is not ashamed to display it.

When Deokman regains her princess status, she even permits him to treat her as he usually does and not mind about etiquette around her. In addition to Mishil, when Deokman becomes the princess, her twin sister Princess Cheonmyong’s son, Chun Chu comes back and wants to become the successor, in contention with her and misunderstanding that she caused his mother’s death. In the end they manage to set aside their differences and work together, becoming a great force. Together with Yoo-shin and Bi-dam, they overthrow Mishil and Mishil eventually commits suicide. Deokman becomes Queen Seon Duk.
Bi-dam is like a lost little child wanting to be wanted and loved, when he finds out that he is Mishil’s son, he is insecure and devastated. When Deokman becomes the Queen, Bi-dam has the tendency to become jealous of Yoo-shin and is soon influenced by his mother’s party, who were spared and placed under him in hope that he could control them by Deokman. It does not help that Chun Chu feels threatened by Bi-dam and creates misunderstandings between the two, for fear of losing his throne.

Thinking that Deokman was out to kill him, Bi-dam led a revolt only to realize that it was his lack of trust in her that lead to the state of events. She had promised to marry him, abdicate the throne and go some place where the two of them would live out their days. However, Bi-dam’s cronies wanted to put him on the throne, and Chun Chu though that it was best to get rid of a powerful character like him, allowing things to reach the place of no return.

By the time he and Deokman realize that it was a misunderstanding, it is too late. So Bi-dam practically seeks death by finding her camp and approaching her despite the heavily security. He eventually gets killed by Yoo-shin and dies uttering Deokman’s name (a crime apparently that warrants death). Deokman’s health had been failing in recent years, so when Bi-dam was killed, she collapsed and died a few days after him. It is not clear who she loved more, as she said that being the “King” she could not trust anyone but yet had to trust. Perhaps she realized she loved Bi-dam in the latter part of the series, or perhaps it was just a way to control the people under him, and make use of his ‘power’ and ‘influence’.


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