This is the introduction of the king Sook Jong. The apex of power is the throne. Which means he holds power to rule the country.
There is a person who wants to protect the throne.
One person who wants to overtake the throne. At the background is the Yi In Jwa's revolt in 1728.
And the one who wants to stop it.
The young man is playing a chess game with Yi In Hwa.
Both of them have different battle strategy. Yi In Hwa believe in sacrificing the soldiers to overthrow the king.
On the other hand, the young man believe in protecting the soldiers and the people of Joseon. Yi In Hwa believed that he is doing all these for the sake of Joseon angers the young man.
They engaged into an argument and "fight" as they stared at each other. Yi In Hwa pick up the blade of the sword with blood dripping down his hand.
After they left, the young man looked at the chess pierce and would not be convinced by Yi In Jwa. He still believe in protecting the people without sacrificing the soldiers.
That is the brief introduction of Daebak and now we go on to the background story which leads to the current situation.
She is Bok Soon, the palace maid and she has a husband who came from the nobleman bloodline but the family was ruined. He only knows how to gamble to earn a living.
This is her husband Baek Man Geum who is addicted to grambling.
Yi In Jwa has been observing the couple and it seems that he had a hidden agenda.
He bribed Sook Bin with money to follow his instructions. Sook Bin accepted the money in order to secure her future if she can no longer stand her husband gambling ways.
Yi In Jwa knows the habit of King Sook Jong. After the rain fall, he will walk two rounds in the palace and he will visit Tongmyungjeon hall without his carriage. This is where the deposed queen Inhyun lived. Bok Soon was told to place a pair of shoes at the entrance and a lotus leaf on top of the shoes.
King Sook Jong came by and noticed the lotus and the shoes. He asked Bok Soon about this and she remembered In Jwa's instructions to lift up her head and glance at the king after he walk five steps towards her. She nervously glance at the king when he approaches her. She explained that this is a habit of queen Inhyun on a rainy day. He asks Bok Soon for her name.
Queen Hwangoo arrived and witnessed their interaction. She frown upon them and she look at Bok Soon with anger.
Baek Man Geum cannot kick his gambling addiction and he is debtridden due to his loss at the gambling den.
Hong Mae is the owner of the gambling den and she threaten to sell his Wife if he unable to pay off his debts.
On the other hand, King Sook Jong has took interest in Bok Soon and he instructs the artist to draw a portrait of Bok Soon.
King Sook Jong is playing archery and he hit the targets, scoring full mark for every arrow he shot.
Kim Yi Soo nervously held the bow and the arrow in his hand. Under the pressure of King Sook Jong, he missed the target. At the forest, we stole a glimpse of Yi Soo with In Hwa and Yi Soo can actually play archery very well. They are plotting to overthrow the king.
Baek Man Geum wants to regroup his loss, therefore he search the entire house and come across the money and the family genealogy.
He tried his luck at the gambling table and lost all his entire fortune, including the family genealogy.
Bok Soon find out about Man Geum misdeed and is disappointed with her husband.
He ask Bok Soon about the money and she look at him sadly without saying a word.
King Sook Jong show Bok Soon the protrait. Bok Soon says that she already has a husband. King Sook Jong is disappointed but it seems he will go all means to get what he wants.
On the other hand, Queen Jung threaten Bok Soon to leave the palace or else she will be in trouble.
Yi In Jwa gave Bok Soon a task to get closer to King Sook Jong which she immediately declined. However, she cannot get out of the situation as her husband had gambled away her money.
At home, Bok Soon find her husband looking for anything valuable to pawn. He intend to pawn their engagement rings to roll in money at the gambling den.
Unable to take it anymore, Bok Soon bow to her husband and decided to leave him.
Man Geum look at his wife turning her back on him and he does not know what to do.
Hong Mae tempt Man Geum to gamble with a rookie at the gambling den that she has set up. He has to make a choice to chase after his wife or follow her to the gambling den. It's not surprising that he choose to gamble again.
The rookie gambler is none other than King Sook Jong. He disguised as a merchant to play a game with Man Geum.
At first, he let Man Geum wins a few rounds at the gambling table as a strategy to win him later on in the game.
Next, they play a game to guess which bottle contains water and which one contains alcohol. Moon Geum gets all the answer correct and he becomes arrogant.
The last game is to toss the coin on the table and they need to choose between front or back. Later on or was revealed that the coin was meddle with in the palace as Yi Soo presents the coin to King Sook Jong.
Unable to take the defeat, Man Geum decided to bet on his hand to King Sook Jong. However, he is not interested in his hand but his wife.
Bok Soon look at their bet from a distance. This will decide her fate if either of them wins at the gambling table.
They bet on the number of wine cups the bottle of alcohol can fill up. Moon Geum bets on seven cups as he tries to recall the number of cups that King Sook Jong drank eariler in the room.
The bottle manage to fill up six cups and sadly it did not fill up the last cup.
Everyone witness as Man Geum lost his wife to King Sook Jong.
Man Geum look on in disbelief that he had lost his wife to the king. That is the result of greediness.
Drama Queen's thought
We only have a glimpse of Jang Geum Suk in the first episode. Okay, he does look bloated and matured as conpared to his younger days. He is afterall in his late twenties, going to hit thirty soon. However, I can understand why people are disappointed with Jang Geun Suk and his bad career choices throughout the years. Indeed, he did let loose and those partying shows on his appearance as he aged.
In my opinion, Jang Geun Suk is still a good looking chap but he need to change his stylist now. As we know his hair style and weird fashion sense are wacky and I think majority of the audience does not appreciate. In fact, he does look better during a period of time before he start to sway towards his extreme taste. Anyway, he does look good in the period drama which has his long and wavy hair hidden from his face.
Back to the story, it is good to introduce the characters in the beginning so that we have a better idea of what is going on and it laid a good foundation of storytelling before moving on to the background story. Choi Min Soo as expected is great as the king of Joseon. I have yet to see Yoo Jin Goo and I am highly anticipating his entrance into the story.
Jeon Kwang Leol act as Yi In Jwa, the man behind the 1728 revolt and his battle stategy is to sacrifice his soldiers to overthrow the king. He make use of the palace maiden Bok Soon to achieve his goal. He also planted a mole beside the king whose name is Yi Soo to work as a spy for him.
Bok Soon is an ill fated woman who had married a gambler who uses her as a bet on the gambling table. I feel sorry for her encounter and I think she simply serve as a pawn to the men. I am anticipating more from the drama after the first episode. That is good from a person that hardly watch period drama. :)