Episode 1 looks at the earlier years of the characters and sets the scene for much of the plotline. In this episode, you learn all the good and the bad characters and can tell EXACTLY what the love lines are from the get go.
The opening scenes show the sky with two suns and two moons, apocalyptic in a sense but when combined with the narration, indicates why the title of the drama is such.
The very first characters we are introduced to are Queen Dowager Jung-hui and her ally Yoon Dae-hyung. You would think that in at least one drama you would find the Queen Dowager as a nice person…but no.
We see these two plotting with the Queen Dowager stating that although anything and everything must be done in order to secure the Crown Prince’s position as heir to the throne. His only opponent is his brother who must be taken out. Her trusty ally plays dumb before acknowledging her plan.
Assassins are sent to carry out the job, and in the process, plant evidence against him. The poor guy never stood a chance. From the 3-5min of screen time that he got, you can tell that he’s too gentle in nature to truly do any lasting damage to his would-be killers.
We now meet the two main characters of the story. The people whom we have to thank for this unfolding drama. Both women are shamans in Seungsucheong (Star Mansion) and have strong divine abilities. The stronger of the two (left) is Ari. She is woken in the night by a sense of dread and energies of death. Her friend Jang Nok-young is worried about her as she tries to leave to find the nobleman in her visions.
As Nok-young chases after Ari, she is stopped mid-step by an overwhelming sense of death and because of this, she loses sight of Ari and must return to Star Mansion without her friend. Ari unfortunately has a run-in with the assassins who try to take her out because they think she’s seen what they did that night. She manages to run away but collapses on the road due to her injuries.
She gets found the next day by Madam Heo who is heavily pregnant with Heo Yeon-woo. Madam Heo takes pity on Ari who reveals that she is a shaman in need of a way of entering the main city. Ari is allowed to enter Madam Heo’s palanquin where she hide beneath the seat. Their plan is nearly foiled by searching guards but they are able to safely enter the city.
In return for her kindness, Ari promises to look after her daughter, who is “as beautiful as the moon”. In life, and in death.
Fast forward a few years and we meet 4/5 main players in this tragic drama. Heo Yeon-woo is now a beautiful girl, of age to enter the palace whereas the Crown Prince is ready to escape. Not to mention our two side heroes, Yeon-woo’s brother, Heo Yeom(top) and our voiceless master swordsman Jin Chae-woon (bottom).
Their fateful encounters occur inside the palace where all are located for the Scholar Examinations. Of which Heo Yeom and Chae-woon have topped the ranks.
We also get to meet the two faction leaders (fathers of Heo Yeom (top) and a soon to be seen contender for Crown Princess (bottom)) and the King. Based on expression alone, we can tell that the left guy is going to be evil and that the right guy is going to have something terribly bad happen to him without it even being his fault. I hate how cliche dramas can be…but it certainly helps me to keep the good/bad list straight.
The Crown Prince and Yeon-woo meet as he is trying to escape the back palace. She’s following a yellow butterfly and the two literally fall into one another. Take note of that red umbrella. It plays a special part in this drama ^.^.
The two go on a bit of an adventure as the Crown Prince lies about who he really is. He shares his sorrow about his older brother with Yeon-woo and we get a glimpse of our 5th main character, Yang-myung.
Eventually the two must part ways and as a parting gift, the Crown Prince passes to Yeon-woo a cloth with a clue as to who he really is. While writing it he states that if she is really as smart as she seems to be, she will know. It is her quick wit and beauty that attract him to her (let’s not forget though that both are still in their teens). The Crown Prince gets brought before the King for his antics and angers him when he states that the reason he is always running away is to see his older brother.
We learn that said brother is gallivanting around the countryside through the Queen and see him in the marketplace below.
It is while he is at the market that he runs into Nok-young and a young Jan-shil. Jan-shil uses her divine abilities to sense illness in people and her “master” uses this to gain money unlawfully. Yang-myung rescues Jan-shil from her “master” but loses her when a gang of bandits attacks him. She is then left with Nok-young where, presumably, she is taken to Star Mansion.
As we watch the Crown Prince walk the paths at night trailed by his servants, we see flower petals starting to rain from the sky. Does this remind you of anything? Not to mention the floating red umbrella.
As Yeon-woo tries to decipher the mystery of the cloth, Yang-myung climbs the roof of his dear friend, Heo Yeom’s house, only to witness his little sister leaving her room. He gazes at her from afar and admires her beauty while she is stricken with horror upon finding out who her afternoon companion really is.
Originally I started watching this drama for Kim Yoo-jung. I can’t remember exactly where I had seen her before but it was her that brought me here. Thank goodness I started watching, whatever the reason. The first episode is a bit melodramatic, but the OST certainly makes up for it and knowing that Kim Soo-hyun is about to make his appearance, well, that’s just icing on the cake.
The one good thing about this drama compared to others is that it’s ONLY 20 EPISODES!!! Yeah~~~~
Now I love long dramas, when they deserve the run. However, that also means that there’s more room for the scriptwriter to make atrocious character deaths and resurrecting of evil. So when I saw 20 episodes, inside I was jumping with glee.
The next few episodes should be interesting, if not tear-jerking.
Adios my drama loving friends~