There was never going to be a satisfying end for Tagon in Arthdal Chronicles. He was a character who was the villain, but he wasn’t written to be evil. He was written as a normal person, and his only fallacy was perhaps that he tried to conquer by playing to the rules of the world instead of changing them to make something better. Throughout Arthdal Chronicles seasons 1 and 2, he has been good, bad, and questionable, but in hindsight, what other option was there for the man when he carried ambitions like that? He was the antagonist, but we could never hate him, and he remains one of the better villains of K-drama land to date. We know for a fact that he will be underrated, but this is how a negative character should be: a complex human who is just at the other end of things. This is the recap and ending of the episode 10.
What is Tanya doing?
Before talking about Tanya, let us address Saya and Taelha. Saya is alive as we expected, and Hae Yeobi updates him about the situation in Arthdal. Meanwhile, Taelha also escapes by pretending to be poisoned, and the followers of Tanya help her with it. Taelha is surprised at that since she always believes Tanya to be her enemy, but Taelha never realizes that Tanya’s philosophy could have its uses from time to time. Right now, Taelha being out of captivity serves the first part of Tanya’s agenda, which is to remove Tagon as a ruler from Arthdal. Taelha must be aware of it, but it suits her to escape, and that is what she does.
As for Tanya, the only way she can marry the story of Aramun Haesulla with the Inaishingi is through her power of spirituality and stories. She slowly starts spreading the word about the birth of Aramun and his relationship with the horse, Kanmoreu. She is only spreading the word before she takes the next step to cast doubts about Tagon being Aramun and how it could be the Inaishingi instead. It is a great strategy since, right now, Inaishingi is the enemy of the people of Arthdal, and it will take a fair bit of convincing for them to accept him as their next leader.
What happens when Tagon sees Eunseom?
It is the ultimate lightbulb moment for Tagon when he realizes that Saya’s twin, the Inaishingi, and the fake Saya in his palace were all the same person. The betrayal must have been the cause of half his anger, but the most impressive part of this scene for us was the actor Lee Joon Gi, who played Eunseom. That smile of satisfaction when he saw the pieces coming together in Tagon’s head and the smirk that conveyed that he had gotten the better of him and was enjoying his shock was worth a raise in the actor’s paycheck. A furious Tagon tries to ride Kanmoreu, but the horse rejects him as he will only allow Aramun Haesulla to sit on him. Though Eunseom’s forces retreat, Tagon is deeply insecure since his entire troop has gotten proof that he is not Aramun. Yeonbal assures him that Aramun was never the reason they followed him to begin with. He wants the king to fight as Tagon, and they are ready to lay down their lives for that very name. As Tagon struggles with that, the Ago tribe is surrounded from all sides, and they are running out of time to come up with an idea that will save their lives and take down Tagon. Takachun and Tae Dachi are being held captive by Arthdal, and Tagon sends a message asking to speak with Eunseom in private.
When Eunseom and Tagon meet, the latter tells Eunseom about his Neanthal father, whom Tagon had killed on the battlefield. It was no doubt to razzle Eunseom, but he has a cool head on his shoulders, and he recounts that Tagon’s father must have suffered a worse fate since he was killed at the hands of his own son. These two discuss that they are different because Tagon wants to be Aramun as a way to win over Arthdal, while Eunseom wants to be Aramun so that he can lead the people to a better future. After this clash of ideologies, Tagon tells Eunseom to exchange Suhana and Kanmoreu for Takachun and Tae Dachi. This exchange will be the first step in the war, and the two parties will prepare themselves. Eunseom discovers that Tagon cares for Suhana because they grew up together, and she is like his sister. This is going to be a bargaining chip in the coming episodes.
Does the fire kill Tagon?
The plan that Eunseom comes up with is that since the wind blows in the direction of their camp and Tagon will definitely make use of that, they can escape this problem if they set fire right behind the enemy. The air will blow the flames towards them as well, and that will destroy their army while the old tribe has time to escape beforehand. They send a group for this mission, while Eunseom goes to meet Tagon for the exchange.
That is when Tagon declares that he is rejecting being Aramun Haesulla and wants to be Tagon the first. With that, he kills the horse and is about to kill Dachi when Murisol threatens him with Suhana’s life. However, Suhana is ready to embrace death, and that leads to both Dachi and Suhana losing their lives. Eunseom and Tagon get into a fight for a brief second, but they have to part because there are more important things waiting to happen. When Tagon leaves, Eunseom decides to go make sure that the fire is set as they had planned since their entire plan depends on it. There is no way they can win this war without this strategy, and Eunseom is ready to risk everything for it. When he gets there, it is a valiant fight, and despite Gituha and the Arth forces being on the negative side, we have to commend them on their spirit and their ability to stand by their leader till the very last minute.
During the end of Arthdal Chronicles season 2, Episode 10, they manage to start the fire, and that changes the entire course of the war. The Ago tribe is winning since the Arth forces have nowhere to run, and a whirlwind of fire consumes Tagon and his army, as it was always going to. Tagon is dead, and it is time for Eunseom to face the next hurdle waiting for him: Taelha.
The second step of Eunseom, Saya, and Mubaek’s plan was to remove Taelha from the way. She was always going to let Arok take the throne while she became regent, and she had to fight against Tanya and the others herself since Tagon was no longer there. This is going to be the fight we will witness in the finale week of Arthdal Chronicles Season 2, and knowing the kind of opponent that Taelha is, it will probably be the best fight of the lot.