Can centuries of prejudice really be ended with a single stroke of good intentions combined with the right circumstances? The practicality of that is an endless debate, and it can start with Episode 4 of Arthdal Chronicles Season 2. For us, though, we got what we had wanted for some time now: an episode dedicated to Tagon. He is not the good guy of the show, but he carries it well on his broad shoulders. The screen presence of the actor, Jang Dong Gun, makes it impossible to look at anyone else while he is there. We remember that we first saw him almost a decade ago in a drama series of his titled A Gentleman’s Dignity, where he played the good-natured womanizer who one-sidedly fell in love with a high school teacher. Years later, we see him as the King of Arthdal, and we don’t care how much we like Lee Joon Ki, but we just want Tagon to be the one true king and the reborn Aramun Haesulla because we love the actor so much. But we are sure that the writers of Arthdal Chronicles have other plans, and here is a recap of the fourth episode.
What do Taelha and Eunseom want from each other?
The reason Taelha was able to figure out that the man in front of her was not Saya but someone else was because Saya was just not that fast with a sword. The explanation makes it seem like an expert parlor trick, but we won’t talk about it anymore. However, Eunseom doesn’t reveal his name but tells Taelha just enough to get what he wants. He tells her about him being Saya’s benetboi and that he was taken to meet him by Mubaek. Eunseom says that it is all he knows, but he is aware that they were attacked by the Shahati. Right now, Eunseom says that he is just taking advantage of the situation, and all he wants from the queen is a sanction to deal with bronze weapons. Taelha doesn’t know that she would be helping the Inaishingi, but she sees a mutually beneficial arrangement for herself, where the Saya in front of her will do whatever she wants him to. And she makes her move accordingly.
In the King’s Council, his people advise him to make up with the queen since he can’t be on bad terms with her before he leaves for the East to win the war that has been lost by Saya. As if marriage wasn’t political enough, the anger and reconciliation between kings and queens are also dictated by the needs of the country. Tagon already feels like Taelha must be holding something over Saya for him to not have testified against her. When he asks him about it, Saya, aka Eunseom, says that he did that to stay in the inheritance race. His loss in the East could have meant that he would no longer be a contender, but there was no guarantee that the queen would have been expelled either since there would have been multiple steps to follow later, and she would have wriggled her way out of the situation. Therefore, by helping her and holding the threat over her that he could remember the events of the day at any time, he has maintained this power balance.
When Tagon comes to know that Arok has been hidden by the queen, probably in anticipation of her impending punishment in the case of Saya’s statement, the king is furious. When he confronts the queen, we finally come to know why these two turned into people unable to stand each other. It is a tale typical of all married couples that what Tagon liked in her to begin with, irks him now. But in the interest of politics, though he doesn’t say so, Tagon wants to patch up with his wife, though she makes it clear that it would only happen if Arok is declared the heir. Tagon reveals that he has not announced the ceremony yet because that would irk Saya, who would end up revealing to the entire world that Tagon was Igutu. But Taelha already knows the loophole to it since the man in the palace is Eunseom and not Saya, who would want to take away the possibility of the Arthdal General becoming the heir. Tagon is prepared to go ahead with the ceremony, but that is when they get the news that Arok has been kidnapped.
What Is The Story Of Hearts Of White Peak Mountain?
In Arthdal Chronicles episode 3, the tribe had asked for Tanya’s acknowledgment of their doctrine, but she had brushed it away. In episode 4, the suspicion of Arok’s abduction first falls on the members of the tribe, and Tanya offers to look for the prince once she is let out of the shrine. Taelha gets quite a shock when she realizes that Tanya is not some charlatan but she genuinely has powers, so she decides to take her help. But when Tanya hears the voice of a man in her head calling her, she slips away from the soldiers to follow him. Eunseom joins her as well when he learns that she is in trouble.
The real Saya had been in cahoots with this man and whatever organization he was running, which wanted to uproot Tagon and Taelha from the throne. They are angry that Eunseom (who they thought was Saya) was not doing that. For now, Eunseom and Tanya open the tomb of the first Aramun Haesulla and discover that he was Igutu. That is when Tanya tells Eunseom about the prophecy and how he is the sword. But despite knowing all this, Eunseom cannot do anything because he left behind the teachings of the White Wolf when he left Wahan, which had never acknowledged him to begin with. Even now, he was the Inaishingi, who was considered to be the enemy of Aramun Haesulla.
The debate between Tanya and Eunseom simply boils down to whether the ends justify the means. Tagon has hidden the Igutu part of him for so long, which means that if Tanya acknowledged the White Peak’s doctrine that said that Aramun was Igutu, there would be bloodshed, which Tanya had sworn to prevent. But unless that happened, there was no way for the wrongs to be set right. Right now, it is known that the prince was kidnapped by a group of mercenaries seeking revenge for how their loved ones were treated by the king. Tagon has set out to rescue Arok, and Eunseom decides to follow to protect his secret of being Igutu.
How is Tagon, Eunseom and Arok’s Igutu identity revealed?
Taelha is close on the heels of Tagon since he has gone alone, and she cannot risk his life or his secret of being an Igutu coming out in the open. As expected, Tagon ends up needing her help because he cannot fight off an entire army alone. As he watched her fight alone, for him and for their son, he knew that he had made a mistake in judging her. Earlier in the episode, he had said that she would sacrifice Arok if it required her to stay strong for the inheritance. But right now, she was waging war for the sake of her family. Politics had gotten into their marriage, but when they fought side by side, ready to risk it all to protect the other person, they knew that the love was still there.
The rebels had just about gotten the better of Taelha and Tagon when Eunseom joined the fight to protect them. But the fight was truly won when the soldiers arrived there with their forces. However, though Prince Arok was rescued, Eunseom, Tagon, and Arok’s purple blood was visible for everyone to see, and the secret was out. They may have all been killed then and there, but Tanya saves the day.
During the ending of Episode 4 of Arthdal Chronicles Season 2, Tanya comes there and acknowledges the White Peak Mountains’ Doctrine, which claimed that Aramun Haesulla was Igutu, and he had been killed because he wanted to bring the Neathals to Arthdal, which did not sit well with everyone as, in Tagon’s own words “equality is violence.” She says that Aramun Haesulla has declared his heirs by bestowing them with purple blood, which explains and justifies why the three most important people in the kingdom had that flowing in their veins. While half the population rejoices at this, the other half is shocked. Tanya may have saved the situation for now, but there will be a lot to deal with in the future.
Firstly, some of the soldiers had already started talking about how Kanmoreu had only listened to Inaishingi when he was supposed to be the ride of Aramun Haesulla. How will that tie in with this new revelation? Also, Saya has gained consciousness, and all of his cards have been destroyed by his brother in Arthdal. What will the scene be like when he comes back? Right before dying, the old lady had told Tagon to kill the ‘sword and the mirror.’ It is up to the king to determine how he will do that and if the person in front of him is of more value than loss.
Taelha and Tagon’s reunion makes us much happier than Eunsoem and Tanya’s. On a different note, the chaos of the coming episodes is already visible. Mungtae is being held by Dalsae and Ipsung. Taelha will have some questions for Eunseom, and we must see if spirituality is a good enough reason to dispel years of prejudice and violence against a certain community. We love Arthdal Chronicles and what it is bringing to us.