There was always something about the story of the Arthdal Chronicles that captured our imagination. Season 1 was accused of being too dragged out, yet the characters and the storyline were captivating. When season 2 took four years to present itself, we had almost given up hope that we would ever see the rest of the story. The penultimate episode made us think that this story would continue with a third season, but once again, we were rather surprised. Either way, this is as neat an ending as we could have gotten, so let us take a look at the recap and ending of Arthdal Chronicles Season 2.
How does the war for Arthdal happen?
Eight years after Tagon is crowned king of Arthdal, the only resistance against him is the Ago tribe, led by Inaishingi, which is Eunseom. Saya and Tanya are conspiring against Tagon in the castle, and their mission is that as soon as Tagon dies, they will have to eliminate Taelha and take over Arthdal to make the world that they dream of. In the meantime, Saya is playing his games because, at the end of the day, all he wants are Tanya and Arthdal. After a particular battle with the Ago tribe, Eunseom and Saya end up swapping places, which brings Eunseom to Arthdal, where a particular series of events end up revealing that he, Tagon, and Arok are all Igutu. It is at this time that Tanya arrives at the scene and declares that the Igutu are of sacred blood and that their discrimination in the kingdom must end. This essentially dismisses some of Tagon’s long-held fears, but for a while, he becomes completely unstable as he doesn’t trust a world that he doesn’t need to be wary of at all times.
In the meantime, Eunseom and Saya return to their rightful places and prepare for the final war. Saya is helping Eunseom because he has grown attached to the people of the Ago tribe while he was there, and he wants them to be safe. Back in Arthdal, the queen, Tanya, and a few others lead a rebellion against the king, but they realize that they have been double-crossed, as Tagon had never been insane. He had just been putting on an act to see who would be by his side in the great war. With his answers, he imprisons everyone who opposes him and prepares to fight Eunseom. When he faces Eunseom on the battlefield, he realizes that he was Saya’s twin all along. The war ends with Tagon losing, and for a while, we think he is dead. But at the last minute, as Tanya is taking control over the kingdom with a promise of the new world, Tagon comes back and imprisons her, to use as a bargaining chip against Eunseom, who is standing at the castle gates.
What is Tagon’s plan?
Tagon’s plan, which he told Tanya in the previous episode and which he tells Taelha in the finale, is that if he cannot have Arthdal, then nobody can. He has lost the war. While he can only hold back Eunseom for a while using Tanya, that won’t last long, and once he finds a way to enter the castle, they won’t have a choice but to surrender. Tagon would rather kill himself and all of Arthdal than do that. Taelha understands his plan, and sadly, she understands his reasons. Their relationship may have gone cold, but in many ways, they remained soulmates, and till the end, their teamwork did not falter.
Does Eunseom Win?
It doesn’t take long for Eunseom to enter the palace. Nunbyeol and members of the Momo tribe pave the way for him, and once he is there, Tagon tells Taelha to save herself and Arok at any cost so that, at a later date, she can take back Arthdal. Right now, Tagon is going to stall Eunseom and Tanya as much as he can. Tagon has already killed Yeolson, and he now frees Tanya to take her to the temple. He shows her how he has poisoned the water of Arthdal, and it isn’t long before it reaches the people. None of Tanya’s pleas have an effect on Tagon, as he is prepared for everything she is going to say. He continues his manipulations till the very end because the one thing that he is able to do in this situation is bluff his way through. As expected, Eunseom comes to save Tanya, but only she recognizes that it is not Eunseom but Saya, and he is holding Arok hostage. Saya tells Tanya to escape while he stays back to fight Tagon.
Tagon was always too strong for Saya, but when he believes that he has taken down the Inaishingi, he sees Eunseom’s reflection in Saya’s locket, and that is as per the prophecy, meaning that Tagon is going to die. Eunseom fatally injures Tagon, but he doesn’t know of the danger that Tanya is in. She has to dive into the water to close the water channel, and that has soaked her in Bichiswan. Tanya doesn’t have much longer to live, and she wants to commence Eunseom’s acceptance into the people’s hearts before she dies.
At that moment, Taelha comes there, and she offers an antidote for Tanya in return for her going free with her son. Taelha kills Tagon after they say their goodbyes to each other. It is her way of putting him out of his misery. Eunseom accepts Taelha’s deal, and once Tanya has the antidote, she is told that she won’t regain consciousness for a while. Taelha doesn’t know how long that will be, but Tanya will be alive. With that, Taelha is allowed to leave with Arok. As for Saya, when he hears that Tanya is in danger, he wants to go to her, but the Neanthals knock him down and take him away.
During Arthdal Chronicles Season 2’s ending, the people are still not sure whether they can accept Eunseom as their leader. Tanya’s voice in their heads helps to an extent, and so do her drawings over the town. But nobody can ignore that only Aramun Haesulla can be their king, and it is at that time that Eunseom shows the scar on his hand that matches that of the sword embedded into the tree, which belongs to Aramun Haesulla. With that, Tanya’s job is complete, and Eunseom is accepted as the king. She falls unconscious once she enters the palace and is in a long coma. Eunseom patiently waits for her, and after over a year, she wakes up. Eunseom and Tanya are finally together, and they can lead their lives peacefully, building the world they want.
What happens to Taelha and Saya?
Saya is on the ship, going with the Neanthals, and he says that Tanya is dead. We don’t think he means that literally. He must still have access to Eunseom’s dreams, and he probably knows that she is fine. Saya must mean that she is dead to him, as he doesn’t want to spend his life pining for her any longer since she is with his brother. So he goes for the next best thing, which is Arthdal itself. As for Taelha, we get a glimpse of her and a grown-up Arok. Both of them are far away from Arthdal and are preparing for a war. Taelha is the writer of the story of Arthdal, and currently, she must be building a kingdom of her own before she makes her move to take back Arthdal as she had promised Tagon.
Arthdal Chronicles has been a riveting show, and it was worth the long wait. We found ourselves loving the characters even more, and it is as good an ending as possible for everyone. We still expect more from it all, and we just have to see if there will be a third season to take the story forward.