‘Arthdal Chronicles’ Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Does Eun Seom Win Against Saya?


Four years have passed since Arthdal Chronicles Season 1 came to an end. At first, it felt like an answer to Game of Thrones, and everyone was excited about it since the actors in it were beloved across the world by all the Korean drama fans, and they were also at the top of their game at that time, especially Song Joong Ki. But then, maybe it became a case of trying to emulate something or just the writing not matching the budget, but the story lost steam midway through. Whatever the show could have been, it was not. Therefore, when season 2 comes out four years later, we are only concerned with one question: can this be seen independently, or does one need to have the memory of the events of season 1 to be able to watch and understand this? The former is more beneficial to the show because it is an excellent way for its reputation to be salvaged. If Arthdal Chronicles season 2 has come in an improved version with the lessons of the first, then all is forgiven.

People who did not watch the first season for whatever reason but are aware of its reputation will find it in themselves to be kinder towards the franchise, similar to those who were left disappointed by the story back then. On that note, the first episode of season 2 begins eight years after the events of first season. It is strange to see Shin Se Kyung and Lee Joon Gi who have replaced the previous actors Kim Ji Won and Song Joong Ki playing the same part. The latter pair are equally formidable choices as the former for the characters, but it is a habit that is taking time to adjust. There are new politics to unfold in season 2, and this episode is the start of them, so here is a recap.

What Is The Political Situation In Arthdal?

We are reminded once again that Saya, Tanya, and Eun Seom will be the ones to destroy the world with their respective heavenly objects. Tanya, who is the High Priestess, will hold the bell, Saya will use the mirror, and Eun Seom will wield the sword. They are much closer to their destinies, and we say this because we expect this franchise to conclude with this season. In the meantime, Tagon has been waging a war for two years to establish his control over the East, and he has almost found success. When he gets back home, he learns that there was an assassination attempt on his son, the heir to the throne. Taelha took care of it, but in her characteristic manner, she made her son, Arok, kill the man who had tried to kill him.

We are not sure whether this was Arok’s first kill, but it is clear that he has been taught that killing and violence are part of his life. When Taelha meets Tagon, she is furious that he hasn’t declared Arok the heir already. This is a sensitive issue for her since Saya is also being talked about as a possible candidate to be the next king. In such a case, if anything were to happen to the king, the queen and the prince would be in a very precarious position because Saya can never be trusted. Taelha believes that he was the one to send the assassins for the prince, but Tagon tells her otherwise since Saya has been away on his own missions for the past year.

Has Tanya Become The High Priestess?

Then there is Tanya, who has achieved what she had said she would: that the land she would rule on would be the hearts of the people. She has grown really powerful and can read people’s innermost feelings and problems. There is a power of persuasion and comfort in how she applies it, but like Saya says, it cannot win wars. Nevertheless, all the people of the kingdom and the soldiers keep coming to her for some respite from their troubles. In a way, we may call her the spiritual therapist of Arthdal. No matter what Tanya is, she still cannot escape the shifting loyalties of Saya, or perhaps he is playing a deeper game than anybody could imagine. Saya and Tanya have been searching for Eun Seom for a long time now, but the revelations they come across in episode 1 change a lot of things.

In Tagon’s campaign to capture the east, the only remaining hurdles were the Bato tribe and the Ago Union. They are proving impossible because they are under the leadership of who they call the Inaishingi, who is none other than Eun Seom. He is there in disguise to take care of the ungrateful Bato tribe, but to his surprise and that of the tribe, they are under a surprise attack by Saya. When Saya realizes that the Inaishingi is there, he gives the order for him to be killed since he is the bigger threat and the key to the east’s resistance to Tagon’s conquest. There is a riot that follows, but at the end of it, Saya finds out Inaishingi’s real identity, i.e., he is his twin brother. It almost looks like the Ago tribe has been defeated, but when the hidden soldiers are called, Saya is forced to retreat with his men.

Does Eun Seom Win Against Saya?

The crux of Arthdal Chronicles season 2 is that Eunseom and Tagon are at war. Therefore, Eun Seom’s victory in the east means that his next step is to go to Hanchu City, which Saya predicted when he faced him in battle at the beginning of the episode. Eun Seom manages to get to the city, and Tagon hears of it. There are some politics to deal with and questions to answer, but as usual, Taelha is there by his side. The relationship between them may have changed, but they have not stopped being a team. When Saya talks to Tagon about it, he realizes that Tagon doesn’t know what Eun Seom looks like. But that might not matter at all since Tagon tells Saya that if he wants to be the heir, he needs to defeat Eun Seom at all costs.

When Tagon had been conversing with the queen, he had told her that he couldn’t announce Arok as the heir because that was Tanya’s responsibility. Taelha knew that Tagon just needed to make the request, but he wasn’t doing it. Over here, Tagon was promising Saya the heirdom in case he won a particular war. That means that Saya tells Tanya that he can no longer just keep looking for Eunseom. If he meets him, he will have to kill him. Tanya must have expected Saya’s loyalty to turn any day because she doesn’t take it as the shock that it is and is prepared with measures of her own.

Back with Eun Seom, he is proving to be a “righteous” conqueror. He may have captured Hanchu, but he still wants to be kind to everyone and enforces that with devious brutality. This is exactly the oxymoron it sounds like. Regardless, his men believe that his influence will be what wins lots of wars going forward. Meanwhile, they have to prepare for what is to come. At the end of Episode 1 of Arthdal Chronicles Season 2, Eunseom figures out that there is a spy amongst their troops. Before more can be done about that, he finds Daoyu, the horse that Tanya has sent for him. All these years, these two have not stopped thinking about each other. Right now, there isn’t much that Tanya can do to help him, but this is her message: she is with him at all times, in spirit and thoughts. As the episode closes, we see the Ago tribe winning against Saya’s soldiers once again due to some very clever planning on their part.

Final Thoughts

Arthdal Chronicles Season 2 is off to a promising start, and we are enjoying how Saya and Tanya’s relationship seems to have developed. It will be something if we find that Saya’s feelings for Tanya never really died down, and one of the reasons he is so against Eunseom is because of what he feels for her. At the end of the day, is it this love triangle that is going to bring down the world? That would make it a rather long-winded cliche, but let’s see how that goes.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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