Lee Joon Ki proves why he is not just a replacement for Song Joong Ki but is completely capable of owning the character, be it Eunseom or Saya, in a way that no one else can. It almost makes us wonder what Arthdal Chronicles season 1 would have been like if he had been the one playing the role to begin with. That thought is a testament to how happy we are with the casting, and it has dispelled any doubts we were left with. The pacing of this episode is spectacular, and it seems apt since that is what we have been complaining about regarding the other Korean dramas on air right now. Essentially, season 2 has started with the jeopardizing of the entire status quo that had been the basis of the ending of season 1, and here is a recap of how it goes.
What Happens In The Battle Between Saya And Eunseom?
We were a little quick to jump the gun at the end of episode 1 and declare that Eunseom had won the battle. There was a little more to it than that. When Tanya sent the horse to Eunseom, it wasn’t just symbolic of her good wishes. The horse, Daoyu, is actually Kanmoreu, which is also called the “horse from the sky.” In spirit, it is the leader of the horses and is deemed to be the fastest in the land. The only person who can ride it is the god of harmony and unification, aka Araman Haesulla.
For those who don’t know, Tagon claimed to be that person in Arthdal Chronicles season 1, and in the present day, a decade later, if anybody still believed that, they got proof against it when it was Eunseom’s horse that ended up turning the outcome of the battle. Despite suffering heavy losses and being forced to retreat, Eunseom is able to deliver severe blows to Saya’s soldiers because of his horse, and that ends up gaining him his victory, much to Saya’s fury. He realizes that Tanya has a hand in all this. We should remember that in season 1, he was in love with her. While there hasn’t been such an explicit statement of feelings so far in Arthdal Chronicles season 2, knowing the kind of man that Saya is, we won’t be surprised if the grudge of that makes him doubly angry with Eunseom.
Why Is Tanya’s Father Targeted?
Frankly, what is happening in Arthdal is the rich being petty and a reminder that this show is inspired by a king during the Bronze Age. For the first part, something Tagon says sums up the situation, which is that “equality is violence for the privileged.” Tanya is taking care of the slaves by giving them three meals a day, and the rich people hate it because their slaves’ hunger was a mark of their own superiority, which has been taken away now. Therefore, Tagon decides to talk to Tanya about it. Honestly, we think that there is a hint of his own insecurity due to Tanya’s popularity. He is uncomfortable with the ministers and pretty much everyone wearing Tanya’s bracelet, showing that her influence and power may be equal to that of the King himself.
When Tanya refuses to cut down on the slaves’ meals, Tagon doesn’t leave her with a choice by passing it as an order. That is when Tanya flexes a bit of her own power. She offers to give money to the crown in return for letting her feed the slaves as she likes. Whatever Tanya has been doing has left the temple loaded, and that is a blessing for the crown’s dwindling resources. Or it could be that Tanya has thrown in a deliberate bluff. She could have a trick up her sleeve, but she is simply baiting the King for now.
As for the other matter, Tanya’s father, Yeolson, is being tortured by the queen. She wants to know the technology for making the iron swords, and Yeolson is holding that quite close to his heart. The decade between the storylines of the two seasons seems to have toughened him up, as he is being crafty and resilient, something we hadn’t seen him do before. Taelha is ready to kill him, but the King intervenes, as doing that to the High Priestess’ father would mean a revolt amongst the people, and Tagon wouldn’t be able to suppress that. We had previously stated that Tagon and Taelha are still a team, but we now know that it is only for show.
A little bit of prodding, and it becomes evident that they are both on a quest to solidify their own power. But Tanya knows the one thing that can bring them together, which is their son, Arok. She tells the queen that if her father is hurt, she will tell the people a prophecy that will have them vying for the prince’s blood. But if the queen let her father go, then she would hold the ceremony for him, after the King’s request. This gets Yeolson’s release, but Tanya immediately understands that she has been played with. The queen established the need for the King to announce Arok as the heir, while the scientists under her wing are close to understanding how Yeolson figured out the secret of the iron. If they are right, it wouldn’t matter that Yeolson has given his word to the King that the science will only be used for his benefit.
What Happens To Saya And Eunseom?
In many ways, Saya remains a child. Maybe it is his past, or maybe it is the fact that he always needs a jerk or a helping hand to guide him out of his impulsivity. Right now, Saya wants to meet Eunseom in private. He tells Mubaek that it is for the sake of striking up an alliance, one that they have been working for for the past decade. But Saya was never that level-headed. He wants to kill Eunseom with the chance he has and just get ahead with whatever he wants. It is the first time that both of them are meeting, and the first thing the brothers have to say to each other is that they recognize the other person from their dreams. This was a long time coming, but battle is in the back of both their minds. Eunseom asked Saya to work with him, not knowing that Saya has his men ready to assassinate him as they speak. But luck favors Eunseom, and he is saved by chance.
Earlier that day, Mubarak had taken in a child seen stealing crops, as he thought that she must be a battle orphan. But that was a Shahiti child, and they were trained to kill. Earlier in the episode, two Neanthals were seen skeptical of the children as they walked past them without getting scared. Right now, Cha Eun goes after Saya when she sees him leave with the child trailing behind. She is rescued by the Neanthals when she slips and is about to fall. They all make their way to the place where Saya and Eunseom are fighting against the Shahiti. Saya wants Eunseom to live since he was about to tell him his real name, which their mother used to call out in her sleep. But both of them are knocked unconscious. At the end of Arthdal Chronicles Season 2, Episode 2, Saya is rescued by Cha Eun and the Neanthals, while Eunseom is taken into the Arthdal camp, as the soldiers think that he is their general.
We wonder whether Saya and Eunseom will be in one place, as in, if they will both reach the Arthdal camp together. That would mean that Eunseom is held captive and that his resistance is in complete jeopardy. But it will also mean that he may go back to Arthdal and meet Tanya once again. The other scenario is that Eunseom finds out some secrets in the camp right before Saya comes back, and this leads to a chain of events that reveals to everyone who the Inaishingi is and how he is connected to Saya. This new situation will likely place him and his heirdom in danger with the King. As for Tanya, she has to continue dealing with the lack of faith everyone has in Eunseom, in addition to her father’s new ambitions. The Arthdal Chronicles has already picked up, and the future episodes are going to be exciting.