The Blade And Petal Episode 1 Summary

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A young woman voice opens the drama with her narration, in the epilogue she introduces herself as the Goguryeo Princess, Moo Young (played by lovely Kim Ok Bin) the beloved daughter of King Yeong Nyu the King of Goguryeo (stars Kim Young Chul). Sitting by herself she says with this heavy tired tone:

“Goguryeo, which had East Asia under its command in the past. I am a Princess of Goguryeo. My father King Yeong Nyu is a military hero who fought against the 1.1 million soldiers of Sui Dynasty, Go Gun Moo. The new ruler of the continent, Tang Dynasty gradually took steps to take over Goguryeo. King Yeong Nyu wanted to take time to prepare for war, but Yeon Gaesomun argued that we should strike back right away.
And, the only love of my life, Yeon Choong. Son of Yeon Gaesomun. I wonder if our paths should never have crossed”.

And when the camera pulls out, we can see where she actually sits, right in front of a burned down deserted palace with red sky above and crows fly high.

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Wondering alone, she asks, “Goguryeo, why did Goguryeo fall?”

Then as if we jump into Moo Young’s memory, we see what happens before all the doom happens. There in the palace, King Yeong Nyu gathers all his general and ministers to discuss the recent state matters with the progression of Tang invasion. However , it clears that the palace has already divided into two sides; King’s side with the opinion that the best idea to face the Tang invasion is by strengthening their internal force for example building a great wall to hold enemy outside the country and to install the crown prince ASAP to ensure the bloodline of the dynasty. Meanwhile the opposing party of the King’s men is General Yeon Gae Somon’s people whose stand on much harder ground, to fight the enemy invasion with war.

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The bad thing is the two different parties not only representing two extreme polars but also two big forces who wants to dominate the other. The King wants General Yeon to supervise the wall building just so he can push Yeon outside the palace before his power become too big to handle by the King. In the other hand General Yeon insists to substitute the Prime Minister and refuses the crown prince installment because he wants to limit King’s authority and power in the palace.

Throughout the debate the King keeps staring at General Yeon who in spite of remains stoic and doesn’t say a word it is clear the King knows that Yeon is the one who leads the opposite party. When the discussion gets heated, a royal guard enters the hall and informs the King that Princess and Prince convoy is under attacked by none other than the Tang soldiers.


Thanks to a secret organization of the King who all this time disguise themselves as ordinary merchants in the market and serves as the King silent protector, the Princess and the Prince not only survive from the attack, but they also able to capture one of their attackers and now they are on the way to the palace with their prisoner. General Yeon’s people are so worry with this development because once the interrogation starts, it will be revealed that the attack was actually fake and all they want to gain from that is to cancel the crown prince installation. General Yeon just smirks and asks them to enjoy their meal, he has his own plan to stop the disaster.

Somewhere outside the palace a mysterious man with a bow and a hat to cover his face walks under the rain and happens to pass Princess Moo Young chariot. His mysteriousness intrigues Moo Young, makes her unable to take her eyes off him.

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This man is Yeon Choong (plays by the very own Uhmforce a.k.a. Uhm Tae Woong), an illegitimate son of General Yeon with a female slave. His status makes Choong a slave too and all this time he wanders alone around Pyongyang, the capital city of Goguryeo. He earns a living by showcasing his great martial art skill and does dangerous performance. Few moments later we see him on a rooftop, aiming his bow and shot a perfect hit in killing the prisoner Moo Young’s convoy has managed to capture alive.

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Jang, a cousin of Moo Young catches the sight of Choong on the rooftop and chases him, Moo Young sees Choong too and immediately draws a sword from one of her soldiers and runs after Choong as well. The chasing ends up behind a building and Choong has to face Moo Young and Jang, but his martial art skill is too good for the two royal blood. Choong manages to escape though Jang’s sword successfully slashed his arm, gives him a deep cut just before he escapes he accidentally hears how Jang addresses Moo Young with her Princess title. Jang continues his search for Choong even into an inn but he totally loses Choong now. Moo Young also tries to search Choong the next day but he is also too difficult to find.

Choong actually took the job to kill the prisoner because the man who offered him the job said that the instruction comes from someone very important, General Yeon. Choong who all this time tries to meet him with no luck decides to take the job thinking that maybe it can bring him to his father.

Then fate decides to let Moo Young and Choong meet to start their love story. After her useless search for the mysterious assassin in the market then Moo Young stops in front of an accessories shop, which Choong does too. The two meet up, and Moo Young feels this strange attraction with the hot stranger guy. Perhaps Choong’s facial features remind Moo Young with the mysterious man who happened to pass her chariot yesterday. Choong in the other hand, knowing that she actually is a princess chooses to act guardedly, he does looks back at her but with those careful eyes refuses to show more than a polite response.

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But Moo Young is a brave princess, in war and in love, so despite the man she has crush looks totally cool and unaffected, she still watches him from a far. Fortunately, Choong finally uses his head and checks at her too. They smile to each other, until suddenly a wild horse approaches Moo Young and about to hit her. Choong moves fast and saves her by lifting her off the ground away from the horse, and Moo Young officially is in love. Her world turns upside down, uncontrolled anymore.

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But things aren’t very good with Choong. As what has promised when he accepted the job of assassinating the prisoner, he is allowed to see General Yeon. He goes to meet the general, sitting so carefully and anxiously waiting for him, his father. It is painful to see how Choong listens to every move General Yeon steps closer to him, how he hopes and how he desperate to see him. Desperate enough to kill a man just so he can finally meet his father.

But the cruel hard fact is how General Yeon reacts to his long lost son, “In this house there’s no place for you.” Choong still tries, asks his dad what he and his mother means to General Yeon, but the old bastard says nothing, not even turns his back to see Choong’s face. However as Choong silently walks away we see it is General Yeon now who listens to every Choong’s moves, how Choong steps out from the house, as if he wants the memory of Choong coming into his house lingers in his head.

When the night comes, General Yeon is surprised to hear how King summons him to the palace. His minions worry though, because coming alone to the palace can mean danger. General Yeon can be captured by whatever reason the King has, but if he refuses to come it is the same like he rebels to King’s order. Which just like the King actually wants. Wrong decision and it gives General Yeon bad result. Finding that there is no way he can refuse King’s order, General Yeon comes to the palace. It turns out King wants to renegotiate their disagreement. The king will agree to General Yeon’s wish to substitute the Prime Minister, but the King also finally able to install his son as the crown prince. The agreement is achieved, and everybody happy.

Moo Young can’t shake Choong from her head so the next morning she goes back to the market looking for him. Instead of finding him, she gets a flyer says how Choong will showcase his awesome archery skills in a downtown inn. She can locate the inn but when she enters the building the inn is just empty. She has no idea that Choong is actually still in the inn telling his friend how he wants lo leave Pyongyang. Choong’s best buddy carefully asks whether the meeting between Choong and his father went bad and Choong just smiles dryly. When Choong goes out to the balcony and looks down, he sees the princess nervously waits for him to show up.


Choong puts a thin smile on his lips and a thought comes to his head. He knows that Moo Young is actually a royal princess and he thinks to get advantage from what the princess feels for him. He then tells his confused friend that he cancelled his idea of leaving and wants to seek for a proper job. What he must do first is to perform a great show in the city square. So Choong goes and performs what he does well, shooting his arrows to perfect hit while blindfolded.

As the closing show, his best buddy who also seems to act as the show MC announces that they need a brave female volunteer. Choong takes off his eye cover and lets his eyes run among the audience, when he sees Moo Young there he simply fixes his sight on her, makes Moo Young all blushed and nervous.


Choong walks confidently to Moo Young, wants to ask if she wants to be part of the show. A disguised guard comes up to protect the princess but Moo Young gestures him to back off. She can handle this. Choong watches the exchange quietly, it just confirms him the truth that Moo Young is a princess. Then he asks her his question; whether she is willing to trust him. Moo Young looks at him, smiles, and innocently nods.


Sword and Flower or the official English title as KBS announced is The Blade and Petal perhaps now becomes the most divided drama ever within its audience. Based on the rating the drama has gathered it shows that most people dislike it, which I personally say it’s just they just don’t understand the drama. For the first time ever in my limited Sageuk watching experience, I found a gorgeous drama so gorgeous I can’t take my eyes off it. A thing strangely agreed with all who have watched The Blade and Petal but then say that exactly is the drama biggest mistake, because it is only beautiful in the eyes but has no other quality whatsoever. A common agreement that I just absolutely disagree.

One thing I really should tell you who want to see the drama is that The Blade and Petal is a visual storytelling tv drama series. For probably the first time ever in the last decade, this is the drama which doesn’t tell its story through narration or lengthy loads of dialogs. It doesn’t think we audience is dummy enough so everything we see has to be explained by the stuff the characters said. For once the PD really does his work, directing his actors to do what they suppose to do, to act. For once the PD shows us that tv drama is really a collective work, not the writer’s work. Pictures or visual imageries, sounds, and acting, and push to the limit directing style can do so much in telling a story.

The Blade and Petal director, Kim Young Soo, approaches the drama with a very unique way. He sets the atmosphere of the drama through sets of deliberate angles of shots, highlighting the impact he wants to achieve by these intricate beautiful artistry of camera work, creating such eloquent images so even when we capture the motion pictures in stills, every single take is a work of art.

Most people also complain on the musical pieces he chooses, but if the audience willing to spend some time to really enjoy the acting of the actors, they will see that what the PD wants to try is to set the mood. Some groan with the silence amount this drama has, but let me tell you, just follow the silence and you will hear what it tells you. It speaks much louder than the cheesy big deep pile of crap dialogs you hear from tons of dramas out there. In The Blade and Petal dialogs are kept to minimum, no wasted exchanging conversation keeping it basic and raw. By that approach, the real acting will breathe freely, letting those amazing talented actors to showcase what makes them so different than us all. They can act, we don’t.

Have fun watching!  B)

Pic cr to here and here

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