Getting ready for my Chuno rewatch – This shall be epic!

I’ve been meaning to start my Chuno rewatch for a while! I’m so excited but also very busy these days. I have no idea how long this rewatch will take me, judging from my Thank You one which lasted around 7 months! Rewatching while doing captures and gifs is rewarding (Jang Hyuk in full close up and slow motion, is very rewarding) but also time consuming. And you know, Chuno is special to me. I know I’ll get so absorbed that I’m almost afraid to start!

This time around, I intend to pay attention to the whole story. So far, to me Chuno has been Daegil and friends, Daegil and his love (with all due respect to lovely Lee Da Hae and fans), Daegil and his rival (with all due respect to gorgeous Oh Ji Ho and fans, but you know me! biased!). Yes, once again I admit my utter lack of objectivity (with all due respect to the whole amazing cast, director, writer, etc etc etc). So don’t be surprised or disappointed if my captures and gifs are mostly Daegil, friends, love and rival, but,I will try! As usual, I’ll follow my heart on this rewatch. I don’t know what kind of posts will emerge as I’m going in without a plan or schedule. But now that I have you to share the experience and memories, it should be 100000 x more fun!

I also don’t know how smart it is of me to watch Daegil now when Lee Gun (Fated to Love You) and Mimi (Lee Gun’s hair) are just around the corner! Going from Chuno to Fated to Love You will be quite a contrast :p For my Thank You rewatch I stocked up on choco pies. What should I get for Chuno?

Maybe some rice wine? I shall need it to endure THE PAIN!!!!!! (The wonderfully delicious pain in this case, such a masoquist) 20140611-233324.jpg

Or some boiled eggs? lol 20140612-000227.jpg

Fear not! I promise not to cry while I eat them, or at least I won’t film myself and show you! jh_snl_disgusted

Here are some awesome b/w drawing like images from the opening! Chuno_E01_HD_720_00000 Chuno_E01_HD_720_00001 Chuno_E01_HD_720_00002 Chuno_E01_HD_720_00004 Chuno_E01_HD_720_00005

93 responses to “Getting ready for my Chuno rewatch – This shall be epic!

  1. Where can I find Chuno/ Slave hunters to watch?

  2. I’m here, DF!! ^^

    ..And, I hafta say, I never disliked Daegil nor thought of him as bad/inhuman, as imperfect as he was. Part of it is the storytelling, coz we get access into Daegil’s context. We see where he came from, why he might’ve become so hardened on the outside. Another big part of it is Jang Hyuk’s delivery. I agree with several other comments that his eyes belied his true feelings where his words and actions were harsh. With the benefit of hindsight, his good intentions and care for his friends became clear, if they hadn’t been clear before.

    One thing was clear to me though (aside from his hotness, ha), and that is, up till the point he actually found Unnyun & realized she was marrying someone else, there was hope in his eyes. Despite the words that he might have spoken, about revenge etc, he was a man fueled by hope. It was when that hope was snuffed out that Daegil had to wrestle with himself, to find a reason to keep on living and moving forward. He eventually found it, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that, to remain as spoiler-free as possible.

    Another point that I feel is worth taking into consideration, is that we live in very different times than Daegil. Which means that we can’t quite judge him based on our modern yardstick. Someone commented that Daegil’s killing of people made him inhuman. While I wouldn’t say I condone killing people, I can’t say it makes him inhuman. Daegil was a man who fought on the streets to make a living, in a manner of speaking, and that was his environment. In that context, people get hurt/killed along the way. It’s a sageuk norm, if I think about it. Given this context, I find it more telling, that Daegil goes out of his way to empower on the sly, slaves that have been returned to their masters. And it’s clear that he did that on multiple occasions too, since Mt Worak was full of ex-slaves whom he’d sent there.

    In the end, Chuno is much more than a story of just one man. There are bigger issues that get the spotlight. But as far as Daegil goes, he is portrayed as one uniquely positioned (an educated slave hunter), imperfect man, who has to wrestle hard – with himself, with his ideals, with the norms & limitations of the world around him – in order to arrive at a place of peace, where his actions could finally be aligned with his beliefs.

    • Thank you for taking the time to give us your input Kfangurl 🙂 I was really curious about it. I agree now with everything you say despite the fact that it wasn’t so clear to me on my first watch. I know what you mean about hope. His eyes would lighten up every time he heard her name. And there was no trace of vengeful thoughts in them. Thanks for this comment, so wonderfully written as well.

      • Chuno is a masterpiece that deserves all the time and love that you give it 🙂 And it also deserves more than the one watch. On my second watch, I grasped so much more, in terms of what the show was actually saying, versus what I took away from my first watch. And I’m going to go out on a limb and disagree with those who’ve said that there’s an epic love story in the center of it. To me, the love story was never the point, and therefore there wasn’t anything epic about it. The love story served as one major factor among several that drove Daegil’s personal journey. And that personal journey was itself a statement about larger issues. 🙂

        • I also agree with this. When I first started watching I got the wrong impression that it was an epic love story but it is much more than that. On my rewatch I’m paying attention, much more attention and this way I’m also feeling everything with much more intensity. It’s kind of overwhelming! 🙂 but it’s awesome

          • Exactly! I’d even go so far as to say that if you were to go in seeing it as an epic love story, that you’d likely come away extremely frustrated 😛 That was my experience anyway. On my first watch, I’d assumed that it was going to be an epic love story, and came away thinking, ARGGGGHHH.

            And then, on my 2nd watch, my entire perspective changed, and I now think it’s brilliant just the way it is. Imperfect still, but BRILLIANT.

    • Argh. This field is getting too complicated for me. I posted an answer but it ended up under something else. Uiiiiii.
      Anywhoo, nice to see you here, kfangurl!

      • So let me copy it here, so you don’t have to look. Sorry for that, people!

        Hi, kfangurl! With all due respect (since it was your review that made me watch Chuno and you’re my hero now, plus I love your eloquence), I never meant that Dae-gil was inhuman because he killed people. Killing is a very human thing, after all.

        I realize that this is a historical period and these are people that make a living more or less by fighting, but the series itself told me that killing was not totally ok, when Choi stopped Dae-gil from killing Ji-ho. He said something like ”are you going to be a murderer now?”. I thought he meant ”we are not common thugs and murderers”. I took it that this is THEIR ethics (and I was actually surprised the first time I heard that).
        And we see that Dae-gil is very skilled in knocking people unconcious, so he could avoid killing relatively easily.
        And then he just goes and breaks some guard’s neck, just because he can.
        But he is still very much human.

        It was in that scene with Seol-hwa, not when he slaped her but right afterwards, when I had this very strong feeling that I am in the presens of something that is not human.
        It was a necessary step.
        It really had nothing to do with him having killed people. I am certainly not moralizing.

        Perhaps I should point out that I grew up on greek mythology and heroes’ atrocities, so I never thought that the hero should be, well, more like Tae-ha. Far from it. In fact, compared to some of the things that Heracles, Achilleus or Jason did, Dae-gil is a mother-in-law’s dream.

        So, I do feel actual loathing towards Dae-gil at times and I love the series for that. I’m happy as a toddler in the toy store to see a modern tale with this sort of protagonist. I wouldn’t have him any other way, I swear.
        Decent, noble people doing awesome deeds is pretty neat and bravo to them. But people full of flaws doing awesome deeds? That is the stuff of legends. That is the kind of story that grabs your soul and dropkicks it straight into the stratosphere.

      • Hey there, Georgia! Great to see you too! 🙂

        Yes, the reply threads can get confusing. But no worries, thanks to your heads-up, I managed to find your original comment after all. It’s fascinating how your response to Daegil is quite different from mine; it just demonstrates all over again, how we each respond very differently to the same dramas. Which is great, coz our different experiences, when shared, enriches the communal experience of the drama as we each give one another new perspectives to consider.

        I do love your Chuno passion, and I’m so pleased that my review had a part to play in connecting you with this masterpiece of a drama! 😀

        • I was just telling my mom that I’m so grateful to be able to share and read other people’s perspectives on the dramas I watch. Especially when it comes to a drama with depth. I experienced this as I rewatched Thank You after reading some great reviews that had pointed details I had not noticed myself. I guess the same could be said about any work of art right? I might not always agree with other’s view but I’m so grateful to have access to it, it does enrich the experience.

      • This comment thingy has gotten so crazy long, i found a hard time finding reply button….!!

        The Qing thing, in my understanding, doesn’t have to do with any official Qing attitude/plan toward Chosun. It was just that one general’s private thing, cuz he was a good friend of late crown prince.

        And about Taeha&Daegil’s different ways of coping their unfortunate events…I agree that you can’t really compare unhappiness. And I also think, even when they are facing the same thing, those two have different attitudes. **EP 17 SPOILER** When Taeha and Daegil both were about to be hanged, their difference in attitude became apparent. When he realized he will be hanged tomorrow and couldn’t do anything about it, Taeha ‘accepted’ it. He accepted the fact that he will die, and wanted to keep his honor, keep his dignity as he dies. He gave up trying to find a way to survive. Cowardly? No, I wouldn’t say so. He is a brave warrior when he is given a chance to fight. But when he realizes nothing can be done, he chooses to accept the fact and fix his attitude accomodating the reality and chooses to keep his dignity. But Daegil, did he accept his death? No, he fought. It’s not like he had any way to survive, but he refused to accept his death. He screamed, yelled, kicked, fought until the very moment he got hanged. He is a fighter, and it doesn’t mean actual physical fight (altho he can actually fight), but his attitude is a fighter. When he loves a woman that the society won’t allow him to love, he announces he will change the world. That’s a form of fight, only not involving violence. When things are done upon him, he struggles, fights, finds a way to survive. I feel like if Taeha was in Daegil’s situation, he would’ve rather starved to death than turning into a slave hunter like that. But Daegil, because that is the only way to survive, chooses to become a slave hunter. **END OF SPOILER**

        And also, whoever said Taeha suffered more but didn’t turn out a drama queen like Daegil is prob not here, but I’d have to say I disagree. It is meaningless to compare the degree of tragedy, and I’m not gonna try to argue who is more pitiful than who, but what I’m saying is what happened to Taeha wasn’t gonna change who he is, wasn’t gonna change his universe, but what happened to Daegil changed his universe. Not the degree of tragedy, but whether the world allowed them to go on living as who he was. What happened to Taeha was indeed really sad, but it didn’t ruin the order of his whole universe. There was something that kept him going. For Taeha, to whom the honor of being a nobleman, a warrior, and a friend and servant of the late crown prince is the most important part of being himself, nothing of it actually got destroyed. Yes, he became a slave, but he was still a nobleman in spirit. He believed in noble cause, he had a nobleman inside, you can see that easily from earlier episodes. More importantly, he still had a task as the noble friend of crown prince. He was waiting for his mission, he was told to wait and carry on the mission, that’s how he kept on going. If there was no mission, he would have chosen death, we actually know that as a fact they showed it to us.

        But Daegil, there was nothing that allowed him to go on as who he was. He was born and raised as a noble, but suddenly no one treated him as a noble. Different from Taeha. For Taeha, everyone treated him as a slave, but he believed in a noble cause and he believed there was something different in him from slaves that made him noble. But Daegil, he witnessed that simply becuz he didn’t have any money left, no one would treat him as a noble. Daegil’s reality presented him that really, money is all that matters. His dream was to pass the exam and change the world, but he realizes that it is impossible, both passing the exam part and changing the world part. His love just ran away with a brother who killed his parents and almost killed him. Nothing, literally nothing is letting him go on as his old self. At this point, where I’m pretty convinced that Taeha would’ve given up, Daegil chooses to fight, fight for survival and fight to get his love back.

        Taeha’s situation and Daegil’s situation were different, and Taeha’s way and Daegil’s way were different. I wouldn’t say one is ‘stronger’ than the other. In a hopeless situation, is a noble suicide stronger or turning into cynical emo fighter for survival stronger? I guess that’s a realm of personal choice.

  3. aww i saw this snl on several month before and realy laughed,
    umm Drama fan?did you see Repo Men?

  4. I’m impressed. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to rewatch Chuno. Might sound weird, but it affected me so profoundly I sob just thinking about it sometimes. I’ve never been so in love with a fictional character, or had such a heart for a character as I do for Daegil. I bet you’ll catch more the second time around. There is a very large supporting cast and at times I think I missed some details. Good luck with your re-watch and can’t wait to see some screencaps/gifs.

    • You will be able to rewatch Z! and you need to convert your bf :D. I said that and then I re watched parts, and then the whole thing, and then parts again. I don’t think I’ve ever let go of Chuno (or Daegil) since I’ve watched it. Every once in a while I crave it. It’s just part of me now lol!

  5. Be careful not to get too immerse that you don’t have space in your heart to love Lee Geon.

  6. Well to me Chuno IS Dae-gil, so I will not complain.
    I have been in love with a fictional character before (once when I was 17 and read LOTR for the first time and fell in love with Aragorn; once again with Xena the worrior princess) but I really thought I was getting too old for this.
    I’m looking forward to rewatching and maybe doing some overanalizing.

    • Yessss and oh wow Aragorn and Xena are both epic in their own way 🙂 I agree with your crushes 😀

    • I had a crush on Aragorn too..! And I almost fought with my friend becuz she was calling me weird for not loving Legolas……gah. I mean, c’mon, I didn’t call her weird for liking Legolas over Aragorn! (Although Aragorn is so much sexier than Legolas!)

  7. Enjoy the rewatch. I finished my fifth time a couple of months ago since first starting to watch kdramas in late 2012. Chuno was my 4th drama and it literally blew my mind. Several days later I would still cry whenever I thought about it, even in public! No movie, series, commercial, NOTHING has ever had that effect on me in my life (and I’m a hard, cynical grandma) Everything about Chuno is superb – the writing, directing, cinematography, acting and MUSIC. I’ve tried to rewatch with specific goals in mind, like the assassin Hwang Chul Wong (the first villain to make me cry), or the slave revolt, or the politics. But, like you, I usually get sucked into marveling at DG’s character and JH’s portrayal of him. Even poor Ep Bok finally likens DG to a wounded animal. Completely agree with your last sentences in the last post. And THAT, I think, is what also makes JH’s portrayal soooo great – the contrast between idealistic, naive Young Master and street-wise, hardened DG. It might not take as long as you thing…

    • Hi gasenadi, we started watching kdramas around the same time. I think Chuno was also my third or fourth drama. And tell me about crying in public! I often tear up while listening to the OST at work and I have to come up with excuses like “allergies” lol Yeah Chuno! it’s something special. Thanks for visiting the blog! please keep coming 🙂

  8. I’m on ep 13! You’re right, it does get better after 10. And I’m starting to feel for more of the others like Ep Bok and Cho Bok, whom I love!

    • Awesome! They are all good characters! It’s not them! It’s me and my Daegil obsession! but I did appreciate them more and more with time

      • Please tell me Daegil gets redeemed though, right? Coz I dunno how long I can deal with him being…nasty.

        • Daegil was nasty after ep13? Now that is interesting…I thought he was ruthless and scary until ep10, where I really started to feel for him even when I still saw him as an anti heroe. I don’t know. I’ll check a recap to see where you are at

          • Sorry, what I meant was he doesn’t get more nasty, he’s still very much the anti-hero, but this whole kill/get revenge on Un Nyun thing has kicked it up a notch for me. I hope he gets over this i.e. redeemed soon?

            • Hmmm I’m confused as to where you are at. But he never really intended to kill her? He is in a dark place now, but he would never hurt her. You are probably referring to the scene with General Choi? where he says that all he wants is to take revenge? General Choi doesn’t believe him as he doesn’t believe him when he says “Family? what family! we only travel together” Daegil talked about vengeance and his voice only expressed heartbreak “She couldn’t possibly forget me” or something along those lines. He can’t imagine this, he doesn’t to believe it because “He” has not been able to forget her and he really believed in her love (at least that’s how some of us read that scene)

            • Now I’m kind of worried about the subs you got 😦

        • Interesting! Ep13 has many of the most memorable Daegil scenes. I’m not sure you have finished watching but hmmm well, I don’t know what to say in his favor other than, Daegil’s heart is a lot bigger than what his foul mouth expresses. He rarely ever means what he says when he is saying nasty thing to the people he clearly still loves and while to me that became more and more apparent though Jang Hyuk’s acting it’ll be obvious based on his actions. Now, is he an angel? No. To me he is an anti heroe, a conflicted man with terrible demons. But the once naive boy who wanted to believe in a better world where people could love freely is still there. So I supposed that yes, you will see him redeemed but he will never behave like a naive boy again

    • I’m also worried about subs you are watching it with…cuz Daegil never showed intention to hurt Unnyun, and it was pretty obvious even from Ep1 that Daegil never ever intended to take a revenge on Unnyun. It was pretty obvious for me from Ep 1 but some people did think he wanted revenge, but by ep 10 it was pretty clear that revenge was absolutely not his emotional motive. **SPOILER** In Ep 10, the first word he says after finding out Unnyun is married to Song Taeha (well she’s not but he’s told that) is ‘You foolish girl, why Song Taeha? Out of all the people you could choose, why a runaway slave…?’ After learning that a girl he chased for ten years is alive and happily (well at least that’s what he’s told) married to another guy, the first response he shows is not anger, it’s concern. He is not mad that she is married to another guy, he is concerned that she is married to a runaway slave. He is not even mad at it being Song Taeha his nemesis. At that point his immediate concern is him being a runaway slave, cuz that means Unnyun’s life will be harder. ‘You ran away from being a slave, then u should at least live peacefully as a yangban, why do you marry a runaway slave and make your life dangerous…?’ That’s what his teary eyes are quietly asking, that’s his first emotional response and most honest to his own heart, before he starts yelling in pain and anger. It was clear at that point that in Daegil’s mind, really Unnyun’s happiness is on the top priority. There was a debate online during Chuno broadcast on whether Daegil’s emotion toward Unnyun is love or hatred or love&hatred, and after that episode pretty much everyone agreed that it was love, or maybe love and hatred but hatred<<<<<<<<<<<LOVE.

      • I agree Daegil’s intention was never revenge. This is one of the big reason’s I love Daegil so much; he is as selfless as humanly possible. He’s not only selfless when it comes to Unnyun, but also with his friends. No matter what Daegil says out loud, he cannot hide the true, pure intentions of his heart. He’s in inner turmoil, but he puts his love before him and cares more about her well being and safety than his own. **Spoiler** This also becomes crystal clear when his “bros” find out he paid for their land in full and that only some money was left owed on his own property. Omg Daegil…. I dunno if I’ll survive your re-watch DF, I’m ready to cry already.

      • Oohh I hadn’t watched the whole ep yet when I wrote that comment, so sorry for that!! And “kill” was too strong a word to use, but I did think that he’d be capable of alot of harm, as crazed and consumed he was/is by chasing her and the dream he has of her, only to have it completely shattered. I don’t think he’d harm her intentionally, but he is capable of great violence. I do think in his mind, he thought he wanted revenge, and if that meant Taeha got killed/hurt, then so be it. And if Un Nyun got caught in the crossfire (as she was earlier), then so be it as well. Until he actually sees them together, of course.

        But I’m actually blown away not by Jang Hyuk in this ep, but Lee Da Hae! Who would’ve thought she’d be the one to break my heart?!! That final scene where she sees him gutted me, and she knocked it out of the park! I’m so glad the show gave her that moment, cos you know, the show needed it. I needed it! We hardly get to see things from her perspective and that scene, boy that just KILLED ME. Probably more than any other scene so far. I hope the show continues to develop her character, coz her struggle is so interesting to me, way more than Taeha’s.

        I’m using WS2 subs, so no worries there! It was just my muddled mind talking 🙂

        • Ufff *sigh of relief*. I was scratching my head until 4am but I concluded you had not finished the episode. Well, we do have the benefit of having watched the whole series. I do remember judging and fearing Daegil because yes, he is capable of killing. Your impression is natural given that you haven’t seen all of him. I am sure you will readjust your impression. And maybe knowing the whole picture, when you go back to scenes when he talks about revenge, you’ll see he is heartbroken, not bent on revenge. Gumi pointed out phrases he actually says where he is expressing concern for Unnyun, not hate. But I guess we shouldn’t spoil you. You will most likely see it yourself. While I was totally blown away by Jang Hyuk / Daegil during this episode and my favorite scene in this episode is the one of him crying like an animal in the middle of the street and Seolwha saying one of my favorite quotes “I saw a man crying for a woman , and that made me happy, that a man could cry like that, it also made me sad, because no man will cry like that for me” were the moments that stayed with me, I count that “Unnyun sees Daegil is alive”moment as one of my favorites in general as well. Lee Da Hae showed what she is capable of. She expresses a lot with her eyes.

          • Uuuuuhhh or how bout after when DG comes back and he asks them about their dreams, and THEN HE ASKS SEOLHWA (who he’s basically been ignoring) and he says that line, about her dream being unattainable (or something like that) coz hers has nothing to do with money…. gaaaack. Damn, this is all heading for disaster isn’t it. Why bring up dreams if they aren’t going to be dashed?!

            • When he scolded Wangson for mocking her dream, since they are all convinced (Seolwha included) that a prostitute like her will never find a man who will see her as a woman? That was so painful and also interesting. It tells you a lot about the society they lived in. It also tells that Daegil is not the naive boy who had dreams similar to Seolwha. Simple dreams that were impossible in that “hellish” world. But dreams can be ignited again. Just keep watching 🙂

              • *Nods*. Actually, what’s great about Chuno apart from the epic love story, is that there’s so much social commentary, and alot of it is seen thru the eyes it’s women, like Seolhwa. Even those tavern bitches (I say that affectionately ;)) have dreams too! They all dare to dream when they no business expecting anything of that sort frm the world. Although Hwang’s wife though, UGHHHH. (Off topic, but was there possibly maybe a scene where we see the home wallpapered with her calligraphy?! Or did imagine it to make myself feel better bout her lot in life??)

                Sorry, I’m rambling :).

        • On the other hand, as I recall my first watch, fearing Daegil, thinking he was capable of anything, made the whole thing more scary, interesting, unpredictable. I’m sure it was purposely done and also there is enough room to believe that your view is not totally impossible. He was ruthless and capable of great violence, that is a fact. I still believe he would never hurt her, but the possibility is there, it’s not that black and white. But to answer your original question, I hope you see it before you get tired but Daegil’s world will get darker and then there will be some relief, and yes, he will “redeem” himself

          • Up until now, I’ve been thinking DG had gone completely gone nuts, but now that he’s resolved to let her go, I’ve let out a sigh of relief.

            • I remember thinking of Daegil as an “just an” obsessed man. I judged him and wasn’t sure I was going to be moved or just impressed. I kind of changed my mind and saw more love than obsession later although there is something unhealthy about his attachment but it doesn’t make it less moving (to me, now) However, the fact that you weren’t utterly moved by his praying to Budah scene has rendered you unworthy of Daegil. Yup! those are the rules of the house. Yeah! no more Daegil for you heartless woman. Go play with Wangson!

              • Ewww Wangson?! NO!! I refuse! Oh that scene with the Buddha, I was actually impressed with him. I’d didn’t expect him to come around so quickly, and for him to beg for some sort of release was very powerful. Did I ever say I wasn’t moved by Daegil? I am. It’s just that I’ve been more afraid for those around him 🙂

                • Too late!!! No Daegil for you but I like you enough to let you choose another one

                  • Erm, so he just slapped SH and put a knife to UN’s throat. YOU CAN HV HIM. Were there therapists in Joseon, cos he needs help man..

                    • That was a tough scene to watch. Both scenes. All jokes aside, Daegil is no Prince Charming. And as we’ve been saying, my first impression of him was similar to yours.

                    • I’m on Ep 16 and and… where is this going?? HALP! They axed my fave people?! I hope it’s a fake-out coz I love them, yet if it is, I’ll hv words w this show. Coz…NOOOOO

                    • I know it’s so hard! but I shall not spoil!

                    • Grrr…But I see they’ve introduced… Legolas?! HAHA I love him already. I’m sad the wonderful recaps on DB end at 15 though coz it helped immensely.

                    • We are here. We can try to help. Legolas lol!

                    • We should have an open thread somewhere for peeps like me. Coz I don’t wanna spoil here in case others visit and haven’t seen it. I see you’re on the group on FB, is that active?

                    • Yes, it is active. Give me some time cause we could also comment on episode posts.

                    • In the meantime, pay attention to Daegil – Taeha convos. They turn interesting and relevant to the overall point of the show. Their contrast is interesting. However, I remember the subs getting particularly challenging after this point. This is why I want to rewatch. My idea is with your help, Gumi, Zhaoul, Georgia and all our Chuno friends I’ll understand things better. I love that our perceptions to the same situations can be different too. So rant away and ask away! but but but I shall not spoil 🙂

    • I remember thinking that Dae-gil was an utterly despicable person (and loving the show for making the main character a villain), until he said one little frase that just exploded in my head, I’m not going to spoil.
      His descents deep into the darkness and we get to follow every step.

      • Oh but I want to know! although maybe you can say it when we get to that episode! I hope I can marathon this weekend 😀 And I remember feeling this way! He was a slave hunter after alll. His dark side was strong and you are right! I felt it was cool that main guy was a villain! Then I thought, this man is sick, this man is crazy. Then he convinced me and I got crazy with him!

      • You know? I could never understand how some viewers saw Dae-Gil as “utterly despicable” (some called him a monster). Sure, he was foul-mouthed, hard, and haggled over the money due him for returning slaves. But! His actions (and his EYES) consistently belied what came out of his mouth. Especially after what he does with the mother/daughter slaves early in the series. I remember my surprise at that scene and joy for what it meant for his character. And, yes, his descents into darkness were heartbreaking. As equally heartbreaking as his redemption. The production team, writers, everybody are to be cherished always for making it so compelling to watch. Maybe someday we can know the “explosive” remark that moved you. At least the episode…? LOL!

      • Βut I really cannot say, DDee’ still watching!
        (It’s in ep 16)
        Please, you don’t have to convince me, I’m with you on this one. Now, that I’ve watched the series a couple of times, that is.

        But the first time (and I should have made it clear that I meant the first time, sorry about that), when I had no idea how it was going to end, I did think he was one horrible person. My heart was bleeding like a slaughtered pig for him while I felt the strongest resentment possible at the same time, because that is the power of this series.
        It was not the haggling, the roughness and the cursing (these were great character traits, I loved those), it was more the casual killing of random extras that happened to get in his way. And the slave hunting did result in much suffering, at least one of the people that he returned was beaten to death.
        Besides, the fact that he detests what he’s become is clear at times and because, thanks to mr Jang Hyuk’s amazing performance, we all feel EXACTLY what he’s feeling in every detail (I have to say, I felt played like a musical instrument) we have to detest him too, there’s no helping it.

        Well, I hope I managed to explain why I found Dae-gil despicable 🙂
        Sorry if something is not clear, english is not my first language.

        • Same here. I only saw him despicable, while totally moving, on first watch. On subsequent watches I saw everything Jang Hyuk and production did with us. Yeah, that amazing ability to say something with the mouth that is the opposite of what the eyes and body are saying. And what? english is not your first language? I could never tell! Your english is perfect to me! In conclusion, I agree with both of you 🙂

        • I just read a little recap of ep16. Is it something he said to Taeha?

        • Very well explained. Thank you! Yeah, I’ve always watched in “isolation”. Unless the time I watched with viki comments “streaming”. I think that was a mistake, especially at the most heartbreaking parts – someone was always cracking a joke. Spoiled the whole “flow”. 😀

    • Loving the Dae-gil character is by no means an easy task and no dance on roses. Unless they are some kind of really thorny roses.
      Ep 15 is the hardest for me to watch and there are not enough hugs or chocolate in this world to make me feel better afterwards.
      Only the rest of the story can do that.

      The slap was bad enough, but then, when he very slowly leans into Seol-hwa and whispers ”go”, my soul just froze to burning ice and my mind shrank away in horror. I couldn’t bear to witness that. He was not human at that moment. He consciously decided to shed his humanity and step into the netherworld, because that was the only way to avenge his brothers I guess, and we get to freaking go through that too!
      I feel like spoiled meat now, just from typing this.

      Have a nice rest of the show, DDee.

      • I just love the way you express all of this!

      • Please don’t encourage me, I’m trying very hard not to write a War And Peace-sized treaty on Chuno XD It’s gardening season.

        • Doooooo itttt!!!! I was thinking. If Daegil is a devil you took us to his hell, maybe we need an exorcist, not a therapist lol! DDee seems to have her marbles still in place. Maybe she can help. It won’t be easy though 😀

      • Now jokes aside, I often wonder what Daegil must’ve gone through in those 10 years to turn into the rabid wolf or demon he turned into, when he was such a naive sweet boy. What does it take? I wish somebody wrote that story. I read rumors from a long time ago about making a Chuno prequel, telling the story of how Daegil turned into a chuno but apparently it was just some people wishful thinking

      • Ddee is doing the wise thing and discusses stuff with other people. I marathoned in isolation and look at me now.
        And hell is important, the deeper the hell, the more we appreciate the spoiler spoiler of the spoiler that comes at the end.

        Jokes aside, I have gathered a story from bits and pieces of information that I’m pretty sure could be legit, but no time now, I have to go out and play that I am an infamous, ruthless weed hunter and make wooshing sword sounds while waving around the rake.

        • Lol! I will sleep now then but looking forward to that story. Happy epic gardening!

          • Hi, kfangurl! With all due respect (since it was your review that made me watch Chuno and you’re my hero now, plus I love your eloquence), I never meant that Dae-gil was inhuman because he killed people. Killing is a very human thing, after all.

            I realize that this is a historical period and these are people that make a living more or less by fighting, but the series itself told me that killing was not totally ok, when Choi stopped Dae-gil from killing Ji-ho. He said something like ”are you going to be a murderer now?”. I thought he meant ”we are not common thugs and murderers”. I took it that this is THEIR ethics (and I was actually surprised the first time I heard that).
            And we see that Dae-gil is very skilled in knocking people unconcious, so he could avoid killing relatively easily.
            And then he just goes and breaks some guard’s neck, just because he can.
            But he is still very much human.

            It was in that scene with Seol-hwa, not when he slaped her but right afterwards, when I had this very strong feeling that I am in the presens of something that is not human.
            It was a necessary step.
            It really had nothing to do with him having killed people. I am certainly not moralizing.

            Perhaps I should point out that I grew up on greek mythology and heroes’ atrocities, so I never thought that the hero should be, well, more like Tae-ha. Far from it. In fact, compared to some of the things that Heracles, Achilleus or Jason did, Dae-gil is a mother-in-law’s dream.

            So, I do feel actual loathing towards Dae-gil at times and I love the series for that. I’m happy as a toddler in the toy store to see a modern tale with this sort of protagonist. I wouldn’t have him any other way, I swear.
            Decent, noble people doing awesome deeds is pretty neat and bravo to them. But people full of flaws doing awesome deeds? That is the stuff of legends. That is the kind of story that grabs your soul and dropkicks it straight into the stratosphere.

            • You are both MY heroes 🙂 And I think that, like DDee mentioned at some point. There is no need to “like” a character to be interested in them (as in, we don’t even need to root for the character or find him good husband material?) I think the question of whether Daegil is a “good” or “bad” guy or supposed to be, is truly a matter of perspective, the truth is in the eye of the beholder in this case? I think he is “human” enough (for the most part hehe) that we can judge, like some aspects of him and reject, loath, others. But I think most of us agree that he is at least very interesting and in my opinion, fascinating ( whether we see him as the hero, anti-hero, villain, crazy, etc) My view definitely shifted cause when DDee called him nasty, my first reaction was shock! What? my love? my Daegil? but then I remembered wait! We are talking about Daegil here! and remember how scared and mad he made you during first eps on first watch DF, remember? lol. But yeah! I don’t think I’ve seen so many wonderfully layered characters such as this in korean drama. He is my favorite by far until now. And in general, one of my favorite fictional characters.

      • I meant to reply to DF but that can’t be done cuz that’s reply of reply of…whatever it is. lol. I actually know a little bit of the prequel story of Daegil..although it might not be our actual Daegil. I read a synopsis of Chuno somewhere, probably before casting actors and all, and it had some story of Daegil before the cruel slave hunter we see. But that version is kinda diff from actual broadcasted version..cuz in that synopsis how he met General Choi and Wangson was also different. Also in this synopsis, the reason Keunnom killed Daegil’s father was becuz Daegil’s father was trying to sleep with Unnyun.

        Anyways, according to that synopsis, Daegil is recused by that horse doctor. And when he wakes up he finds his nephew who is older than him moving all his stuffs, all the money and property of his household. The nephew tells Daegil, Uncle since you are still young I will take care of stuffs until you grow up. I sold the house, by the way. That’s how Daegil just gets everything stolen right in front of his eyes, except some coins he managed to grab. Daegil goes to the police office? whatever that’s called with that Chief Oh, he goes there to report murder in his house, but the office shows no interest. Chief Oh manages to get some money out of him in that while. He decides to catch Keunnom himself and asks the painter to draw his face and goes around trying to look for him, but there’s no one helping him, no one treats him as a yangban, and they all just manage to get money out of him. He goes back to his nephew and asks for his land certificate? land document? yeah but the nephew refuses, end up forcing him to sign a contract saying he gives all his father’s property to the nephew, and pays him a little bit of money for that. Daegil cries walking out of that house (awwwwww), goes to Chief Oh and bother him enough that he introduces a slave hunter to Daegil.

        That’s how he meets Cheon JiHo.

        Daegil uses banmal to Cheon JiHo since Daegil is a yangban, but to Cheon Jiho he just looks like a big pocket of money. He promises Daegil that he will find Keunnome for him, but only gets his money and starts running away. Daegil desperately chases after him, even after getting beaten up he won’t give up, that was the last money he had and if he let Cheon JiHo go, he literally has nothing left. In that while, the slave Cheon JiHo had captured runs away, and Daegil catches him. Cheon JiHo sees a slave hunter in him, how cruel and fast he can be, and lets him join his slave hunter party.

        Daegil learns how to be a slave hunter, how to survive ‘on the street’. Be strong to the weak, be weak to the strong, be humble in front of the powerful, rip off the clueless…

        After 8 years of slave hunting, Daegil becomes even more sly and smirky than Cheon JiHo. But his heart still somehow cares for slaves with sad stories, and especially aches for slave girls around Unnyun’s age. And one day, he hears a news about Keunnom. And the same time, Cheon Jiho hears there’s a village where runaway slaves live together. Daegil tries to go chase after Keunnom but Cheon Jiho doesn’t allow him to, he makes Daegil go with him to the slave village. Cheon Jiho party gets a huge success in attacking the slave village, but Daegil gets shocked when a slave girl commits suicide in front of him, choosing death over slavery. He tries to save the girl’s life, but Cheon Jiho orders him to chase after another slave. After that slave hunting, Daegil announces to get out of the CJH fam, gets beaten up and leaves. General Choi joins him. The two fights to set up the hierarchy straight, Daegil wins, so Daegil becomes the leader and they go off to find Keunnom. And that Keunnom news happens to be a false alarm, and they meet Wangson. etc etc…

      • Yay for inside information!
        Anyway, the story I put together from scraps that can be gathered from inside the series goes thusly:

        Parents dead, money inside of Keunnom’s pockets (he could afford to buy a yangbancy, that money must have come from somewhere), love of his life gone, home in smoking ruins and face tastefully scarred (shame on me), Dae-gil is a mess of sorrow, guilt and horror.

        Longish psychology break.

        This is something I thought about when I read one particular review, in which there was some comparing between Dae-gil and Tae-ha. The author meant that Tae-ha had to endure much worse tragedies but he didn’t become a drama queen like Dae-gil.
        Well, apart from the general protest that, hey, human pain is not a competition and we are not taking out our miseries to see whose is the largest and every person has their own way of reacting to ugly situations, these words draw my attention to what I think is the most significant difference between the two men.
        Tae-ha was doing exactly what he was born, raised, educated and trained to do. When disaster happened, he had the safety net of his upbringing to catch him. He’s been following orders all his life and that can be great comfort in painful situations. He didn’t have to accept the full and total responcibility of what happened.
        Dae-gil, on the other hand, had nothing. He rejected the ways of his class and his parents and decided to take a path of his own. When the whole thing exploded in his face he was left all alone on that path with no directions whatsoever, only huge amounds of guilt.
        Thinking how profound his guilt must have been just leaves me stunned. It doesn’t matter if he actually owned it or projected it to Keunnom, some sort of ”this aweful disaster is all my doing” was definitely with him at all times, which is more than enough to drive a person crazy.
        Finding Unnyun meant finding that young, carefree, happy, guiltless self that he lost in the fire and this is why his search was so desperate and, at times, irrational.
        End of break.

        So he spends the night of his parents’ funeral drinking (Keunnom must have left him a few pennies at least) which later became one of his favourite coping strategies.
        Either of those two things may have happened: 1. he wakes up the next morning with a tongue the size of a boot and a burning desire to find the runaway siblings and make things right again, so he asks around for the best slave hunter in town; or 2. the best slave hunter in town happened to be in the drinking establishment and hears the young drunken aristocrat’s story.
        In either case, Dae-gil ends up taking his errand to Ji-ho and Ji-ho’s eyes turn into dollar signs.
        (It didn’t cross my mind that he would try going to the police first and really, why wouldn’t he? I have to pay more attention to what Oh says, see if there is any clue there)

        Ji-ho most certainly tries to skin him at first but ends up taking him in. I did suspect that there’s some endurance to beatings involved in that decision. Or perhaps Dae-gil is demonstrating some early ideas of what would later evolve into slave hunting innovations. Thing is, the best slave hunter in town sees something that makes him think Dae-gil would be an asset and takes him under his smelly wings to teach him the trade with much tough love, probably with the promise of helping him find Keunnom and Unnyun.

        Dae-gil is really commited into finding those two and he sets out to become the best of the best in order to achieve that. He becomes a fotocopy of Ji-ho, and when that is not enough, he seeks out other reputed ruffians, Jakkwi and the butcher monk, to learn from them.
        4 or 5 years later, he feels that Ji-ho has nothing more to teach him. Ji-ho probably thinks that Dae-gil is so much his bitch that he doesn’t even pretend to care about finding the siblings (I’m guessing here), so Dae-gil starts thinking that perhaps this would be a good time to start his own business. He meets Wang-son and Choi and the decision is made.
        But, being both smart and educated, he takes slave hunting to the next level, using horses, signal arrows, compasses, geografy and all that fancy stuff.

        All the while this plan is taking shape in his head: work hard, save money, buy land, find Unnyun and retire to the countryside to become a farmer.
        Of course he knows nothing AT ALL about farmingt but, hey, he can learn. He learned slave hunting from scratch once, how hard can farming be anyways? Right?

        I’m sure I missed a lot of things, but there you have it.

        • I’m copying and saving this masterpiece here, for it has become the official story for me now! Regarding his psychological breakdown, I totally see it. His self loathing is obvious. I see Daegil’s new cynical persona as created to eliminate younger Daegil “idealist” persona, since the young “dreamer” with his vulnerability, ideals and dreams failed to protect Unnyun and “caused” the disaster. Like you said, he might project that guilt onto others but he obviously hates himself. At the same time, he misses that young Daegil, that time he was “happy” or at least the time when his life didn’t feel like hell. I also imagined he went from disappointment to disappointment on authorities and father figures, the “system”, the “world”. Starting from his own father. I guess all that combined could bring us current Daegil? And maybe his nature was more sensitive too. Like you said, not everyone reacts the same way to pain.

        • More thoughts and this is related of my first impression of Daegil. Being that I’m not all that perceptive I went with what my eyes saw first. My first thought on Daegil was “so this is a guy whose whole body language and expression transforms when he hears the name of a woman”, I appreciated the interpretation but not yet, the character. Because in my mind he was simply “A man obsessed with a woman” and I thought “What, all this fuss for a woman?” so yes, if I went with just that I’d see Daegil as “stuck, unhealthy, whinny, obsessed, sick, baby and clingy” A man (I wasn’t even comparing to Taeha but interesting that others did) or “strong” person would get over it. Yeah, how judgemental can I be? I’d probably crumble with much less but yes, I will admit these thoughts might’ve crossed my mind at some point. Something happened, that sensitized me to him so deeply, events in the story combined with superb interpretation of deep pain that made me forget his reasons for being like that. I just wanted him to stop hurting. With time and as the story progressed I realized his pain was not “just” about losing a woman. He lost everything, including himself. But justifications or reasons aside, what made me so spellbound by him was that inability to move on, although he tried. I wonder if he would’ve been able to. Witnessing someone so stuck in a place, memory, woman, etc is both frustrating and painful and for moments there I thought “Would I be able to move on? if I felt that deeply about something or someone? And is it really that bad to feel that deeply? Is he obsessed or is this love? Could it be both? I guess from a psychological, scientific point of view, it is an illness. But it got to a point where I gave up judging him, only felt his love/obsession and almost envied Unnyun (yes maybe this is warped, but I’m not perfect :p)

      • LOL @georgia, “spoiled meat”! You guys are the funniest and most gracious Chuno fanatics. Thanks for indulging me :). I’m not sure where the drama is taking me at the moment, and I feel like it’s lost me by taking DG to an even darker place in a way that I don’t fully appreciate. And that slap is hard to forget! But the journey continues! I’m on ep 18 now 🙂

        • Yay for not bailing DDee! Hey not everyone loved Chuno. But I’m glad you are still on the “journey through hell” cause I (selfishly) want to know your final thoughts, and your discerning point of view provokes these kind of conversation 🙂

        • And yayyy for Georgia! shouldn’t we give her, her own blog? I cracked up at the “smelly wings” 😀

        • I think I’ll watch 18 instead of the beginning 😀 I can always go back later

        • And now I’m crying like a cow’ ep18 starts with a scene that is so heartbreaking for me, then gets funny, exciting action, then hope, more heartbreak and then a hilarious scene. Quite a roallercoaster! I need hugs, Im going to hug my kitty now 😭

          • Yeah really loved that whole scene with cackling cheon. It was a good (spoiler), a fitting one for him. And I’ve been missing the gen and wangson and voila, they showed! But I’m puzzled by the Qing involvement now, but that’s an aspect I find least interesting anyway! Maybe you shouldn’t rewatch this after all, it’s a little worrying, this reaction of yours…

            • Don’t worry so much about spoilers lol Nobody comes to this blog except us! We are just worried about not spoiling you 😀

            • I want to rewatch and try to review all Jang Hyuk movies and dramas for the blog. This one in particular does make me emotional. Sometimes just listening to the OST will trigger tears. But I love it too much not to watch. The Qing, or at least those particular members, I’m not sure I remember too well, but I guess it is in their interest to keep the little prince alive and maybe control or remove the present king? I don’t remember but I intend to pay more attention. I have only really screencapped ep1 (which btw, doesn’t make me cry, only scream and drool) I take my sweet time with my rewatches :p

      • Hi, there. About the Qing. During my first 4 Chuno viewings (LOL!) they confused me completely. Reading about the history and watching Cruel Palace – War of Flowers cleared that up tho, considerably. Briefly, the Qing (also known as the “barbarian” Manchu; who conquered the Ming dynasty and their vassal state, Josean) had held the Crown Prince, his wife and his brother hostage in China for more than 8 years. Holding a royal heir hostage was a customary way of always exerting power over the occupied country. The Qing rulers might have valued the Crown Prince and his family personally, but it was still to their political advantage to hold a member of the royal family in China in case they needed to take over Josean’s throne and sit “one of their own”. Especially as grandfather/King Injo (who HIMSELF had usurped the throne 15 years earlier in a coup) was so intent on eliminating all pretenders to his throne, including the baby prince. Here are two references. The first one is long (I LOVE his writing!) but the HISTORY starts about paragraph SIX: In the second one, the gist of what happened is in the LAST paragraph of this text (another great read if you like history):

  9. I love those images from the credits. Share them on the Chuno FB group! 😀

  10. Sounds like you’re gonna have a lot of fun with this rewatch. And we will benefit from reading all the posts and getting to see some Daegil goodness. Heehee! I was going to suggest boiled eggs and rice of course. Maybe some boiled chicken and definitely rice wine.

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