It must have hurt. A lot …
The pain must be great, that is, getting stabbed through and through all the way.
The pain he must have felt finding out suddenly and finally what the name the lady called him meant all this time.
How it must have hurt … the pain, both body and soul, even for a warrior who thought himself to be incapable of any feeling both without and within.
The first time I watched this scene, I was totally shocked. I was lying on my stomach on the couch as I would usually do after a day’s work to relax while running the news or a programme on the screen. When it happened, and quite without warning, I sat straight up when Daejang was stabbed then immediately, scared almost to tears when he pushed the sword in deeper through himself. All in a matter of seconds.
I was thinking, “Oh no, what are we going to do?”
(And in Korean if you will, “Aigoo/ o, andwae/omo, OTTOKE!?)
It was only the beginning of the story and it was already that intense. Fulfulling an oath would maintain his honour, but when he could not, he would not think twice and paid for the debt with his life. He put his thought into action without hesitation (or may be it was action without thought for his warrior nobleman mind was encoded with this rule). He pushed that sword through himself after he was stabbed. Maim his pride and you kill the man? Were all noble warriors of olden times that fragile?
This is not a good personality trait. Too noble, righteous and virtuous for his own good. No flexibility. No negotiation. No way out.
(Later, the doctor’s touch will cure this personality flaw.)
It took a while for me to get over that scene. Anxiousness clouded me for quite some time. It was not for the faint of heart, especially it caught me totally relaxed and unexpected.
I have always been quite fragile and cannot stomach intense drama, not to mention horror very well, but then again, who does not like a good thriller story?
(You will not see me in the cinema for wartime treachery movies, Kung Fu Panda, Hero league movies filled with violence or horror movies filled with gore or sex, but that does not mean I like drama in the context of human, work or family relationships, I find those boring.)
Actually, the next day I met with friends who watched the same episode and one told me she had an outburst and blurted out loud in the middle of the night when the show was on, “What is wrong? What drama is this? Now how many more episodes are they going to spend on having the female love interest attend to the male lead’s wounds in all sorts of intimate ways to nurse him back to health?”
(You know those impossible feats of melodrama: any excuse to piggyback your love interest, the wound has to be strategically positioned where treatment is only possible if you take off undergarments or the socks of the female lead in order to treat her, taking off your clothes to warm up the frozen body of your love interest, kissing to provide air or medicine to an unconscious or immobile person, giving up your chastity to save your love interest, having to sleep with someone or marrying someone to save him/her, acting as an indifferent person or a villain to keep the love interest safe, and I never knew I loved you all this time and now it is too late or rather, oh, not too late, etc. I have nothing against these devices to draw attention and swoon viewers, but they have to be used right, otherwise I lose interest because it is tacky or awkward.)
Now I say, fortunately for me, this is not that kind of a drama, not enough intimate treatment, but I understand that if that was the case, this drama would turn into a boring and sorry Mills and Boon classic and I would not have liked it at all.