Sunday, February 2, 2014

Polite Rant: A Lie is a Lie; But Will the Truth set you Free?

Anatomy of Lying
When Lies Hurt and Why Does Solnan Lies
The King's Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang
****SPOILERS for viewers not up to episode 83 ***** 

There is a Bible verse from John 8:32 which says "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” There are so many discussions on Solnan and lying in the drama, The King's Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang. The discussions have been pretty intense and definitely leaning towards the idea that Solnan is a fool. I had finally reached the point of no longer arguing the case with others because sometimes there are arguments you cannot win. I cannot even begin discussing Solnan's lie until we analyzed ALL of the lies that we have seen and the affects they have had on our main couple, Prince Myungnong and Solnan.

This has been an amazing drama because it has so thoroughly immersed us into the story. So many of us have cried when the characters cried; laughed when they were happy; and now as we come to the latest episodes, we are definitely feeling the sadness and sorrow. Many are of the ilk that the sadness is of Solnan's making; this is partly true. I will be the first to admit that; however, there is not one person who is responsible for this mess.
General Marshall Hae
Let's look at the lies as they have been presented to us. Of course, the first lie must be from General Marshall Hae. It was his lie that put this whole mess into motion. By encouraging Chaehwa's father, Baekga to commit treason and kill King Dongseong, the events that are now happening are. Whatever GM Hae's motivation, it is his original lie that created this situation.

I'm not familiar with the history. Was King Dongseong a bad King? I think not. Was it GM Hae's ambition? No, I think not. I believe GM Hae's motivation was simply that he felt that King Muryeong would be a better King to benefit Baekje. So, in perpetuating his lie, this caused the death of Baekga, the separation of Chaehwa and King Muryeong (not sure why, this was never explained) and the Solnan being born outside the palace. I guess having a wife whose father was accused of killing the previous King might cause issues for King Muryeong's rein. I guess I will go with that reason.
Princes Myungnong and Jinmu
Of course, the second lie would be the switching of the Princes. When King Muryeong switched the two princes, once I gave it careful thought, his lie kind of made sense. In promising his cousin, King Dongseong that he would save his son, King Muryeong believed this was the only way. Why? In switching the two boys, there was no way he would kill his own son. Regardless of what we may think, this actually makes a lot of sense. If he had left the boys alone and if the real Prince Jinmu had rebelled, he would have not thought twice about having him killed. With his real son as Prince Jinmu, that thought would never enter his mind. Yes, before you say it, we wouldn't have the situation we have now but then if it hadn't been for the first lie, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.
Solhi/Fake Soo Baek Hyang

The third lie (or bundle of lies) would be Solhi coming to Baekje claiming to be the Princess Soo Baek Hyang. For me, this is probably one of the hardest lies to swallow. Why? She faked her death (or tried to) and abandoned her sister. I really don't understand her. Some have said, the lure of a better life was the attraction but I'm more likely to believe that Solhi was/is an extremely selfish woman. If she had told the truth about to Solnan on what their mother said before she died, her life would have been just as good as it is now. I have no doubt that the King would have adopted her as his own; true, there is no question that his attitude towards her would have been slightly different than with Solnan but the argument that she did it simply for the glamorous life of a Princess doesn't hold water when you think about it. 
Her words to her sister in episode 76/77 were telling! I cannot imagine, after all of the sacrificing that you have done; pain and suffering that you lived through; only to find out that not only your sister was responsible for some of that pain but that the love you had for her was being returned with hate! WOW! I replayed that scene a couple of times. Why? Because this scene with Solnan was so filled with sorrow and hurt, it resonated to my soul!

But with Solhi's lies comes the enablers (will leave Solnan out for now): Jinmu. From the very beginning, he has known that she is not the King's daughter. As we remember, he met up with her in the mountain woods of Kimun and he distinctly remembers that she was looking for her "unni". But, because of his pursuit of revenge, he chose to NOT bring this fact to anyone! Not even Chancellor Yon knows this fact yet!

General Marshall Hae. He also suspects that Solhi is not the King's daughter. I admit his crime is of omission. He cannot prove it which is why he assigned Naun as Solhi's attendant to get the proof that he needs. But again, this is information he has not shared with anyone but at least it makes sense.

Sado. The poor, lovesick sap! I couldn't even muster any sympathy for his stupidity and death. Not only was he privy to all of Solhi's nasty deeds but he knew the secret! As Dorim said to Daeum (Training Chief): "You taught him well. The surprise was who his master was"
Naun, She is definitely one of the biggest enablers and also the BIGGEST disappointment for me. As Solhi's attendant, she has seen and heard A LOT of suspicious things from Solhi. I know most of us went back and forth trying to figure out her motives: Korguryo spy, secret child of Chancellor Yon, in love with Jinmu, Kimun spy; we really had no idea but it was fun reading all of the scenarios and thoughts on her motives. I don't think any of us were expecting money as the motivation. Had Naun reported all of the things she had heard, we would have had a different story by now.
I saved the biggest for the last because this has definitely been the most controversial: Solnan's lies. Where to begin on this one! There has been so much written (mostly in the negative) about Solnan's refusal to tell the truth. I cannot begin to say all. I'll just include the link to one of the major blogs discussing Solnan's lies. As you can read, they heavily blame Solnan for just about everything! Here at, there are some 602 comments (at last look) and most of them are discussing Solnan's lies. So the question we ask ourselves, why does Solnan lie?

I believe there is many reasons why Solnan lies. First of all, to protect her sister. One of my biggest peeves on the discussions on Solnan lying is the fact that she doesn't know all that her sister has done that we, the viewer have been privy to. Solnan doesn't know that Solhi met with the Korguryo General. She doesn't know about the deal that Solhi made that definitely stinks to high heaven of treason; wait, simply meeting the General alone is a treasonous act. Solnan doesn't know that Solhi (with Sado's help) set up General Marshall Hae for treason. People seem to forget that Sado took that blame and all his secrets to the grave. As far as Solnan is concerned, all of the pain and sorrow have been directed solely against her. She has no clue to her sister's real intent and evil deeds.
Solnan simply has this care-giver mentality when it comes to her younger sister, Solhi. Regardless of all of the wrong she knows she has done (again, she thinks it all has been directed at her), she loves her sister and in her willingness to lie, will protect her at all cost. Solhi's whole act of goodness with the food to the poor, was simply a display to Solnan that she will do good and be a benefit to Baekje. Yeah, we saw through the ploy but again, Solnan has blinders when it comes to her sister. It is not that she doesn't see the wrong, she just chooses to ignore it.
"Never lie to me" These words have been carved into our minds and soul. These are the words that Prince Myungnong spoke to Solnan. These words are also what hurts the most because the lies that have been told are now NUMEROUS! The lie to continue looking for her sister once she found out that Solhi was acting as Soo Baek Hyang was the first. Solnan could have stopped the search; of course, it would require another lie but why perpetuate the necessity to look for a sister no longer lost? The fake drawing? Having Bi-moon look for a fictitious person is definitely a waste of time and effort that could have be well spent on catching spies and assassins!

At first, I have to admit,  Solnan never lied to Prince Myungnong directly. We would call her lies: lies of omission. This bothered me as much as everyone else because if nothing else, Prince Myungnong is smart. But, obviously, the writers are trying to lead us to believe that love makes you dumb! In reality, that is not always the case. But in this case, that is what they want us to believe; however, there was just too many things out there that the Prince should have questioned more. Why was Solnan looking for Makgeum so hard? I think I would have been asking the Queen myself why she had Solnan looking for her; especially when Solnan first asked for Bi-moon's assistance, this was never mentioned!  What was in the box that Solnan suspiciously snatched away from the Prince's hand? Sure, we know but why didn't he questioned it? Yes, trust. He trusted Solnan to tell him the truth ALWAYS!

In the beginning, she never came outright and lied to him; she would just not tell him anything and the Prince, being so in love would allow her to get away with it; not pursuing any of her actions. However, the lies of omission morphed into outright lies. This didn't happen until the BIG reveal of her real relationship to the Royal Family. Now with the knowledge of her true parentage, Solnan is carrying a TREMENDOUS burden on her shoulder. Should she tell? Who gets hurt in the telling?

Solhi, the master of manipulation, has effectively used the relationship that Solnan and Myungnong have together. I think Solhi realized the true extent of their relationship from way back to ep 45/46 when Prince Myungnong, nearly in tears, begged the King to help save Solnan. Even though, when Solnan was released from prison, his back was to Solhi, I think simply looking at Solnan's face from a distance helped her realize Solnan's care (and love) for the Prince. So it was extremely easy for her to manipulate her sister into no telling.

Now, Solnan has heaped another lie onto the pile of lies with the death of her sister. In telling Prince Myungnong that her sister is dead, it gets Bi-moon to stop searching AND (this is most important) gives her the excuse to leave Baekje. The Prince is under the impression that her sorrow is so great that she wants to go back to Kimun. We, the viewers know that this is two-fold: 1) Help the King (and Crown Prince) with the Kimun situation and 2) A means to leave Baekje quietly and permanently. I am one to believe that the promise (another lie) to return is one Solnan never planned on fulfilling. I think she simply planned to disappear after her mission is done. Solnan has effectively added both the King and Crown Prince under her "care-giver" umbrella. Plus she suffering from the fact that she CANNOT change how she feels about Prince Myungnong! Her love still remains as a woman to a man; she cannot find it in herself to change that to brother/sister love!
In support of Solnan
I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone willingly wanting to take the chance of revealing the truth about what their sister has done. The King once said that not everything is under his control. Can we all agree that sometimes the nobles and ministers can have just as much (if not more) power than the King? I imagine that Solnan realized this and it scared her. Look at the video clip again. The sure agony of Solnan's decision weighs heavily on her! I cried the entire time as she wailed and called for her parents! She felt so alone at that moment and the burden was so, so great!
Her mother's last words was for to protect and care for her sister; wait her first words when Solnan was 2 years old was to protect and care for her sister. Expecting Solnan to act any other way is ridiculous. I predict right here and now that Solnan WILL NOT be source of the secret getting out! Not going to happen. Solnan, in her mindset, is always going to protect her sister, will never be the one to reveal the truth. Sure, we have the scene from episode 1, where Solnan and Solhi are together and some man (we all assume it is Jinmu) lays on the floor dead or bleeding; but, I'm sure that Solnan is most likely there to kill herself AND her sister! Definitely not there to reveal the truth!

So were the lies necessary? If I think as Solnan then yes. If I think as the viewer who knows all of the facts; no. Do I condone all the lies that Solnan has told? Not really. Do I understand them? ABSOLUTELY.

Who's next on discovering the secret? (My predictions)
I believe the obvious person will be Jinmu. Why? Jinmu has all of the pieces, he just hasn't put the puzzle together yet. Also, how else will he get Solhi to go along with his plans which could effectively result in the demise of Prince Myungnong (and possibly the King)?! We all know Solhi's loyalty is fleeting. Hell, she has no real loyalty to her real family, her only loyalty is to herself. Selfish bitch!

Daeun. This man (Training Chief) is on a mission. First his beloved Sado is turned and now Naun is missing. As both are related to the Princess, there is only one person in his sights now: Solhi. Will it lead to his dead? Most likely. Will he tell anyone what he know? Not sure about this.

Dorim. Again, Dorim knows more than she reveals. She is truly an enigma in my mind. She has seen the soobaekhyang tattoo. She knows Solnan very well and also knows when she is lying; she has just chosen to say nothing. Why? She has her own goals of returning the Han River to Baekje. I don't think anything supersedes that.

Whose next? Unless the Prince snaps out of his lovelorn attitude and starts using his brain that we all know he has, he may be next. Right now, I cannot say. As he is holding out hope that Solnan will return, I think if she doesn't, that may have him start questioning things or maybe, with there being so freaking many people there at the palace who know Solhi, it just takes only one to say the following: "The Princess sure looks exactly like Solnan's sister!" Please!! Smarty! Farty! Yo Uki! Or damn it, General Marshall Hae, let's see Kuchon from the front and not from a distance!

So what's in store for the future episodes?
I have NO IDEA! These writers have us so twisted in knots emotionally, I think the bulk of us have given up on any semblance of a happy ending; okay, I've resigned myself to it. Even though, I have this slight hope that we will have a happy ending, I'm just not very hopeful. With the cut of 10 episodes, I can only hope that they haven't filmed too far ahead. Why? Because with the absence of those last 10 episodes, we will end up with things thrown in left and right. If we were dissatisfied before, if they rush the ending or give us an ending that makes no sense, a lot of viewers will feel cheated (anyone who watched Glass Mask knows what I am talking about). There are a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up. I am hoping that the BIG reveal doesn't wait to come out the last week. I know I will be the first to voice my dissatisfaction if that is the case. After all of the absolutely beautiful love scenes we had, if these two, Prince Myungnong and Solnan do not end up together, the ending will be a hard pill to swallow for many. ESPECIALLY ME!

So what are your thought?

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