The Wooden Elevator
After last week’s dramatic finale, we return to Arthdal Chronicles this week right where we left off from before. Boasting some gorgeous artwork and a more politically charged narrative this time around, Arthdal does well to flesh out its world, even if it is a little difficult to keep up with all the different characters and clans at times. Still, the series is steeped in a rich dose of lore and as a real geek for fantasy epics, Arthdal Chronicles certainly scratches that itch left by other shows in this genre.
We begin with Eunseom attempting to evade the horse riders, dodging and weaving through the forest as arrows whizz past his head. Eventually, he does manage to lose them and for now at least, he gains a well-earned respite from the action. He stumbles back to the village and embraces Doti, who he finds hiding in the shrubbery while everyone else has been killed.
Meanwhile, Tanya and the others walk the boarded bridge across the Sea Of Tears, staring up in awe at the gigantic cliff face at the edge of the world. Despite their pleas and terrified screams, Tanya and the others are taken up the wooden elevators to the land above. As they break free of the cloud cover, they catch of a glimpse of their magnificent land below and for a brief few seconds at least, get to admire just how beautiful their land was.
While Tagon ponders quite why the slaves can speak their language as they’re brought before him, the other soldiers are elated to learn they’re all heading back home to Arthdal. While Tagon’s victory is significant, a prophetic message is given to San-Woong that the Saenyeok tribe will be free of distraction and under his reign soon enough. In order to strengthen his claim, he asks one of the women from the other clans to marry him.
Meanwhile Eunseom follows the familiar path down the Sea Of Tears to the wooden lifts where he quizzes one of the guards about its construction and the tribe’s whereabouts. He tells Eunseom that San-Woong ordered the construction before informing him the leader is situated in Arthdal. Determined to find and free the others, he grabs Doti and Helper before making it to the top of the cliff, thanks to the elevator, and riding off.
However, back in Arthdal itself trouble brews as a secret about Tagon is revealed that threatens the peace between the clans currently working together. Tagon’s father begins conspiring against his son after learning about his blasphemous acts, resulting in a few surprising reveals and him pleading for his son’s life to be spared at the end as the Hwinsan Tribe confront him.
Eunseom continues to ride on. Stopping momentarily to allow Helper to eat, he comes across a farmer who accuses him of stealing his crops before learning Eunseom is an Igutu. He begs the farmer for some answers which he does get, eventually, but with his back turned, the farmer tries to stab him. Instinctively, our hero turns and plunges the knife into the man’s back.
Staring at the purple blood on his hands where he cut himself, a girl approaches and tells him the truth about his lineage and origin of his mixed blood. After presenting him some normal clothes to blend in with the locals, she sends him on his way, promising next time they meet she may just kill him. After sneaking past the guards at the gates, the episode then ends with Eunseom managing to successfully make it to Arthdal with Doti.
There’s an awful lot going on in Arthdal Chronicles but despite the 80 minute run time of the episode, there isn’t a whole lot of plot development this time around. Thankfully the visuals more than make up for it and do enough to keep you watching through some of the slower segments. The political scheming is certainly interesting although with so many different characters, it can be a little difficult to keep up with who everyone is. Despite this, Arthdal Chronicles is a thoroughly enjoyable watch and one that appears, for now at least, to be savouring every part of its production value before plunging deeper into the plot.