The Three Headed Snake
Picking up where we left off from before, Arthdal Chronicles storms back onto the screen with another brilliant episode, one chock full of political intrigue, fantasy and all the usual twists and turns we’ve come to expect from this show. With another cliffhanger ending and plenty to chew over for the week, Arthdal Chronicles is fast becoming one of the must-watch Korean Dramas of the year.
We begin with Tagon collapsing after the ritual while Mubaek suspects Tagon killed Sanung and tells Mu-Gwang his suspicions. While Tagon himself returns home and learns of Eunseom’s ultimatum toward him, he hurries to his Daekan Guards to stop them executing the Wahan Tribe. He barges past them and enters the room, demanding more information on Eunseom. Seeing Tanya’s white wolf painting on the wall, she decides to go with him. Hiding a makeshift blade, she tries killing him while they talk about Igutus but as Tanya calls him a coward, he heeds Eunseom’s warning and restrains himself from killing her. She realizes at this point that this is Eunseom’s doing and relays the message to the tribe to help lift their spirits.
Meanwhile, Mi-Hol and Asa Ron discuss the upcoming Union Leader spot and worry that Tagon will now be the rightful leader following his successful ritual the night before. Mi-Hol decides he needs to stop Tagon before its too late and pleads with Dan-Byeok to have Tagon arrested for Sanung’s murder. However, the earlier scroll dropped in the town square throws doubts up for him as he realizes Mi-Hol and Asa Ron are working together, casting doubts in his mind.
Tagon agrees to meet Eunseom in the tower and they strike up a deal together. Tagon will keep the Wahan Tribe alive in exchange for Eunseom keeping his secret. However, he refuses to release them. Before he can make good on his promise however, Asa Ron and Mi-Hol have moved the tribe to the Fortress Of Fire; the fabled place mentioned in previous episodes. As it happens, this is an elaborate coup to make Eunseom come out of the shadows and tell everyone that Tagon killed Sanung.
However, Eunseom decides to use this scheming to his advantage, determined to speak to Mi-Hol himself and give him a weapon to use against Tagon. The ultimate goal here being to free the Wahan Tribe once and for all.
After being moved into the courtyard, Tanya has her first dream where she sees Eunseom but her elation is short-lived as Tagon catches wind of where they’re being kept and heads there with this Daekan Guards. Once there, he accuses Mi-Hol of trying to kill him but the leader vehemently denies it. However, Dan-Byeok begins to piece everything together and realizes Asa Ron is the one whose pulling the strings so he orders the guards to draw their swords against him. However, Mi-Hol has a trick up his sleeve and turns out the lights.
From here, chaos ensues as everyone starts fighting. Sensing a turning tide in the battle, one of the Wahan tribe manages to knock out the guard and they all free themselves, scattering as best they can. While Tanya sneaks inside and heads for the top of the tower, Eunseom is ambushed by the masked warrior Yang-Cha but before they can fight, Tanya happens upon the prophecy that tells of the bell, the sword and the mirror where we end the episode.
With things hanging in the balance and everything descending into chaos, I’m surprised we didn’t end up with any casualties this episode. I was convinced one of the main players would meet their death at the end and although all of them are still standing here, there’s enough tension to make these moments stand out in the show. Eunseom’s progression with his abilities is a nice touch though and his seeming knack to know how to play this game throws more questions up around his true lineage. Given his Igutu blood, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out him and Tagon are related in some way. Brothers perhaps?
While in Korea this has been listed as the end of Season 1(and what a way to end things!), internationally I believe Netflix are classing both season 1 and 2 as one continous season, hence why we’ll keep listing this as season 1 but for now, Arthdal Chronicles leaves things hanging in the balance for next week’s episode.
On the plus side, at least we don’t have a whole year to find out what happens next!