Arthdal Chronicles – Season 2 Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Arthdal Chronicles

Episode 12 of Arthdal Chronicles season 2 starts with the Queen meeting Eunseom out in the forest. She taunts him, telling him he must be deep in grief but his pain won’t go away so easily. She gives the troops 2 days to leave and retreat back to the castle. Without siege weapons and with winter coming in, Arthdal are more than prepared to wait this out. The Queen is confident that they can withstand anything he throws at them. If only they had a giant meteorite to roll into the city, eh?

Naturally, neither of them come to an agreement and they’re left at a stalemate. When the Queen leaves, Eunseom heads back to his chambers and bemoans his efforts, gritting his teeth and cursing the Inaishingi name.

The Queen orders Commander Yeonbal to block the waterways just in case Eunseom thinks this is a way to get to him. This is, of course, to try and stop Eunseom from coming in the city through this way. However, her loose tongue may have sold her out. Thankfully, Eunseom has an ace up his sleeve – Chaeeun. Could she hold the key to making a difference here?

What happens to Yeolson?

Back in Arthdal, Yeolsol steps up and makes a bold plea on the castle walls to try and save Tanya. He tells the Queen to have mercy and vows to do anything he can to spare her. Just then, Tagon shows up nonchalantly by his side. Yeolson gave everything and lost everything, and with the Wahans on the verge of extinction, he’s got nothing left to give. 

Yeolson can’t part with Tanya but seeing her like this, he can’t bear it. When Tagon holds out his hand, he promises trust and for him to be with his daughter. Unfortunately, he pushes the guy off the ledge and to his doom.

Why did Tagon want Bichwisan made?

Meanwhile, the Queen learns that Tagon has asked for five jars of Bichwisan. She’s shocked and shows up to see Tagon, who’s with Prince Arok. The latter is dismissed, and Taealha is wary when offered a drink. Tagon though is staring at a defeat given the White Mountain Tribe aren’t coming. Their supply lines have been cut off and it’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.

Tagon clearly intends to drop the Bichwisan into the river in a desperate bid to destroy the Asa Clan… or does he? Just then, Tagon reveals his awful plan. He intends to release the poison into the wells of Arthdal. Essentially he’s going to destroy Arthdal and burn it to the ground to make sure it’s completely uninhabitable, so everyone can “disappear together”.

The Queen brandishes a knife but she hesitates. She can’t kill him given she understands how he feels; that hopelessness is contagious as they stare defeat in the face.

How do the Momo Tribe get revenge?

Elsewhere, the attack starts. The Momo Tribe are out for revenge, with Karika fronting the strike force. She’s here to avenge her brother’s death… but there’s a problem. Remember the waterway from earlier? It’s completely lined with oil, with the soldiers all ready to attack. They burn the narrow gorge and begin pinging arrows in their direction.

The thing is, they’re not alone. Nunbyeol is flanked by a few Neanthal, who show up and turn the tables. They use their superhuman strength and speed to easily thwart all the arrows and lash out at a crazy speed. They destroy the barriers, and everyone rushes into Arthdal to attack.

They open the gate and Eunseom fronts the rest of the troops as they march inside the gates of Arthdal. With the Ago army breaking in, Tagon speaks to the Queen and points out that he has a plan. He intends to take out Eunseom and Tanya with him in an act of suicide to destroy everything. This is apparently his last gift to her and Arok; he wants her to take over.

What happens during the fighting?

While fighting erupts in the street, Nunbyeol and the Neanthal march into the palace. They’re desperate to find Tagon but Nunbyeol is reminded that she is not to be consumed by hatred, given that’s now how their tribe operate. Nunbyeol gets a glance of herself in the mirror and lowers her hands from harming an innocent maid.

While this is going on, Mungtae shows up at the top of the castle walls and looks set to undo the binds holding Tanya. He’s made his decision now and is back on the good guys’ side. However, Tagon is there too and he knocks the man down with a well-placed arrow to the back.

What is Tagon’s final gambit?

Yeonbal is hit with an arrow too, but he tells Gitoha to follow the King’s plan given Arthdal is on the brink of annihilation. The messenger relays a message over to the rest of the troops, confirming that the High Priest and the King are in the Great Shrine. In order to save Tanya, Eunseom is to go there alone.

Eunseom shows up and sees his old friend hurt and bleeding out… onyl it’s not Eunseom! It turns out this is actually Saya and he decides to head over there himself. It’s not Saya who shows up there first but actually Yangcha. He brandishes his sword, but naturally he’s no match for Tagon and is slain.

After the fight, Tagon takes Tanya out to the well where he shows the Bichwisan he has in the water and how he intends to poison the entirety of Arthdal. Tanya pleads with Tagon to stop, encouraging him to think of something better and to stop his plan to ravage and destroy the land. This obviously falls on deaf ears, until Tagon gives an ultimatum – all of this is between her, Eunseom and Tagon. If they all die, then it’ll save Arthdal.

What happens at the Shrine?

At the Great Shrine, Eunseom shows up. He demands Tanya be freed but Tagon throws over a knife, telling him that he needs to die in order to save her life. However, Eunseom has a trick up his sleeve. First of all, this is actually Saya and not Eunseom! Secondly, he brandishes a sack, which he opens up to reveal an unconscious Arok. Saya promises that he’ll wake up before the sun sets…but only if Tagon releases Tanya.

With everything hanging in the balance, Tagon begins ringing some bells. Anyone else getting serious Alchemy of Souls flashes here? Thankfully, it’s no mind control powers like in that series, but it is a symbol to those outside the Great Shrine. It’s the ringing of surrender.

How does Tagon meet his demise?

Tagon resigns and allows Tanya to leave. When he does, Tagon plunges a sword into Saya’s chest. Interestingly, he stops when he notices the reflection in Saya’s mirror amulet, and the words of Asa Sakan ring through. Remember, she said that Tagon’s death will come when he sees the reflection of death? And just like that, Eunseom comes flying up from behind, flinging his sword and desperate to kill Tagon.

The two square off and fight, with Eunseom eventually getting the kiling blow in, slashing the King across the throat. With Tagon defeated, Tanya flings herself at the Bichwisol jars and tries to stop the waterways from opening. Tanya realizes that she needs to sacrifice herself to save Arthdal, and she throws herself into the water, tying up the waterway to make sure it can’t open again.

With Saya carried out from the Shrine in critical condition, Tagon is left to bleed out, with sword all round. He tells Eunseom that they’ve both lost and taunts him over the Bichwisan. Tanya stumbles back into the temple, whrre Tagon tells her that she’s saved Arthdal by sacrificing herself. When the Queen shows up, she stabs Tagon in the back while embracing him, ending the King’s reign for good. Finally.

Do the Queen and Arok get away?

The Queen, with a jar of antidote to Bichwisan, offers a solution to the others. She wants to take Arok and leave. And in exchange she’ll hand it over. If they refuse, she’ll pour it away. The situation is precarious but Eunseom decides to accept it in the name of Inaishingi. As for Eunseom, he greets the villagers and tells them all that Tagon is dead, properly, and he intends to liberate them all.

However, the people turn against him and begin chanting for his demise. That os, until Tanya’s voice echoes through the air. She tells them all to abandon their fear and embrace the future.

How do the people accept Eunseom as their King?

Tanya comes out and gives a rousing speech but there’s still the situation surrounding Aramun, which Chojaha is quick to point out. There’s obviously a lot of distrust here and the only solution is to prove his worth. And just like that, Eunseom brandishes the sword or Aramun and holds it up before them all.

He rips off his sleeve to show the veins on his arm, which match the patterns they’ve come to expect from Aramun. This is enough for everyone to believe he is the reincarnated King and rally behind him.

How does Arthdal Chronicles season 2 end?

With Tanya gone, narration confirms what’s happened next. Nunbyeol has left with the Neanthals, while Eunseom continued to work without rest. Unfortunately, the world didn’t change as fast as he hoped. More pressing that that, Saya is nowhere to be found, while Tanya is still weak.

Eunseom rushes to her side one fateful day, right on the cusp of Tanya promising to wake up for him. And she does! She miraculously wakes up and Eunseom is overcome with joy.

While the pair kiss, Saya happens to be enroute to Irkebaek. When he’s convinced that Tanya is dead, thew Neanthal point out that uyou can never be sure with Bichwisan. He smirks and says one word – Arthdal. Just after, we cut across to the Queen. Time has passed and Prince Arok is a bit older now. The Queen is preparing for war and intends to try and take Arthdal back for themselves.


The Episode Review

So this long episode of Arthdal Chronicles bows out with a bombastic, action-packed chapter that finally wraps up this saga…but then leaves the door wide open for another season to take its place.

The situation involving Saya and the Queen respectively are completely unresolved, and there’s still a possibility for both of them to get wrapped up in Arthdal politics once again.

If that wasn’t enough, Tanya is still alive and although that’s great news for fans, narratively speaking it would have made sense for her to die from the Bichwisan and sacrifice herself for the empire. Alas, that’s not to be and the series wraps up with very few casualties, save for Tagon but that was always going to happen.

However, the bureaucrats are still in power and there’s very little here to suggest that things will be drastically different going forward, especially given Eunseom’s frustration over how slow the changes are implemented.

Arthdal Chronicles has been an enjoyable watch and there’s certainly lots left in the pipeline for a possible sequel should the creators decide to go for that.

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You can read our full season review for Arthdal Chronicles season 2 here!

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