Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung – Season 1 Episode 9 Recap & Review


Love Is In The Air

After last week’s dramatic set of episodes regarding the smallpox outbreak, we return to Rookie Historian this week for an injection of romance into the narrative. As Prince Lee questions his feelings toward Goo, the continued historical drama surrounding this forbidden love adds more depth and colour to proceedings.

We begin with the Queen Dowager warning Prince Lee not to anger the King anymore. He agrees, before asking whether he can live outside the palace now that he’s turned 20. Unfortunately, she refuses and tells Lee he’s to continue living where he is.

Having seen first-hand the wrath of the King, Goo Hae-Ryung deliberates over whether to write about the slap in her notes. After all, her position is to record history and not interfere, regardless of her feelings. She doesn’t get long to think this over though as the night of Gyeongsin arrives – the day where sleeping is fabled to shorten your lifespan and as such, all subjects must stay up all night. Despite their initial concerns, the girls find solace in the tranquil night of the empty palace, sharing drinks under the stars to pass the time.

Goo heads off alone soon after though, where she runs into Prince Lee. As they sit and read together, Goo struggles to stay awake. As she dozes off for a second, she glances over and finds the Prince fast asleep. As night turns to day, Lee awakens to find Goo asleep on him. She wakes up soon after and immediately apologises, disorientated from the fog of sleep. Shocked, Sam-Bo sees the whole event from across the lake and hurries to His Highness where he appears in a daze, mesmerized by Goo’s presence.

Hurrying back to the office, Goo narrowly avoids the Princess, who calls on two of the apprentices to follow her. The Princess heads straight to the Crown Prince who confronts him about the historians failing to record her words. As they fight, the historians record everything they can before heading back and presenting their findings to the group. Officer Yang asks the King what to make of the fight and whether to record it, to which the arrogant King waves away his concerns and tells him he should make the decision.

Meanwhile, Sam-Bo promises to teach Prince Lee the way of the Eunuch – a ploy to win Goo Hae-Ryung’s heart. However, Prince Lee messes up the execution, as Goo apologises for her actions and hurries off. However, Lee chases after her and tries to tell her the truth, beating around the bush regarding how he feels. As Goo deliberates over the words when she’s alone, she splashes her face with water after entertaining the notion that a royal Prince is falling for her.

When she returns to the office, she learns that, along with the three other historians, she’s to head over to Dongungjeon. Once there, they prepare for the worst only to find the Crown Prince rewarding them all with brand new brushes. Granting them the day off, the girls head down to the water where they begin flirting with the men while the Crown Prince and Lee shoot arrows. At the lake, Goo heads off to find some firewood until it starts pouring with rain. Out of nowhere, Prince Lee arrives and shields her with his gown, telling her he was worried as they look longingly into one another’s eyes.

Rookie Historian delivers another good hour of entertainment here and although the tone has firmly shifted from comedy into romantic drama territory, this Korean drama does a pretty good job riding the wave in doing so. Sam-Bo continues to be the comedic relief though and he plays the role perfectly here, with the usual quirky sound effects following his every move.

I’ve mentioned before about Eun-Woo’s acting but it really is the weak link in what’s otherwise an enjoyable and well written historical drama. Whether Goo really will engage in a romantic relationship with the Prince Dowon remains to be seen but given the teasing glimpses of her playful attitude with Officer Min, this could prove to be a red herring for the real romance at work here. Still, we’re about halfway through this 20 episode Korean drama and quite what the future holds remains to be seen.


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