Episode 8 of The Forbidden Marriage begins with So-rang stopping the kiss between her and the King. She asks if it is lust or if he is still confusing her with the late Crown Princess. He hesitates and she leaves citing that she doesn’t want him if he is not sincere.
We finally get a glimpse of her meeting with the Grand Queen Mother. The old matriarch sees her as an obstacle to the bride selection but gives her a chance to be an ally. So-rang thinks back to the meeting and wonders about her place. Shin-won sees her and confesses indirectly that he likes her.
At Aedaldang, Hae-young daydreams about the King as she falls in love at first sight when he rescued her. Painter Jeong and Chun-seok look morose as they guess her thoughts. Gwang Yi approaches her and cryptically tells her to be nice to Chun-seok.
Elsewhere, in the guise of finding the missing earring of the doppelganger, Shin-won looks to buy a precious stone and the seller gets him to buy a wedding ring that would sway any woman’s heart. He finds that Lady Seo had bought the earrings and gets his men to search her home. Chun-seok finds it odd that the women don’t have any ornaments and spies a drawer hidden with jewellery. Seo corners him and bribes him with a jade pendant for Hae-young.
The King is busy with the investigation but he cannot seem to get So-rang’s words about sincerity from his mind. At dinner, he asks So-rang to be his food tester so that she shares a meal with him which she does begrudgingly. When she tucks him into bed he keeps trying to talk to her but she shushes him. He keeps peeking at her and smiles when he sees that she has fallen asleep while sitting. She falls down in his arms and while he keeps thinking about her words, he realises that she sincerely had feelings for him from before.
In the morning, the King wakes up to see So-rang still asleep beside him. He can’t help but smile. He goes out and orders his staff to be quiet. Eunuch Se-jang sees that the King is glowing and thinks that he slept with So-rang. Everyone keeps getting dazzled by the King’s beauty as we get a literal CGI glow around him. Minister Sul-rok asks why he is so happy and the King shyly says that he is in love. But he admits that he doesn’t know how to confess. Sul-rok, the best strategist in the country declares he will help him come up with a plan.
So-rang wakes up and is shocked that the King had let her sleep in his bed. When she leaves his quarters, she sees Shin-won waiting for her. He gives her snacks and asks if she would like to leave the palace now that her purpose is over. He also offers to protect her from the assassins. She thinks it over and tells her decision to the Grand Queen Mother.
In the mountain, Chun-seok and his men find and free the other kidnapped girls. The queen-killer Sang-ju runs to Minister Jo and asks for his help but he says he has no power now.
While walking, Court Lady Won points out how happy the King is to So-rang and she wonders why he was gloomy previously. He approaches So-rang and tells her to accompany him to Onyang Palace as he plans to confess to her there. She tries to say no but he keeps making excuses till she gives up and agrees. The King sees that she is forcing herself to be by his side and is worried.
Meanwhile, Lady Seo is angry with Shin-won and tells Minister Jo to kill him first. When he declines, she taunts him by recounting his failure due to Shin-won’s meddling. Jo tells her that Shin-won is also accompanying the King to the temporary palace and Seo suggests using the opportunity to kill him.
In the palace, Sul-rok keeps suggesting traditional ways of flowers and poetry to confess but the King is not sure. At that moment, Eunuch Se-jang brings the list of palace ladies leaving court and tells him that So-rang is also on it.
The King barges into her room while she is packing and confronts her. When he asks why she wants to leave, she doesn’t answer and is frustrated as he asks her to stay for a little while longer.
On his journey to Onyang, he can’t relax as he keeps thinking about So-rang leaving. He reveals that the flower field where he used to play as a child was where he wanted to confess. Like a petulant child, he starts picking out the weeds. Sul-rok brings more flowers and isn’t deterred and tells him to tell So-rang his real feelings. He is also positive that the King may not be the reason she wants to leave and he gets optimistic. The King tells them to plant all the new flowers and goes to find So-rang
Shin-won and So-rang take a walk and she tells him she wants to leave the palace because she doesn’t fit in. He tells her that even he has resigned and will leave after Onyang. She hugs him and apologizes while Shin-won just smiles. The King appears and Shin-won leaves looking wistfully.
The King asks if she is leaving because of him or Shin-won. She cries and says it’s hard for her since his feelings aren’t sincere. He too tears up and chooses that moment to confess. They kiss and So-rang is happy. He takes her to the flower field and tells her his original confession plan. They hug as fireworks go off.
They are still awkward in the bedroom and the King tells her to just lie with him. She asks when he fell for her and he tells her when she was asleep so that he could clearly look at her. She too confesses that she fell for him while he was asleep.
Outside, Shin-won says farewell to Chun-seok and when he asks about the investigation and Lady Seo, Chun-seok lies. Shin-won takes out the ring he wants to give So-rang and Chun-seok gets exceptionally pessimistic. At that moment, someone is stabbed with a poisoned needle. Chun-seok looks on while Shin-won is shocked. In the flashback, Chun-seok at first rejects Lady Seo’s bribe. She then threatens him with Hae-young.
However, it turns out Chun-seok stepped in and took the needle. As he is dying, he thanks Shin-won for treating him like a brother. He regrets not giving the pendant to Hae-young and asks Shin-won to leave him and go after the assassins. But before Shin-won can warn the King, he is stabbed in the arm. His cry has the King coming out to investigate. He finds Shin-won who apologizes for betraying him as a friend and a subject.
However, the wound is not fatal so he lives. He visits Aedaldang and gives Chun-seok’s pendant to Hae-young who cries. He then leaves the ring he had got for So-rang and the palace. He runs into her and as she cries he asks her to stop being friends as it’s dangerous for her. She tries to stop him and sees that his wounded arm has turned black. The King also appears but isn’t able to stop him as Shin-won leaves.
The Episode Review
Shin-won is really about to break his own heart and all of our hearts as his ‘I like you no pressure’ confession and resignation moved So-rang and the viewers to tears. He only wants the best for her, even if it means just staying by her side as a friend. We see that when he is stabbed and he thinks he is about to die, all he can think about is So-rang.
Along with the doom and gloom, we also got some fun moments in episode 8 of The Forbidden Marriage. After So-rang and Shin-won expressing their feelings, this episode shows the King giggling and acting like a schoolboy every time he sees So-rang. He even goes as far as to give her his pillow and blanket as he falls asleep while looking at her. Even his teary-eyed confession is cringe-worthy but adorable as he says ‘I So-rang you’ as her name is similar to ‘love’ in Korean.
Lady Seo and Minister Jo’s dynamic on the other hand is getting pretty much like Macbeth. Like Lady Macbeth, it seems that Seo is the one who is actually pulling the reins. This is seen in the way she accelerated Jo’s order to kill So-rang in the previous episode and got him to agree when she planned to kill Shin-won showcasing that she may be the real threat.