To Be Or Not To Be
Episode 9 of The Forbidden Marriage begins with the King walking outside his chamber as he misses Shin-won. Minister Sul-rok approaches Eunuch Se-jang and asks if he knew that Court Lady Won-nyeo was also leaving. Meanwhile, So-rang too thinks about her parting with Shin-won and is worried about his poisoned arm. At that moment, the King enters her room and tells her that he too misses Shin-won.
Eunuch Se-jang pulls Lady Won aside and asks why she is leaving. She tells him that she still hopes to find her lost husband and son otherwise she will have regrets. Se-jang begs her to stay but she refuses. Meanwhile, Gwang Yi tries to comfort Hae-young and she is angry that he didn’t tell her he knew Chun-seok was going to die. He tells her no one can predict their fate.
So-rang and the King bicker as he asks her to help him sleep. When she says she doesn’t want to work he tells her that he will help her sleep. She warns him of any funny business and he acts shocked that she would think such perverse thoughts.
But he has to leave as his guards, Choi Seon-hyeok and Ji-hwal return after a mysterious mission. Both the King and Lady Seo are busy searching for Shin-won to no avail. She is also angry at Minister Cho after the King takes down his wife-trafficking business. He tells her they don’t need the marriage ban then as he hopes to get Hyeon-hee appointed as queen.
His men bring up the bride selection at court and the King is worried about So-rang. Minister Sul-rok suggests getting So-rang pregnant so that she can become queen. The King gets shy and claims that everything is moving too fast.
Instead, the King asks So-rang out on a date to an hour market under the pretext that he wants to observe. She has other ideas as she suggests earning money. He tells her he is rich and she takes it upon herself to show him the satisfaction of earning money.
They set up a stall of knot ornaments at the market and the King is impressed with So-rang’s tactics. He tries to make a knot ornament and gets frustrated when it doesn’t look pretty, but she keeps it for herself. They go shopping and also get their painting done. So-rang hangs their knot ornament on a bridge and as soldiers try to stop them as it is illegal, they run away like kids.
At the palace, she helps him take off his royal robe for bed and he gets affected by her closeness. He even unties his undergarments but when he goes to kiss her, she asks if she will become a concubine. She remembers meeting with the Grand Queen Mother who had told her that she will never be queen. The matriarch makes her promise never to mess with the bride selection process.
However, the King tells So-rang that he will make her queen. She stops him and tells him that she is no one so she can’t be a royal consort. He tries to convince her but she stops him and tells him she needs time to think.
At Aedaldang, Painter Jeong approaches Hae-young to give her a storybook. In Love Actually manner, Jeong tells her the story of him, Chun-seok and Hae-young through paintings on a placard. He hopes to confess his love for her and not let the marriage ban stop him.
Meanwhile, So-rang is tearful as she bids farewell to Court Lady Won. She confesses that she is worried about her position with the King and Won tells her to believe in the power of love. Se-jang looks at Won sadly from afar while the King personally thanks her and wishes her well.
Seon-hyeok and Ji-hwal continue to search for Shin-won who finds them first and tells them not to look for him. However, Painter Jeong finds him with the help of Gwang Yi and brings him drinks. He tells Shin-won that Hae-young sort of rejected his proposal as she doesn’t know her feelings. He asks if he can forget his memories and Shin-won tells him that he wished he could as he can’t use his wounded arm anymore.
At the palace, Sul-rok creates a love nest for the King who is shocked. The King ends up making and leaving a bouquet in front of So-rang’s door in the middle of the night. She is elated and runs to him and kisses him. He is flabbergasted as she openly shows him affection.
Court Lady Won heads to Gongnyang, the secret village as representative for the group blind date, however, she does not let the bandits meet the ladies till they get a makeover. In return, she wants them to look for her husband, Hwang Dong-sik.
Shin-won comes home and his parents are happy. He sees a mystery box left among his belongings with Lee Jeong-hak’s letter in it. The box also has a painting of So-rang and he is shocked to see Hyeon-seon’s name beside it.
The King calls So-rang to the love nest to have a drink. She is excited and they start drinking. They start recalling fond memories of when they started crushing on each other. She ends up kissing him and they make out.
Shin-won goes to Aedaldang and is wistful that So-rang knew who he was but didn’t tell him. He heads in and sees that Gwang Yi is sick. He calls the doctor who says he is old and doesn’t have much time. Hae-young tells Shin-won that they need to inform So-rang.
So-rang finds out about Gwang Yi and is upset. The King hugs her and thinks she is worried about being a concubine. He tells her his plan of having her adopted by a noble family so she can be his queen. But she tells him that she needs to go home
Shin-won still can’t believe So-rang was his fiancee and goes to her old house to check. He confronts Lady Seo about Hyeon-seon. But she threatens him with So-rang’s fake divine powers and how she will be charged with treason if the palace finds out. Shin-won is upset and leaves.
The next day, the King asks Seon-hyeok and Ji-hwal to look after So-rang while she is in Aedaldang. She promises to return soon.
Gwang Yi keeps calling So-rang ‘Highness’ and Hae-young tells her that he has been speaking nonsense. She nurses Gwang Yi and writes a letter informing the King that it’ll take her longer before she can return. However, the King misses her and can’t sleep.
Shin-won finally approaches So-rang. She tells him that she is with the King and he asks why doesn’t she become a consort. She says that she is not fit and he tells her that is not true as she is Lady Ye Hyeon-seon. She tells him that she has tried to forget her past as she lost everything. He also confronts her about her fake divine powers and just then the King appears who wanted to visit her. The King is hurt and tells her that she can never return to the palace.
The Episode Review
It’s cute to see the King put his jealousy aside to talk about Shin-won as So-rang is the only one who understands him. Almost till the end of Episode 9 of The Forbidden Marriage feels like the honeymoon phase as So-rang and the King do coupley things together.
It’s also nice to see the other characters get their screen time as we see more of Se-jang and Lady Won’s relationship and Gwang Yi comforting Hae-young who still misses Chun-seok. Meanwhile, Gwang Yi just might be psychic as he not only saw Chun-seok and Shin-won’s fate but So-rang’s future as queen.
It does feel odd to suddenly see Jeong hanging out with Shin-won when there was barely any interaction between them except for the time when Hae-young and So-rang were kidnapped. It could be plausible that Jeong went to him because Shin-won could relate to the idea of one-sided love but it could have been better approached.
You can read our full season review for The Forbidden Marriage here!