The Forbidden Marriage – K-Drama Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Happy Endings

Episode 12 of The Forbidden Marriage begins with the meeting between the Grand Queen Mother and So-rang. She asks her permission to reveal her identity in public. We cut to the matriarch announcing Hyeon-seon as the winner and Hyun-hee and So-rang both stepping forward. Hyun-hee tries to stop her and So-rang points out that her real name is Hyun-hee.

How does the palace find about Lady Seo’s crimes?

We also see Hwa-yoon stepping down during the final test and sharing that Hyeon-seon would be the perfect candidate as she is well-loved and the Grand Queen Mother realises that she is talking about So-rang. 

At the palace, So-rang publicly reveals that her identity is stolen. Her father is shocked as he believed she had run away with a male slave. He is called forward and Lady Seo warns him not to protect the daughter that ran away. So-rang tears up and he ends up telling the truth. So-rang, Hwa-yoon and Shin-won step forward and reveal that Lady Seo is behind the identity theft and the kidnappings. The King orders Lady Seo’s arrest and Minister Cho runs away in the commotion.

Is the marriage ban lifted?

The King proposes to So-rang and declares his love for her in front of everyone. So-rang agrees and the King hugs her. He also announces the end of the marriage ban and everyone cheers. Hae-yeong spots Painter Jeong and goes to him. Everyone pauses the celebration to watch. She runs and hugs him and says that she now knows her feelings and that the person she loved and missed was him. She proposes and he is shocked for a second but accepts. 

Over the days, couples reenact cute TikTok trends to propose. Hae-young and Painter Jeong get married and he draws a self-portrait.

What happens to Minister Cho?

At Cho’s chamber, he promises his men that the queen won’t live long. They hear a commotion outside and see Sang-ju killing all the guards. He is angry that Cho tried to have him killed in prison and he promises to reveal all of their secrets. Cho orders his men to kill Sang-ju but at that moment, Shin-won and the King appear. Turns out the King had let Sang-ju escape to let him see the true face of Minister Cho.

Minister Cho tries to attack the King but he is outnumbered. The King promises that he will pay for planning the marriage ban, killing and kidnapping women and plotting against him. Minister Cho is riddled with arrows and before he can take another step, the King strikes him down.

How does So-rang become queen?

The King returns to the palace and sees So-rang waiting for him at their love nest. They can’t believe that their troubles are over. She asks how he knew her real name and he reveals that Shin-won told him. He asks her if he can continue calling her So-rang and she says she would prefer that. They flirt and try to make a move on each other but the Grand Queen Mother interrupts them. She takes So-rang away for 40 days as per the queen’s tradition and the King sulks. 

It is revealed that the Grand Queen Mother was the one who had taken So-rang to quiz her on her sincerity. And in that way she had passed the final test. The Grand Queen Mother thanks her for unearthing Lady Seo’s plan and loving her grandson. They go back to bantering as So-rang needs to wake up at 3 am to learn queenly etiquette. 

The next morning, it turns out to be Court Lady Won who temporarily returns to help So-rang. They smile but Won goes back to business as she bombards her with lessons. She asks for some snacks and Won gives in. While preparing them, Head Eunuch Se-jang approaches Won. He flirts with her and she is amused. He also points out that since she is not a court lady anymore, she can marry him. She gets shy and runs away and he pretends to chase her.

What happens to the rest of the villains?

Shin-won frees Sang-ju at Mount Shinheung and he is ambushed by the Gongnyang bandits. Village chief Ran-tan appears and announces his plan of revenge for his sister and his men corner Sang-ju. So-rang’s father, Minister Ye is only suspended for not managing his family since he was constantly poisoned by Seo. Hyun-hee is made a slave while Lady Seo is hanged for her crimes.

How does So-rang change the palace?

The palace’s mood isn’t dampened as So-rang gets ready for her wedding. Hae-yeong and Gwang Yi visit her. She sulks as Gwang Yi knew everything from the beginning and probably why he took her in. He laughs and tells her to live her life. He also cheers her when she doubts if she would be a good queen as she always cared about other people and worked hard to get the ban lifted.

She indeed turns out to be a good queen as she asks the King for maternity leave for all women regardless of status as one of her servants faint. He is impressed and changes the law as he wants all children born to be cherished.

But he becomes overprotective seeing that women can suffer even after labour that he refuses to touch So-rang. They try to sleep in separate beds and she is annoyed. But she convinces him that they will be able to get over all kinds of hardships together.

So-rang also promises to set up an epithet and redo the late Crown Princess’ grave to allow her the honour that was taken from her due to the accusation that she had committed suicide. Minister Ahn is touched and thanks her for everything she did for his daughter.

The atmosphere of the palace becomes lively and everyone attributes it to So-rang’s influence. The King gets busy looking at every single petition and coming up with a solution.

Do Shin-won and Hwa-yoon get together?

Shin-won and Hwa-yoon’s father approach So-rang regarding their marriage and she hints that they will be able to change it by getting the two betrothed. Hwa-yoon is happy and busy helping the household catch chicken and accidentally bumps into Shin-won. He is amused to see her chase chickens and name them.

He tells her that his father told him to personally return her clothes that he had borrowed during the trap for Sang-ju. She invites him inside for a meal. Behind her house, we see that it was the King and So-rang who let the chickens escape so that Shin-won and Hwa-yoon could have their meet cute.

What happens to Gwang Yi?

Gwang Yi chaperones the former court ladies and the Gongnyang bandits on their blind group date and the women are bored. He decides to help them out by pairing the couples who would be the most compatible and the blind group date resumes smoothly.

Having done his job, Gwang Yi leaves. He walks past Minister Sul-rok and both feel the chemistry between them. In the meantime, Se-jang returns home and it is shown that he and Won have 3 children and they live in a huge house.

Everywhere else in the village, people get married. The fools are the only ones who are single and go to Gwang Yi for help. He scolds them for waiting for a woman to fall for them without any effort. He suggests that the two fools can get together like he and Sul-rok and they are confused.

How does The Forbidden Marriage end?

The King and So-rang happily stroll through the streets and share a kiss. They go visit Painter Jeong who has invited all of our main couples and characters for a painting session. So-rang tells the King to be cool despite it being forbidden to paint a king as it can also help Jeong whose next comic book will be on their story. In the end, we see that Jeong has titled his upcoming book ‘The Forbidden Marriage’.

In an after-credits scene, we see a boy and a girl talk about the marriage ban. The girl is royalty and she asks the boy why he is being informal with her. He calls her pretty and they smile. They introduce themselves as Min-woo and Ri-yoon suggesting that the boy might be Shin-won’s and Hwa-yoon’s and the girl might be So-rang’s and the King’s.

The Episode Review

The finale of The Forbidden Marriage quickly finishes the angsty storylines like that of Sang-ju, Cho, Seo and Hyun-hee. Instead, it chooses to focus on happy endings.

It’s refreshing to get the comedy back after the last few melodramatic episodes. We have incidents like So-rang and the King trying to sleep together with the Grand Queen Mother interrupting them and taking her away for 40 days. 

We also get back to the earlier dynamic between So-rang and Court Lady Won as she gets tired of her lessons. And of course, with it being a rom-com, it is cute to see that all of the characters finally find love including Gwang Yi and the Gongnyang bandits.

Sure, we wish we got more of Hwa-yoon and Shin-won as even the very few interactions between them were adorable but there can always be the possibility of a season 2!

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6 thoughts on “The Forbidden Marriage – K-Drama Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. The finale of The Forbidden Marriage quickly finishes the angsty storylines like that of Sang-ju, Cho, Seo and Hyun-hee but why? The story could be more interesting with these all characters.

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