The Ming Dynasty
Episode 7 of The King’s Affection begins with Hwi arriving before King Hyejong who currently has Jung Ji-Un on his knees. She takes the blame for moving the prisoners on account of many being treated to unsanitary conditions and freezing or starving to death.
Hwi even has evidence helping to clear Ji-Un’s name, including witnesses holding details corroborating her story. Hwi immediately throws shade on the ministers too, claiming they’re the ones to blame. Not only that, she also questions their lack of duty and care in appointing Ji-Un in the first place. Interestingly, Hyeong-Seol takes Hwi’s side in all this.
With the matter resolved, Ji-Un is incredibly grateful as Hwi encourages him to reunite with his assistants – and father. Unfortunately the latter is not exactly beaming from ear to ear about seeing him again, and calls out Ji-Un, telling him not to think about being a physician.
However, Ji-Un continues with his royal tutoring for now, which causes Hwi to feel taken aback by this revelation. He continues to try and butter up the Crown Prince, even putting a flower in his hair. Ji-Un has realized that despite calling him the Ice Prince, Hwi is actually kind-hearted and good natured. He promises to help her any chance he gets, writing out that a “good rain knows its seasons right.”
While this is going on, Lee Hwi’s grandmother and the Left State Councilor squabble over the throne in a pretty uneasy and tense square-off. This chat also reinforces that the Councilor is not on great terms with the King, which could be important going forward.
Speaking of going forward, Hwi manages to gain her father’s approval for meeting the Ming convoy. Because of this, she’s pretty anxious but Ji-Un gives her some herbs to help calm her down. It’s a kind gesture, and one that sees a grin appear across her lips. This doesn’t go unnoticed, especially when Hyun shows up.
Hwi heads into town though, debating the best way to prepare everything for the upcoming visit. In doing so, she runs into So-Eun and Ji-Un. There’s pangs of jealousy here from Hwi but she bites her tongue and reduces this to side-eyed glances during an awkward dinner between the four.
After this light bit of levity, we cut forward to the arrival of the Ming Dynasty. Despite Ji-Un and Hwi being welcoming, there’s certainly no love lost from the visitors, as the Crown Prince ushers the pair out so they can stay in peace. With the pair gone, King Seongjo arrives and speaks to the Prince, trying to forge some sort of agreement. The Left State Minister wants land in Yeoyeon that happens to be on the turf of barbarians.
Speaking of barbarism, that night things grow tense between the two factions. When one of the dancers is offered up as a royal concubine, the Ming Crown Prince interprets this as being dishonorable and hits out at this man. Just before executing him in front of everyone, Hwi jumps in and stops this. Ji-Un is there too and offers a drink as a peace offering.
After pouring it out for him, Ji-Un has it thrown back in his face. Jung keeps his cool though, brushing it off as a divine gesture.
In the morning, Hwi directs traffic and tries to calm the Crown Prince from the Ming Dynasty, encouraging him to drop the case. The man will be severely punished for speaking out of term. In saying this though, the Prince notices Court Lady Kim shooting a glance at Hwi. He believes she’s speaking in code and holds the woman up, intent on teaching her some manners. He grabs her hair and cuts her ponytail clean off, as Hwi can only watch in shock.
Tears stinging her eyes, she heads in and confronts the Crown Prince, punching him square in the jaw before straddling him and smacking him in the mouth numerous times. Now, this is likely to cause serious ramifications given it’s between two nations, and Hwi seems to realize this at the last second, sporting bloodied knuckles.
The Episode Review
Well, that was dramatic! The ending to The King’s Affection looks like we’re gearing up for quite the tense showdown tomorrow after the Ming Dynasty arrive and immediately make their presence felt.
Given all the hard work Hwi and the others at the palace have put in to make them feel welcome, the brash Crown Prince has singlehandedly caused mayhem. Then again, Hwi striking this royal could potentially have soured the entire negotiation process so it’ll be interesting to see where this leads going forward.
However, this historical drama has been pretty content with slowly progressing its story while continue to pedal the will they/won’t they romance between Hwi and Ji-Un. This certainly looks like it could come into play later on in the series, but we’ll have to wait and see.
For now, the show bows out with a pretty decent episode, one that leaves the door wide open for where this one may go next.