PSA: So apparently certain website filters crash if you turn the computer off when it’s still running, and can end up blocking your internet access way longer than you asked it to.
And worse, it was one of those filters that won’t go away even if you uninstall because I have no self control.
Long story short, I’ve been having papers and exams all week and with my technology issues on top of that, so I apologize for the long wait.
Though not as beautifully choreographed as the last episode, this week’s offering was pretty good for mythology and setting up where the story will be heading from now on. By now it should be pretty obvious that Yona is the descendant, and possibly even reincarnation, of the Red Dragon Hiryuu. One of my readers earlier in the season commented that the Korean mythological canon didn’t include these types of dragons, and they’re right, but that’s because this particular myth is fictional and part of Yona’s universe. The dragons are based on the style of Asian dragon mythology, but the story itself is original to the mangaka. Hiryuu was a god who decided to become human, and in doing so he became a ruler of a human kingdom, Kouka. Unfortunately, his kingdom became involved in wars and eventually Hiryuu himself was nearly executed. When all seemed lost, four dragons descended from heaven and pledged themselves to Hiryuu, creating human warriors who carried their blood who would serve Hiryuu to the end. When the king died, the warriors did not lose their blood, but instead continued to pass it down through the generations.
This is the story that Ik-soo tells Yona and Hak, and it’s also a story that highlights the similarities between this series and Fushigi Yuugi. Like the latter, Yona’s task is to find and ally with all four dragons, in the hope that by doing so she will walk the path that God wills of her, a path that Ik-soo claims is full of hardship and sorrow. Though it’s unclear if Yona wants to take back her throne, her current desire to follow Ik-soo’s advice stems from her relationship to Hak, not to her bloodline. After nearly losing Hak once already, Yona is done being protected one-sidedly. She wants to be able to protect him just as much as he protects her, and for good reason. Hak is the only one she has left from her past life, the one thread that is letting her live on through her grief and shock. Though she doesn’t understand Hak’s romantic advances (why should she; she’s busy with survival on the brain, and she’s never seen Hak that way before so she just assumes he’s joking as usual), she nevertheless cares for him more than anyone else at the moment, or at least, that’s what she’d like to tell herself.
Hak too, though frustrated, has given everything up for the princess, and though he’s wary of her learning to fight and of going off in search for these fabled dragons, he can see her clinging to this hope and he won’t take that away from her. It’s an understandable contextual urge to keep her from any and all danger, but it’s also great that he realizes she needs to follow her own path, and even better, that he vows to support her and stay at her side while she walks it.
As to Yoon and Ik-soo, the former is a kindhearted but slightly tsundere boy who watches over the clumsy priest. Ik-soo himself is mysterious; he’s sweet and silly, but he’s also wise and clearly very powerful; powerful enough that he was kicked out by Yona’s uncle, who feared the threat he posed to the King. Nevertheless, he clearly cares about Yona, and it looks like he cares for Yoon very much as well, from what we can guess the favor he asks of Yona will be.