Home > TV and anime > The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 33 to 40

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 33 to 40

This is a spoiler-rich discussion of what happens in these episodes so do not read this post if you want the experience of watching the serial unfold onscreen. Further, these episode numbers are based on the terrestrial broadcasts I have seen and not on downloaded or DVD episodes. It’s possible that these numbers do not match your experience.

Well, with a single bound, Deokman (Lee Yo-Won) has gone from quivering jelly to Princess of the Royal Blood. Instead of being one of the lads, she’s “touch-me-not, I’m your master or mistress depending on which clothes I’m wearing”. While I don’t mind this as applied to Al-Chun (Lee Seung-Hyo) who’s always seemed a bit of a sub, it’s grossly unfair to Kim Yu-Sin (Uhm Tae-Woong). He’s given up everything out of love and now finds himself relegated to the position of Loyal Follower No. 2. The only one who seems to find this a bit odd is Bi-Dam (Kim Nam-Gil) who, instead of throwing himself on his knees begging to be disciplined, just pursed his lips and kept his powder dry until episode 40 when knees met the ground. So Al-Chun delivers messages to King Jinpyeong (Jo Min-Gi) and Queen Ma Ya (Yoon Yoo Sun) while the Leader and her two minions plot the downfall of Mi-Sil (Ko Hyun-Jung).

Princess Deokman (Lee Yo-Won) finally dressing as a woman

Meanwhile back at the Palace, the Queen curses Mi-Sil which impreses all on-lookers but not Mi-Sil who’s busy planning to offer Mi-Saeng (Jeong Woong-In) and Se-Ri (Song Ok-Suk) the chance to drink some poison for betraying her. Her brother talks his way out of it. Deokman infiltrates the Palace and with the help of the Queen, confronts Se-Ri who’s busy trying to decide whether to take the poison. When the seer “sees” Deokman, she sees the future Queen. With great powers come great responsibilities so, when she hears Mi-Sil coming, she waves Deokman behind a screen, takes the poison as Mi-Sil looks on and tells the hidden Deokman to go to the Reverend Wol-Chun (Oh Yeong-Su) for guidance on astrological matters. Unfortunately, before she can get there, the Gayan underground movement storm the temple and take the Reverend away.

Deokman sends Kim Yu-Sin away. Every time she sees him, she just wants to throw herself in his arms and be a commoner. So, if she’s to make herself the Queen, he’s gotta go. Dejected, he wanders off to see his parents who tell him the Gayans are on the warpath. He therefore arranges for them to capture him and, as with all the best alien films, he’s able to say, “Take me to your leader” with a straight face. Once he meets their leader, he’s able to strike a deal for making everything right again. As on cue, Deokman, Bi-Dam and Ah-Chin attempt to infiltrate the Gayan compound to rescue the Reverend. They are, of course, captured but then immediately released when Kim Yu-Sin introduces her as the next leader of Silla. This provokes everyone to drop to their knees in amazement. During this mass self-abasement, Kim Yu-Sin pulls Deokman to one side and gets in a quick hug before telling her to go off and be the Queen-in-waiting. She then sets about explaining to the Reverend why he should tell her when the solar eclipse is to come. There’s some modern politics on display at this point with the Reverend pulling the usual scientist’s defence: we only make the tools, people decide whether to use them for good or evil. Deokman responds by making him feel guilty his last prediction was used to oppress his fellow Gayans. As a friendly gesture, Deokman sends a message to Mi-Sil she has the Reverend. This comes on top of the decision by the rather stupid Ha-jong (Kim Jung-Hyun) to leak the news of the twins to the people. It never rains but it pours.

Kim Yu-Sin (Uhm Tae Woong) wondering why love is so hard

Now comes the push from both sides. Mi-Saeng has the magic fountain in the marketplace overflow with blood as flocks of birds die around royal sites. So much for the ill omens. Deokman responds with luminous birds flying around the Princess’ palace and then Bi-Dam appears before the fountain and has a broken stone rise. This contains a prophesy there will be an eclipse to show an ending of the old regime represented by the death of the Princess and, as the light returns, there will be a new Princess and the Heavens will smile on Silla. Most of this sleight of hand is due to Bo-Jong (Baek Do-Bin) who has now found his way back into the fold and is forging the inscription on the stone and out spreading rumours. Deokman has briefed Bi-Dam this is all a bluff, that the Reverend has refused to give her a reliable date. The intention is therefore to provoke Mi-Sil into announcing there will be an eclipse and then lose credibility when the sun remains untouched. Bi-Dam does his best but, in the end, he falls for a simple trap and discloses his belief there will be no eclipse by trying to escape. Kim Yu-Shin also does his best to lie to Mi-Sil but she sees right through him. Then there’s the wording of the Reverend’s declaration. In the past, he never gave an exact date. He always hedged his bet because the science is not yet precise. And all the royal family are encouraging her to announce there will be an eclipse. It’s all so transparent to Mi-Sil who announces there will be no eclipse and that she will burn Bi-Dam as a traitorous conman. So it comes as a real surprise when they have Bi-Dam on top of a pyre and the sun goes out. And when the first shafts of the returning sunlight touch the adjacent tower, who should be there but our girl. With the right people in the crowd to shout out encouragement, she’s hailed as the saviour of Silla and immediately confirmed as the Princess we never knew we had.

Bi-Dam (Kim Nam-Gil) is recaptured after attempting escape

Deokman’s first act is to announce the building of a Royal Observatory with the Reverend in charge. He will teach the people how to calculate the seasons and understand the movement of the planets and stars. This supplants the mystery of the Seer and moves the battle on to the secular political stage. There’s now an interesting discussion about power and how to rule between Deokman and Mi-Sil. It all comes down to giving the people hope for a better quality of life vs tell the ignorant and superstitious what to do. And, with the subtlety for which Korean drama is famed, we then have a scene with the common folk completely convinced the Heaven-sent Princess is building a new shrine from which to make her predictions. It’s going to be an uphill battle to rule this uneducated lot without exploiting their ignorance through fear and superstition.

Mi-Sil (Ko Hyun-Jung) wondering what it would actually be like on the throne

In a hut out in the countryside, So-Hwa (Seo Young-Hee) has been in a coma but troops loyal to Kim have been following some of the captains in Mi-Sil’s camp. While they watch the hut, a maid emerges. This is So-Hwa making a break for freedom. Korean medicine was really something. She wakes from a coma of a month or so, overpowers a healthy maid and then takes off across the countryside like a startled rabbit. Soon everyone is chasing after her. By coincidence, Deokman is in the neighborhood to bless the site for the observatory and, after a confrontation between Moon No (Jung Ho Bin) and Chil-Sook (Ahn Kil-Kang) who both just happen to be out and about, there’s a tearful reunion between Deokman and her “mother” — a heartwarming note on which to finish.

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 1 to 6

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 7 to 15

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 16 to 25

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 26 to 32

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 33 to 40

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 41 to 50

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 51 to 62

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 63 to 68

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 69 to 74

The Great Queen Seon Deok or Seondeok Yeo Wang — episodes 75 to end

  1. February 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Helow..Im d # 1 fun of Queen Seon Deok,i watch this hystorical dramatic from GMA kapuso on year 2009(Philippines).I watch this in the bginning the end of this show..Wow im so amazed and i wish n sna mau lit pa i2..great!!!

    • February 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      You are right. This is one of the best of the sageuks.

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