Yoon Hyein. Merciless but compassionate. Bad but good. So many contradictions in one.

Over the course of the 17 episodes of Athena: Goddess of War that have come out so far, Yoon Hyein, the female protagonist, has progressed from a ruthless assassin to a strong opponent of the terrorist organization, Athena. Her character embodies the belief that people are  innately good. Moreover, she best demonstrates the complexity of human beings.

Yoon Hyein starts out as one who is able to eliminate any enemy that comes her way. But when love comes into her life and she starts to regain sympathy and compassion, it becomes harder and harder for her to continue to kill as easily as she did before. Before she knows it, guilt creeps back into her life. The bloodstains on her hands, the faces of the people she murdered, she can’t erase them. She is attracted to Lee Jungwoo, who believes that she is truly a good person. Not only does she fall in love with Lee Jungwoo, but she even betrays Son Hyuk, the one closest to family to her — a brother, a father. She tells Son Hyuk, When that person called my name to save me, I felt like my heart stopped beating. She points a gun at Son Hyuk because she can’t even bring herself to see her ex-coworkers from NTS die. Furthermore, she becomes the key player in stopping Athena from carrying out their missions, knowing that she is going against Son Hyuk himself. Yoon Hyein is truly a character with multiple, and contradicting, dimensions.

Soo Ae, who acted as Yoon Hyein, is one amaazing actress. While Kim Taehee was able to portray a clever yet sensitive detective in IRIS, Soo Ae was able to portray a character who transitions from one extreme to the other in Athena. In addition, she was able to realistically act out more action scenes than Kim Taehee. However, I cannot deny Kim Taehee’s talent because she is amazing too. :) In every episode, Soo Ae becomes Yoon Hyein. Maybe it’s just because of the genre, but whatever it is, it gets me every time.

Her smile is gorgeous and her eyes are her biggest asset. Soo Ae is able to express so many different expressions through her eyes. I can see happiness, sympathy, remorse, indifference, and so much more. Let’s just put it this way: Her eyes do not deceive. Even without words and facial expressions, her eyes tell the truth.

Watch 0:45 to 1:15.

Isn’t it just breathtaking how easily those tears come out?

Soo Ae quickly became one of my favorite actresses with this drama, and I’m looking forward to see her in many more upcoming dramas and movies. I am extremely excited to see her in the last two episodes of Athena. :)