Getting onto some bigger characters now – Yusin and Bidam. Queen Seondeok’s right and left hand men, and the two who at one point received her love. I like to call these two frenemies – friends but enemies at the same time. They work towards the same goal and they both serve Queen Seondeok loyally, but they go against each other while doing so. Let’s dive in! (Warning: Spoilers included!)
Yusin is a character with such a great presence in this drama, and so as a result, I have much to say about him. We’ve known Yusin ever since early in the drama and he has stuck throughout the entire show, even out-living Queen Seondeok herself.
When we are first introduced to Yusin, it is obvious that he will be the love interest of Deokman – like many, their first few interactions are not ideal. Instead of getting along, they clash heads against each other because of a few misunderstandings caused by Jukbang and Godo.
Yet they are tied together by Chunmyung, who is saved by Deokman, and Yusin, who indirectly saves Chunmyung by capturing her. Chunmyung requests for Yusin to serve her by forming a new Capital Hwarang team in the palace and she tells him to take Deokman under his wings and train her up with his troop (they think she’s male at this point still) because not only does she owe her life to Deokman, but Deokman also bravely defeated Misil at the palace without even knowing what a great feat she accomplished. Because of these two things, Chunmyung decides to watch over Deokman and she does this by placing Deokman under Yusin’s care.
During their days as Hwarang, Yusin and Deokman haven’t exactly become good friends but there is still something that binds them together, and that is that they are on the same team. Deokman is often frustrated at Yusin for never letting his team compete against other Hwarang and getting stepped on as a result. Yusin makes Deokman work the hardest to the point where Deokman thinks that he hates her, but he is only making her do that because he knows how much Chunmyung cares about Deokman and he wants to give Deokman the best training.
Deokman and Yusin’s relationship really gets stronger after they fight in the war together as Hwarang and Deokman saves everyone. Especially when Deokman goes missing and Yusin thinks that she is dead, he searches for her and is so relieved to find her alive (probably because he knows how much Chunmyung cares about her but also because he has grown to care for her himself). When Deokman is revealed to be a female and Chunmyung’s twin sister (thus making her princess as well), Yusin fights for all his life to keep Deokman safe, and he is even willing to escape and go far away with her so that her life could be spared. Why does he do this? Certainly not just out of chivalry or friendship, but because he loves her. And to make things better, she loves him back. I knew he’d be her love interest! Or so I thought so…until Bidam came along. But I’ll get to that later. So Yusin just wanted Deokman to live a peaceful life and for that, he was willing to run away with her and leave his own ambitions in Silla behind. He loved her that much, that he would be content living with her and her alone. The story is even better knowing that their feelings for each other are true and reciprocated.
Yet when Deokman aims to become princess (and later Queen), Yusin decides to serve her instead of love her. As he said to her, “If I serve you, I will serve you with my life. If I love you, I will love you with my life. But I cannot do both.” He chooses to serve Deokman and help her gain power out of his love for her, but he cannot love her as a woman anymore. She is now his Queen, not his woman.
Yusin serves Deokman well and is always someone that she can rely on and trust. Even when Bidam later instigates Yusin and accuses him of going against the Queen, her trust in him does not shake. Yusin continues to help the Queen even in prison – he cares more about her and her vision to save Silla than he does his own life.
So if you can’t tell yet, I like Yusin. A lot. I actually wish he and Seondeok became a couple and pursued their love further. But I also love how Yusin chose not to because he didn’t want his supporters to make him take power over her and become King. And I love how he sacrificed love so that Seondeok may become an amazing Queen. Now that, my friends, is the definition of love – sacrifice.
Bidam is the confused character – not confusing or hard to read but confused. He is also the character who did not impress me upon first sight. I think he only impressed fans of Kim Namgil, but not me. The first time we see Bidam, he looks like a bum and doesn’t seem to really care about other people. I had read before that he was going to be the true love interest of Deokman, and when I saw him, I could not believe that it was him, not Yusin, who would win over Deokman. But soon enough I began to see Bidam in a different light, sort of. He still doesn’t match up to Yusin my opinion, but Bidam sure has his strengths and I believe that he’s such a confused character because of the lack of love he received in his life.
Bidam saves Deokman when she is about to be killed by Misil’s men by warding off a huge group of men all by himself. We then wonder why and how he became so good at martial arts and then we discover soon after that his mentor is Munno himself. Bidam then gives Deokman up to Misil’s men for a bunch of ginger roots (at least I think it’s that) he needs to save sick people, but upon Munno’s rebuke to him for giving up someone’s life for some roots, Bidam runs to save Deokman and fights alongside Yusin to save her. Before he even knows who she is, Bidam has already grown an interest in Deokman and he truly wants to help her.
Bidam is loyal to Deokman from the start as well, and even when he finds out who his mother is, he remains loyal to Deokman and does not betray her. He does not have a desire to gain power – he just wants to serve Deokman and love her. And he just wants to receive her love. But this is his flaw – even when he DOES receive her love, he lets other people plant lies into his head about whether her love for him is true like his is for her. And he believes those lies and doubts her love. To the point where he is willing to rebel against the woman he loves because he is deceived into thinking that she does not love him as much as he loves her.
But I return to my first point about Bidam – he is a very confused character. His mom abandons him and never gives him the love he desires, and Munno also stops loving him because of one mistake he makes as a child. So of course it is natural for him to also doubt Deokman’s love. But for him to go to the lengths of rebelling against her, framing Yusin for something he didn’t do, and more, Bidam’s love becomes twisted and is no longer pure as it was in the beginning when he first met Deokman. And that saddens me.
Bidam’s death and fall, needless to say, is caused by himself and hurts the one he loves most. His lack of trust causes him to shake at the most crucial point of his life, but I would like to believe that his love still remains for Deokman, although it becomes a bit twisted. Bidam is indeed a sad character.
If I were to pit Yusin and Bidam against each other (which you will have to do because they are always compared with each other in the drama), I guess you could come up with your own conclusions about who is the better one. They honestly both have amazing qualities as well as weaknesses but if you read through this post, you could probably guess who I would choose instead as the better one. But that’s just my opinion, and you are of course free to have your own!