There are many Hwarang featured and often seen in this drama, but I would like to focus and direct this post to Alchun and Sukboom, two of the more notable Hwarangs. I’m going to focus the majority of this post on Alchun because I have a huge bias towards him, but I guess I’ll give Sukboom some blog time too. (Warning: spoilers included!)So first things first: what is Hwarang? Hwarang is a group of soldiers who serve the royal family – they act as an elite group of guards and they also participate in friendly (or not so friendly) competitions against each other to determine who is the strongest. The princess typically rules over the Hwarang. I was pretty confused about what this “Hwarang” thing was until I watched more of the drama, but there you have it!
Sukboom is on the wrong side of the fence, but he’s loyal, I have to give him that. Seems like all of Misil’s men are which is overall an admirable trait to have, even when your side is weakening and losing its power.
I didn’t think much about Sukboom until I read someone else’s blog post about him, and then I decided to pay a bit more attention to him (so yes, my ideas are not all original). Sukboom is an endearing character and bent on serving Misil with all his life. When she dies, he joins Jilsuk in the rebellion because he also would have nothing else to do with his life without Misil. He realizes all that Misil has done for him and he returns the favor by serving her out of a heart of thankfulness, which I really appreciated when I watched him.
It’s just kind of sad that Sukboom’s end was so inevitable. Since we don’t know him too much though, that’s all I really have to say about him.
Alchun is such a sweetheart. I love Alchun so much, not just because I find him the most attractive but because of his character. He is truly a wise leader and loyal to those he serves, such as Princess Chunmyung and Deokman. Alchun also does not sway sides easily, but at the same time he is smart enough to distinguish who he should side with. Meaning that he won’t let politics and power struggles get in the way of whom he chooses to serve. In the beginning of this drama, Alchun views Yusin and Deokman as weak but he slowly comes to respect them and befriend them when Deokman saves his life and many others’ lives. He is fair when making friends and not partial or biased in this regard.
Alchun is also strict, which has two sides – either he is overbearing or he is consistent in what he does. Both have proven to be true in his case. The overbearing part of Alchun’s strictness is revealed when he kills the men who are injured in war and when he demands that his life be taken because he himself becomes injured. However, his strictness benefits those whom he serves when he is required to stay on guard and not let anyone in to talk to the Tang envoy who has been detained later in the drama.
Alchun serves Princess Chunmyung with his life – he protects and obeys her, and when she dies, he is also ready to die. He pleads with the King to investigate her death and even dons earrings and make-up, symbolizing his willingness to die right on the spot. (When Hwarang are willing to die for a certain cause, they put on make-up because they want to die while they are most beautiful. This is called the Nangjang rebellion). He almost kills himself because of the sorrow he has, but Deokman stops him and commands him to serve her now as she is also princess.
While under Deokman’s service, Alchun acts as her personal bodyguard and the one who knows all about her private life and the things that even Yusin and Bidam do not know. She trusts Yusin and Bidam but with Alchun, the trust she has towards him is on a whole other level. She tells him things that the others are ignorant of and she does not hesitate or have any qualms with revealing her thoughts to him because she knows that she can trust him. As Deokman’s death grows nearer, she tells Alchun what to do should she die (even though at the time he doesn’t know why she is telling him all this), but she doesn’t alert Yusin, Bidam, or even Chunchu for that matter about these things.
Alchun is truly that hidden character that does so much but is overshadowed by Yusin and Bidam’s scenes of glory and fame (or their lack thereof). Alchun remains the constant character of this drama when Yusin goes from having power to losing it (although wrongly losing it) and when Bidam rises in power and also falls. Alchun never rises or falls – he stays constant and his loyalty to the Queen is undeniable.
For the reasons listed above, I love Alchun!