This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The King’s Affection season 1, episode 11 contains spoilers.
The King’s Affection season 1, episode 11 recap
To open up The King’s Affection season 1, episode 11, Ji-Woon hands over his resignation letter and painfully bids farewell with a letter and red flowers to Lee Hwi. He moves on and plans to leave to the Capital. Before his departure, So-eun begs him to stay. Despite her confession, Ji-Woon holds her hand and apologizes because he can’t fulfill her wish. “It was a pleasure to meet you,” says Ji-Woon. From afar, an uninvited guest secretly watches them and is ready to start a fuss. It’s none other than Lee Hwi’s most annoying uncle, Chang-Woon. To sum it up, things got complicated after So-Eun is chosen as Crown Princess and she confesses her feeling towards Ji-Woon which causes a big fuss in the Palace who regard her action as a mockery. He later spread the rumors about their relationship to Lord Sangheon and come up with the plan to cancel their marriage. Lord Sangheon asks Chang-Woon what he wants in return regarding the rumors, putting him in a tight yet safe position.Later, the Queen Dowager is discussing the fact that So-Eun is having another feeling for another man with Lee Hwi’s father. Lord Sangheon intervenes with discussion, pushing the narratives to remover So-Eun as the Crown Princess candidates while framing So-Eun’s father as a criminal due to the political issues that happen between them. After the discussion, His Majesty comes to meet So-Eun’s father to discuss the matters.
The death of another honest one
The next day, Lee Hwi is out in town alongside Ga-On. It turns out, she overheard the conversation between her and So-Eun’s father. Upon hearing it, her mind wanders off somewhere until they encounter Chang-Woon who is busy dragging a court maid, Jan-i, outside of her house. Ga-On comes to intervene with an imposing stance. Not long after, Lee Hwi joins in and calls out his disrespectful action as a disgrace to the royal family. The two get into a tense argument. Later, Lee Hwi confronts him about the rumors about So-Eun’s affairs. She suspects him to be the one who spread all the rumors. Of course, Chang-Woon tries to dodge the question with an empty talk and temper which provokes Lee Hwi to put the sword to his throat. She threatens him using her authority and laws which successfully provokes him and saves Jan-I out of his hand.
But things don’t stop there. After the tense encounter, Lee Hwi comes to visit So-Eun. She expresses her gratitude and apology towards Lee Hwi due to the conflict of interest that happens between their marriages. Lee Hwi, on the other side, praises her for being brave enough to show and confront her feelings. Not like her who must hide her feeling behind the crown. Ironically, both of them fall for the same person. She wishes So-Eun to lead a peaceful life ahead till they meet again. But right before she departs from her house, there’s a mysterious scream from the backyard. So-Eun rushes to check and that’s when the tragedy occurs. Jan-I, So-eun’s court maid and closest friend, was found dead covered with blood. On her small hand, there’s a jade button that belongs to Chang-Woon. Raging with fire inside of her, Lee Hwi pushes Chang-Woon to the walls and confronts his action. She swears to unravel the truth regarding Jan-i’s murder and will not let him slide.
Flower tree, chimes, and longing
Remember when Chicago sang, “Even a couple needs a holiday?” Well, it’s true. Space and distance pull you closer, or vice versa. While the Royal Palace is on fire, Ji-Woon is back to being a psychiatrist and healer for the smuggler and poor civilians. Everything goes well. Hyun comes to visit his place to deliver a special delivery from Ji-Woon’s mother which he describes as weird kinds of stuff — and it is. The two bros get into a heartfelt conversation. Ji-Woon asks Hyun about Lee hwi’s condition and Hyun reassures him that everything is fine. In the middle of the night, Ji-Woon can’t seem to fall asleep. He goes out and watches over the flowers tree, the ones that Lee Hwi adores during their last outing together.
The next day, Hyun comes to see Lee Hwi after his travels. He brings up his visit at Ji-Woon’s clinics which bewilders her. Able to read the situation, Hyun reassures Lee Hwi that Ji-Woon is doing fine while swallowing his feelings. He later asks her if she’s lonely since the two of them grow quite close. Of course, Lee Hwi dodges the question but Hyun knows the answer already. After that, Lee Hwi comes to their secret garden, where there are chicken chimes. Her mind travels back to the night where the four of them drank together. She opens up about her childhood which touches the heart of the three men beside her. Ji-Woon brightens up the mood by relating his situation. Just remembering these things blessed her loneliness. Our ice-prince is indeed lonely.
“My life as a Crown Prince is more important than you.”
Now it’s time for our bodyguard to shine. Kim Ga-On is out on the town for a secret mission disguised in an all-black suit. He goes for revenge since he goes to the place where Lord Sangheon passes by and aims his arrow at him. Seok-Jo quickly reflects and blocks every arrow that he shoots. Ga-On tries to run away but Seok-Jo manages to catch him up and put him in a tight situation. Commander Yoon comes in just about the right time to the rescue. Seok-Jo tempts him by asking what is he doing patrolling at the area outside the royal palace while Ga-On manages to escape himself. Later, Commander Yoon reported the situation to His Majesty. So, Ga-On is currently working for them.
On the other side, Hyun is also out on the secret mission alongside Lee Hwi. He confronts Chang-Woon about the death of Jan-i with a drink with his uncle. Chang-Woon admits he kills the girl because anger swept over him due to Lee Hwi’s authoritativeness that provokes him. While Hyun is buying some time, Lee Hwi, on the other hand, disguises herself to find the murder evidence that Chang-Woon hides. At first, she can’t find it, but thankfully Chang-Woon unintentionally leads her way to the evidence: the sword that he used to kill Jan-I. After discovering the evidence, Lee Hwi refuses to back down from the fight. Chang-Woon defends himself that it’s just a slave’s life and Lee Hwi’s life is worth more as a royal family member. She fires back at him by revealing all the times Chang-Woon tried to harm her life. Lee Hwi once again puts her sword on his throat, but this time, she goes for real after his word regarding the low life provokes him. Lee Hwi insists on him bowing down at Jan-i’s grave and apologizes if he wants her to spare his life. Chang-Woon arousingly does what she asks and begs for forgiveness at the slave’s grave which later causes a big, big problem within the royal relatives.
As a leader, you can never please anyone with your decision. Lee Hwi’s decision to make a royal relative bow to the slave’s grave has become a huge trending topic across the Palace. Queen Dowager criticized her decision as a misjudgment. Lee Hwi stands up for herself. “It was not a misjudgment. All I did was act dutifully. I heeded Father’s guidance to serve people and Grandmother’s guidance regarding the duty to carry the royal blood,” says Hwi which successfully win his father’s support. Things do not stop there. Lord Sangheon comes to put the words on her face again to warn her that her action might cause an uproar, especially in royal relatives. He calls the life of slaves a petty life. Lee Hwi confronts him by saying that no one deserves to die for no reason and there’s no such a thing as a petty life.
On the other side of the Capital, the rumors about Lee Hwi have been spreading all over the town even to Ji-Woon. Certain people at the Capital are slandering her action but the public who lives outside the Capital are deeply satisfied with her decision. After hearing the news, Ji-Woon, who is unable to fall asleep, goes to the flower tree once again. Yeah, Ji-Woon once again can’t keep his head from thinking and longing for her.
The next day, a mysterious man committed suicide near the river carrying secret messages regarding the last will. Lord Change. Hyun’s brother alongside with come with a plan of using the scholar and nobleman of the royal family to make a commotion towards Le Hwi’s action. Regarding her decision as disrespectful to the royal family. Things get pretty interesting when Lord Chang and Lord Sangheon get into a heated argument. It turns out, his brother is onto something bigger which is taking back his right to the Palace.
Meanwhile, this episode also marks the beginning of Lee Hwi’s revelation. She pulls a long face as the crowd outside keeps on shouting about her dethronement. Lee Hwi reflects her life as a meaningless series of attempts at staying alive. “Pretending not to see and hear things for the sake of keeping my place in the palace, what’s the meaning?” says Lee Hwi. The scholar’s demonstration has opened her eyes to how the code that the Palace and the nation lived by has not changed since she was born. Court Lady Kim reassures her that she chose the right thing, even her mother would agree.
Hyun comes to visit Lee Hwi in the middle communion and it is time for a confession. A shocking confession. Yes, Hyun confesses how he knows everything about her identity. He regards Lee Hwi’s eyes and gazes are deep, and that’s when he understands that it is not the same Lee Hwi he grew up with. He sees all of her suffering: From practicing how to shoot an arrow or each time she has to fall from the horse but head again. Witnessing all of that, he vows to protect her ever since they first encounter each other, at the age of 14. Other than confession, Hyu comes to bring a warning, also a great comfort. He reassures her to go and leave the Palace by giving her the red shoes. He suggests she leave by boat, the ones that can use you anywhere.
His Majesty’s reading appeal to the King regarding the scholar’s commutation of dethroning the Crown Prince. Meanwhile, the red shoes that Hyun brings for Lee Hwi are like the reawakening of Lee Hwi discovering who she is inside. No matter how hard she tries to hide her identity as a man, she is still Dam-I. There’s no secret under the moonlight. Lee Hwi sees herself through the mirror. She takes down the hat and everything. Finally, we see her hair loose down! She tries the red shows that Hyun gives her and it fits! Lee Hwi— I mean, Dam-I, walking back and forth with the shoes and her loose hair. For the first time, she can be herself while nobody is watching. But you know what’s more shocking than Hyun’s sudden confession? The fact Lee Hwi’s father secretly watches over everything. This marks the start of the Palace’s chaos.
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