Arthdal Chronicles Episodes 9-10: When everything shakes

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Asa Ron (Lee Do Kyung) and Tagon (Jang Dong Gun) are in a fight for control of the Union and they are willing to waste the lives of everyone in their obsession. Saya (Song Joong Ki) and Tanya (Kim Ji Won) now find themselves deep in the power struggle with Tanya’s birthright the key to the war that is coming. Can Saya manipulate the players so that Tanya gets the power she needs to save the people caught in the middle? And what about poor Eunseom (Song Joong Ki) who seems to be having an identity crisis? Will he ever find himself again? Join Kate and me as we discuss these episodes of “Arthdal Chronicles.”

Kate: There were so many political maneuvers in this set of episodes, I’m interested in seeing where all the chips fall in the end. I want to know what will come of the White Mountain Heart faction, whether the Asa clan can fend off charges of revenge from the spirits of the Neanthals and Igutu, and what kind of power struggle will happen when Tanya is announced to be the true descendant of the Great White Wolf. I’m not really sure what my favorite story line is right now, it’s so rich.

Wendilynn: I’m with you there. The political maneuvering was actually interesting this time around. I think that’s because it included Saya and Tanya. Watching her put the pieces together was a lot of fun. I think Tanya would also ask if I’m having fun in that voice that says you’re just demented for doing so. She’s totally got Saya wrapped around her finger though. If that boy isn’t in love with her, he’s very close to it. If nothing else, he sees her as the only person who sees him and accepts him for who he is. 

Kate: Saya and Tanya’s relationship has taken a few turns this week. He’s starting to appreciate that she is more valuable than he originally imagined, as does Tagon. She may not have played strategy games as a child like Saya, but she can still plot.

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Still, Tanya’s got to remind herself that Saya isn’t Eunseom. I’m not sure if she is starting to develop more than friendly feelings for him or whether her feelings are clouding her understanding of how she feels about Saya. He’s more confused about how to have much of any type of relationship with anyone. In his captivity, he really hasn’t learned how to make friends. It’s sweet to see him learn give and take with Tanya and realize that other people can be more than just a means to an end.

Wendilynn: I don’t think she’s developing feelings yet. I think her heart still belongs to Eunseom. I was left more with the vibe that Tanya is putting all the pieces together. So she’s focused on Saya because she’s realized the twins were dreaming about each other. So she has an in with Saya and can understand his childhood because she’s been listening to Eunseom unwittingly talk about his brother her whole life.

She’s learning the world around her, and Saya is a very good teacher. He has read so much that he understands the strategy, but because he hasn’t been around people as much, he doesn’t understand them as well. That’s why he kept being caught off guard. Other people have been abstract to him because he didn’t get to really live with them. Tanya is making it real for him.

Kate: I’m a little worried about what happens when Tagon starts to use Tanya’s heritage to his own advantage. Tanya’s canny, but Tagon has a lot more allies and power than what she’s used to dealing with. She’s also pretended a lot of her dreaming and prophecy so far — or borrowed it from Eunseom — so I worry about what happens if she does take a position as leader of the Asa clan. She’s learning and has a lot of strength of character, but I see a bumpy road ahead.

I’m not even sure that bumpy is the right word for what’s going on with the Wahan tribe and Eunseom right now. Their journey was horrific, and the place several of them end up in the mines is oppressive and depressing.

Wendilynn: Tagon is an old, practiced and wily adversary. Tanya has a steep learning curve before she can outwit him. Good thing she’s got Saya on her side. He’ll help her greatly. I think he’ll figure out her power before she will though. She keeps responding to his mental thoughts as if he spoke them out loud. Her powers are growing, but she won’t see it because she thinks she doesn’t have any.

As for Eunseom, I’m also heartbroken. I feel bad the horse ditched him. As for his friend who got mad at him for not bending, I felt torn watching that. They are all mad ’cause they’ve been suffering, which is right, but thinking they were abandoned wasn’t right. So much extra suffering happened because they couldn’t stay strong for each other even when they got separated. They turned on each other instead. Now Eunseom feels responsible for all their suffering, and that is going to be rough on him till he can come to grips with the guilt. 

Kate: Eunseom’s spirit seems broken. I’m waiting for something to happen that will help inspire him or fire him up again. That strength of his is just waiting untapped under the surface. I’m also wondering what kind of magic his name will bring. Since he’s taken on a new name and refuses to use his own, there must be something special that will happen when he embraces his name again.

What do you think is going on with the White Mountain Heart organization? There’s a lot of potential in that story line. They seem to be a resistance movement against the mainstream Asa clan. I wonder what they’ll make of Tanya as a true leader.

Wendilynn: That’s a good question. White Mountain Hearts will flip when they realize who Tanya is. Of course, Asa Ron will kill her in a heartbeat if he gets a chance. As for Eunseom, I still love that Dalsae (Shin Joo Hwan) is now his ally when all he wanted before was to get rid of him. If that dork stealing the gems can actually get them to escape, we just might see Eunseom have a chance. He’ll need money to become the sword the prophecy wants him to be. 

Kate: What did you think when you saw the Neanthals? It will really shake up the Arthdal Union when they find out that the Neanthals weren’t killed off as they thought. Are they out for revenge? Are they out to reconnect with the Igutu people who share blood with them? They definitely add another moving part to all of these political and religious plots. Allied with Saya, or Tanya, or the White Mountain Heart they could rebuild an entirely different Arthdal Union.

Wendilynn: I knew we had at least two still alive because there were two young boy Neanthals when the twins were babies. So they also know Saya and Eunseom are twins. They are going to shake things up as well. With the White Mountain Hearts not considering them demons, they could potentially be powerful allies, especially with Tanya on their side if she gets the kind of power that Saya wants to give her. 


Tanya is putting the pieces together of her very special heritage. Will she learn enough to counter the wily Tagon? Will she be nothing more than a pawn to their schemes? Will Eunseom be able to forgive himself with all the guilt he feels for the deaths of Wahan?

(Netflix.)

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