I’m not sure why a drama that made my eyes well up so much resonated so deeply with me, but this one sure did. I’ve seen it billed as a melodrama (which I normally avoid), and I can see that, but to me this story lived on a different level. So let’s take a look under the covers… Spoilers after the jump.
I needed a day to thing this post over, and evaluate how I felt about our Goblin and his Bride and their tale, and I think that what it all comes down to for me was the message of the importance of bonds, whether by birth or as a matter of fate or destiny. It wasn’t just because I loved watching hours of handsome Gong Yoo interact with such a deep connection to his cast mates (though I’d be a liar if I said that it wasn’t factor), but because the story and the acting made me feel their love and loss and grief and happiness – and on occasion their confusion.
I was so thankful that the reincarnated version of the evil eunuch became the wise and generous CEO Kim, that he was the correct version of the man who would help shape the mind and manners of another boy king (chaebol heir) – Duk-hwa. And that Duk-hwa would be powerful and good looking but unspoiled by this good fortune.
It was a bold statement on Sunny’s part to reject being manipulated by god – rejecting choices made for her – and I am still trying to puzzle out exactly what that meant. Usually turning one’s back on a god ends in repercussions. And yet while she lived another 30 years or so (alone, I’m guessing), she and Yeo are reunited and – bonus! – reincarnated together and given a chance to not keep their hands off each other. 😉
It was beautiful to have Shin and Eun-tak wed, just the two of them, in their field of blooming buckwheat, the eternal lovers. Why no Yeo or Sunny, or even Duk-hwa present? Because this is their love story. And it’s not like they can even have an official marriage, seeing as how he’s an immortal and not on the official registrars. The happiness on their faces… it was so lovely, and the party afterwards (though sadly minus Sunny) was a perfect way to acknowledge just how close the bonds are between these humans and immortals.
But they were toying with us, and I suppose the only thing they spared us was having Shin and Eun-tak be together long enough for her to become pregnant, so it would be the total knife in the heart! I think that her death was an answer to a question raised earlier by Shin, though. While watching the news story a woman says that she must have been an angel; well Shin has acted as an guardian angel of sorts, so why shouldn’t his bride be another? He wondered how it was possible that she could walk through the same doors as he did to travel to Quebec (or the college testing facility) when even Yeo couldn’t do so. Well, I think maybe she was indeed some form of angel – a special case indeed.
Watching their grief at parting was so hard, but the strength and calm that Eun-tak exhibited even as her heart was breaking (mine too) was lovely to watch, even if I had to pause for a bit. The way she bravely and cheerfully (very much in keeping with the spirit of the character) turns down the amnesia tea was a little ray of hope.
Yet how very sad the next decades were! While Shin has the friendship of Yeo to keep him sane (even if water tables rose considerably), after 30 years he has to part not only with Yeo but Sunny too, and wait and hope that somehow, someday their fates and his will cross again and this time in happiness.
I loved it that she was able to find him and recognize him and know that he was her man without any doubt in her new incarnation. It was a little strange tonally that she finds him again when she’s a teenager and not, say, a woman of clearly marriageable age, but when your groom is not going to get older (unless some new miracle happens, and we can always believe that it will), you might as well start out with the odds in your favor!
And if heaven allows it, they’ll be happy together for millennia!
Back to the question as to why this one resonated with me as much as it did – I think it was because the emotions and spiritual connections portrayed in this drama were so sincere and honest. I think all of us have been at some points in our lives deeply lonely, feeling as if there is no one that hears our thoughts and prayers, and when we meet the person (or people) who fill those empty spots there is a contentedness and love that means everything to us. Losing a loved one is something that we will all endure, or have endured, and knowing how to face that loss is part of a very difficult conversation that we have to have with ourselves. I think that Eun-tak’s conversation with Yeo, when he gifts her with her bridal bouquet, sums up my personal philosophy so well – life is uncertain and you never can know when you’ll leave this earth, so acknowledge the love you received, give love in return, cherish the moments every day – words to live by.