Conspiracy theories have been surfacing after each episode of the Kdrama, The King: Eternal Monarch, is shown. While part of the attention it earned can be attributed to the breathtaking visuals – including that of Lee Min Ho’s beautiful face – the plot of this fantasy romance drama will truly hook every viewer, making them laugh, cry, and altogether confront the many unthinkable scenes unveiled on each episode. But beyond all these conspiracies, while it’s not duly celebrated, this drama also conveys on the sideline what most of us are trying to figure out all our lives: what we are destined to do.
What’s the story of The King: Eternal Monarch?
The King: Eternal Monarch is an epic comeback drama of Lee Min Ho after getting discharged from the military. It tells the story of two parallel universes: the Kingdom of Corea where King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) rules and the Republic of Korea where Detective Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun) lives. Thanks to the mythical bamboo flute called “manpashikjeok”, Lee Gon gets to cross the barrier to the other realm and meets Tae-eul whom he recognized as his childhood savior during the assassination of his father. Upon further research and observation, he realized how many people have been secretly traversing both worlds, including his father’s assassinator, his uncle Lee Lim – who holds the other half of the manpashikjeok.
There are numerous parts of the drama that are actually worth discussing. Almost every episode paves to be mind-boggling, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. But my favorite part will always be the time when Tae-eul first visited the Kingdom of Corea, particularly when she went to the police station where she worked. There she found her colleagues of the Violent Crimes Squad Three – Chief Park and Detective Shim – still working as cops, as if they were destined to remain on such position on whatever universe they belong.
Such scene made me think that maybe that’s the reason why some people are so certain with what they want to achieve in life: what they want to be when they grow up. It’s as if fate has long laid all the plans for them. Non-negotiable. This is to keep the balance in the universe. They are the controlled group. The living proof that fate may be determined by the choices we make, but there are times, when fate chooses us.
At the same time, this gives reconciliation why there are people, including myself, who are always prompted with existential crisis: what’s our purpose; what are we up to and where are we headed. The uncertainty of what path to choose. But maybe this is our part in Einstein’s space time and parallel universe. We get to choose, experiment, and do multiple trials-and-errors – in different universes, with the different versions of ourselves – until we find what makes our heart beat, what keeps it beating. Surely, we’ll get to arrive somewhere if we keep going.
While seemingly directionless for some, our aimless choices make each of the universe that we exist unique – that no two universes are the same. Because are not constricted to an all laid-out plan of fate.
I am no fan of Lee Min Ho. But I’m glad I’ve came to watch this series despite some of its lapses, lack of character build-up, and ambiguities. I’ve finally get to reconcile some of the questions that often cloud my head when I can’t feign sleep. Those 3am thoughts. Staring blankly at the ceiling moments.
Overall, I’m forever grateful the people behind The King: Eternal Monarch – for giving us something to ponder, debate, and speculate with. Something that entice us to see the application and endless probabilities of math and science; and ultimately prove that the earth is, after all, not flat. For allowing us to think over and beyond the alternate universes possible.
Our weekends will never be the same again.
Unsolicited Rating: 3.5 stars
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