I briefly considered skipping the countdown-like review for Scarlet Heart Ryeo (like I did in The Heirs and One Percent of Something) but I felt like that wouldn’t give justice to all the pretty princes in this show.
The story itself was kind of all over the place, and since this is my first historical drama, I think I was just as confused as the Hae Soo, the lead girl (IU). I invested a whole lot of feelings in this show, only to receive no payoff in the end. If only they’d shot just 10 seconds of a certain Prince in the future era… But noooo. They had to deny us even that. Oh well.
Anyway, this story was supposed to be a tragedy, so let’s leave it at that. At the very least I got to meet several cutesy princes, so I’ll be writing a spoiler-free “review” for the princes in Scarlet Heart Ryeo!
Meet the 8 Princes in Scarlet Heart Ryeo
(In order of perceived attractiveness by the author. HEHE.)
8. Wang Moo, Crown Prince
Besides the fact that the Crown Prince (Kim San Ho) was significantly older (and sadder LOL) than all of the other princes, he also had about 0.01% screen time in the show. He’s not even in the fancy promotional photos!! Still, I guess he’s gorgeous in that royal sort of way. Heh.
7. Wang Won, the 9th Prince
If you’re going to be evil anyway, you should at least embrace all of your villainy!! Be the main villain!! Destroy people’s relationships! Have no redeeming characteristics!! Don’t be a lackey like this one. LOL. Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) was kind of meh for me all throughout the series. It might have also been because he reminded me of Zoren Legaspi. HAHAHA.
4. Wang Wook, the 8th Prince
GAH, Wang Wook. I really couldn’t bring myself to like you. Kang Ha Neul (who was also in the Heirs!) looks nice, but his character is just. so. spineless. that I really felt nearly 0 attraction to him. Plus he falls in love with his wife’s cousin which is kind of weird but I guess that’s the theme of this show anyway. Meh.
5. Wang Eun, the 10th Prince
Wang Eun (Baekhyun) was cute but also annoyingly childish. Are the princes arranged by their ages? I kept mixing up the last three because not only was Baekhyun the shortest, he was also the most immature of them all. Still cute, though. In like, small doses. Very small ones. He also matures (very very) later on in the show.
4. Wang Jung, the 14th Prince
Ahh, Ji Soo. Hehe. Wang Jung was a bit unnoticed at the start of this series, but he comes to the spotlight near the end. I’m looking forward to watching Strong Woman Do Bong Soon because of him!
3. Wang Yo, the 3rd Prince
Heeeeee, what a gorgeous villain. Being the face of the Bad Guys, Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) was supposedly very hateable, but you can’t help but agree with him sometimes. Also, as a lot of people pointed out, HIS EYELINER IS ON POINT.
Have a screen cap of him with no eyeliner though. Looks x1000 gorgeous.
2. Baek Ah, the 13th Prince
Helloooooo, Nam Joo Hyuk!! Are you wondering why he’s not Wang X? He’s actually Wang Wook (romanized the same as the 3rd prince’s name, but technically different supposedly) but to avoid confusion they refer to him by his nickname. I loved watching Nam Joo Hyuk in this show, even if he’s not the leading man. He reminds me so much of Park Bo Gum, with that perfect sort of face. Heh.
1. Wang So, the 4th Prince
80% of the time I was watching Scarlet Heart Ryeo, I spent looking at (and looking for) Wang So (Lee Joon Gi). He single-handedly carried the lead pairing of this series. I’m not saying the IU was weak or terrible or anything, but her character wasn’t that interesting to me. I really wish they’d shown even just a glimpse of Lee Joon Gi in modern times.
I’d have forgiven anything just to see him in 2017-era. Hahaha. That’s how much the ending disappointed me. I mean, I get that they were (probably?) aiming for a second season and at the same time trying to remain faithful to the original Chinese version, but… WHAT ABOUT MY FEELINGS???? Hahaha. #entitledbrats
Freaking Yeon Hwa, the 8th Prince’s sister, also The Devil Incarnate
I’ve never hated any villain as much as I hated her. In all movies, in all series, in all books, EVER. Not even Umbridge came close to the hatred I felt for Yeon Hwa (played by Kang Han Na) in this show. It’s incomparable. I REALLY, REALLY HATED HER. I don’t even hate anyone that much in real life. LOL.
Meh, what else do I say about this series? I heard it had so much hype but failed to deliver. Thankfully, I wasn’t part of that hype, and my friend Chad already told me not to expect a nice ending, so I hadn’t set the bar so high. The time travel aspect also didn’t appeal to me and was a bit poorly executed (unlike Queen In Hyun’s Man, which at least had some sort of sense).
Instead, have these cutie photos of our princes!
And a cheat sheet for reference:
Lastly, here’s Baekhyun being a cutie.