In the cliffhanger last week, Nokdu won the top spot at the military exam and went to accept his 1st place honor from the King at the award ceremony only to find out that the stranger he bonded with in town is the King, and Yool Moo is a prince that has the King’s ear.
To see what dramas to watch next, read our post on the 7 new dramas premiering in November! At the bottom we have a list of the new fall lineup of dramas. If you like romances, then you can go directly to our post on the 4 new Korean romances premiering in November!
Our recap starts at 8 CST!
Caution: Be wary of typos
Character Chart: The Tale of Nokdu Shorthand Character Chart
How we do this: We update the post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, there might be lovely updates at the bottom, so check back in!
Recap Countdown: starts at 22:00 KST….check Twitter for updates!
KOREAN DRAMA THE TALE OF NOKDU EPISODE 10 (19 & 20) RECAP
Dongju walks p to the gates of the palace and looks inside.
VO – You are not the family, but you can pretend to be a family member.
DJ – I cannot do that to you even though i am a bad woman.
Inside, Yool-moo looks on as Nokdu receives his award. Nokdu looks up and sees Yool-moo standing there, he is shocked. Yool-moo smiles.
The King pleasantly asks him, are you not going to take the award? He smiles at Nokdu. Nokdu is overcome with emotion and tries to hid his shock as he bows with his award.
Outside, the maid runs to Dongju and asks if she is okay? I heard that you almost had a big accident at the gambling place. That is all because of me, I am sorry.
Dongju says it is nothing. The maid tells her to try and be the Kings wife. You are pretty. When the King comes out undercover, just be noticed by him. That is all you have to do. it is just figuratively undercover because everyone in the palace knows that he goes out at often.
Dongju looks like she thinks this might be a good way in.
Inside, Yool-moo walks by Nokdu and asks him if he wonders what he will tell the King? Did you come with Yeon Geun and the little kid and that drunk guy? He smirks as he tells him to have a nice meeting with the King and leaves.
Nokdu goes to meet the King. He kneels as the King asks if he was surprised to see him? Nokdu stutters and stammers and apologizes and he says that he is not use to the palace rules.
The King laughs and tells him not to try too hard. You and I don’t need those rules. Nokdu asks, we don’t?
The King walks to Nokdu and kneels at eye level to him. He whispers, of course you have to ignore my undercover nights out and keep it secret to your girlfriend. Nokdu says that he will. The King tells him that the one he saw last time, I will appoint you under him, so just learn the work.
Nokdu bows and says yes your highness.
Cut to Yool-moo cooking for Aengdoo at their new home. The master stands by angrily. Yool-moo has a lot of guards with him. He tells him that he is there guest so they have to treat him well. The master tells him that they invaded with so much noise. He breaks his broom and starts to fight the assassin.
But Aengdoo holds the assassins clothing which keeps him from moving. She asks why he is fighting while they are eating? It makes me lose my appetite.
Yool-moo laughs and says that they should not fight. The master pulls Aengdoo away. Yool-moo tells them that he does not plan on hurting them yet.
Nokdu runs up on them and pushes everyone behind him. He tells Yool-moo that he should not greeted him at the palace and tells him to follow him.
They both go to talk. Nokdu tells him that he is sad that he is still alive. Yool-moo says that it is all because of him. Why didi you come to the palace all of a sudden? Nokdu tells him that he needs a job. He needs to be successful and make a living and he does these things well. What about you? What do you want?
Yool-moo says it was the first time he was stabbed. He thought he would die, but he only passed out. But it is not fun if I kill you the easy way. Nokdu tells him to to do it to him only, don’t touch anyone else.
Yool-moo leans in and whispers, why? Are you going to report the coup attempt? Nokdu asks, do you think I can’t? You and even your family, I will destroy you all. Yoolmoo tells him, I don’t think so. Because your brother is preparing the coup together with me. You don’t have to see me like that. He came back to me, not like you. He is greedy and passionate, like me?
Dongju runs up and pulls Nokdu away ask she asks him what he is doing? Then she asks Nokdu if he is okay? Not hurt? Yool-moo is jealous and pulls his assassin’s sword to cut Nokdu. He cuts him on the hand.
Yool-moo drops the sword and tells Dongju, if you don’t want to see something worse than this, then follow me. Dongju asks if he is threatening them? Yool-moo says that it does not matter. Nokdu tells her to go inside the room.
Dongju and Nokdu are holding hands, but Dongju tells Yool moo that he can wait and she will pack her things. She lets go of Nokdu’s hands and goes inside.
Yool-moo waits. The assassin asks him if he is angry at the young lady? He says no, he just stopped and let her do whatever crazy thing she wants to do. Because I knew that she was barely surviving because of that. But, it makes me angry to see that random guy come in and do things with her, so I decided to stop trying to win her heart.
The assassin asks why? Yool-moo says that he will have it. He will make her stay next to him forever, without her heart. He will listen to her long wish, so I can do it.
The assassin asks why he does not kill that guy, he is dangerous. Yool-moo agrees that he is dangerous, but I thought it would be interesting in the future since they do not notice each other even though they face each other. The King killed his own son twice. That is a good reason for the coup right? He will die soon by his own father.
Nokdu goes inside and talks to Dongju. She says that he has no good reason, are you going to fight him? If you win then you have to run away again because yo killed the royal family. Everything will be safe if I go with him. Anyways, it does not matter. So don’t be against him. I don’t want to see you get hurt anymore.
She stands and tells him that she is just moving out. Goodbye, don’t follow me.
Heo Yoon sits at a table and thinks about his conversation with Yoon-jeo. Yoon-jeo told him that he does not want to make his son take his father down, that is too cruel to him. And you also do not have a right to take the King down.
Heo Yoon burns the previous Kings secret letter. Then his guard tells him that everyone is on “his” side.
Heo Yoon thinks that Yool-moo just kills people. He killed the widow town for his own good. And he also killed Cheon without hesitation even though she was his follower. Yool Moo should not be the King.
Heo Yoon holds up half a jewel and grips it in his hands.
In the morning, he starts to walk out, his guard tells him that the soldiers will follow him. He will go with him. But Heo Yoon tells him not to follow. Just do what I asked you to do if anything happened. The guards looks worried, but tells him that he will honor his order.
Heo Yoon tries to leave, but the guards stop him. Heo Yoon tells him that he has something urgent to tell the King. The guard says that he will deliver it for him. But Heo Yoon tells him to step aside! I served the King more than twice the years you have. This is for the King, so step aside.
The guard thinks and then tells him that he will prepare the carrier. Please wait.
YOOL MOO’S PLACE
Yool-moo tells Dongju to eat. He is eating already. She asks him about the widow town. You came to rescue me. But how did you leave with those bandits around? He tells her that he has that much power. She asks, do you have the power to make those kinds of events?
He says that he had to do it. She asks if he is really that kind of person You threaten people and kill innocent women. He asks, so? Are you disappointed now? You didn’t even care about what I do.
She tells him that that is not important. He tells her that it is important to him. She asks if he is doing this to her now. He says that he asked her so many times but she did not give him and answer , so I had to do things my own way.
Dongju tells him that she does not want to stay in this home as a doll. if that is what you want then just kill me and do it, that can be faster. She walks out.
Yool Moo’s guard comes in and waits for instructions.
Heo Yoon goes to see the Queen first. The Queen tells him that she heard that he was under house arrest. What happened and what is the news that you have to tell me. He looks at her broken jewel on her dress and asks, you still have it?
20 YEARS AGO
The Queen gives the half moon jewel to Heo Yoon and tells him to please bury it with her son. She starts to cry.
In the present, the wife holds the jewel and says that she asked him for that request to have it all the time. A mothers comfort who could not even breast feed her baby. And I didn’t even have a chance to ask you, did you bury him well?
Heo Yoon tells her, your highness, it is late but…
Then the doors suddenly open and the King comes in. He asks, what are you doing here?
In Yool-moo’s place, Dongju thinks aBout what the maid said about the King going out undercover. She thinks she might be able to kill him without going into the palace, and she can die also.
The gamblers that Nokdu fought for Dongju leave the palace looking sore and cranky. They probably just got let out of jail and might have been tortured a little.
Dongju walks to the palace right then, but doesn’t see the gamblers. She Kind of peeks inside and thinks.
Then Nokdu comes walking up and sees Dongju meandering around the palace entrance. He sneaks up on her and asks if she is there to see me? She spins around quickly and says no, I am just stopping by.
She tells him to so a good job. He asks if she is okay? She says she is fine, she has freedom, see? And it is a big house. He tells her that he is super cool and handsome right? She is all like, whatever. I don’t know how good you look, but it is so noticeable that you are a brand new officer. See you.
The King tells Heo Yoon that he ordered him that he should not leave his home. Heo Yoon says that he has something important to tell him to protect him. He knows who wants to have a coup. The King asks who, Heo Yoon says Noon Yung (Yool Moo’s prince name). The King is shocked. Heo Yoon tells him to arrest him and punish him and as soon as you arrest him then kill me as well for not serving you.
The King starts to laugh. He tells Heo Yoon that he acts so well. I could have just believed you.
Then Yool Moo comes out from around the corner. The music kicks in. Hwangtae comes out next to him. Flashback to Yool Moo looking like a terrified flee as he stands in front of the King to tell him that his son that was born 20 years ago is still alive .
The King asked him how he knew that? Yool Moo looks at Hwang tae and says that he met him on accident ,now I know things that I shouldn’t know. He is Jung Yoon Jeo’s son and living evidence. Hwangtae says that his brother is actually the Kings son. I lived with him my entire life.
The King asks how he can trust them! Yool Moo and Hwangtae bow and tells him that someone else knows this. Heo Yoon threatened us about it. If we don’t keep our mouths shut then he will tell you that I am attempting a coup. But I couldn’t keep my mouth shut! I couldn’t like to you! He starts to sob.
In the present, the King walks down his steps and stands in front of Heo Yoon. Heo Yoon tells him that he should not trust Yool Moo. The King holds Heo Yoon’s collar and asks who he should trust? His best friend that has been lying to him the entire time? I really hoped that it was not true that I suspected you! I really hoped that it was not true! Do you know how much I wanted that!
Heo Yoon tells him to never trust Yool Moo! The King turns his back on him and says that he does not want to hear it! The King tells the guards to take Heo Yoon to the dungeon (or jail). Heo Yoon yells for him to do whatever to him, but do not trust Yool Moo! He is dragged away.
Meanwhile, Nokdu tries to talk to his mentor as they are walking through the palace. The red guard tells him that he heard of him and that there is a criminal that they need to catch right away. Follow me.
Ssook is about to head out so the other assassins ask why she has to go there? What do you have to check? Ssook says that she has to check. She cannot just trust one side. They want to go with her. But she says that she will go alone. See you later.
In the city, the red guard tells Nokdu that no one should know the witness so we have to make the least trouble possible and arrest quietly.
They show up and Heo Yoon’s place. Nokdu is worried as he knows his father is here.
Heo Yoon’s guard runs inside and tells Yoon Jeo that he has to run out right now! So the guard fights the palace guards while Yoon runs away.
But Yoon gets stopped but the red guard at the gate. He is held at sword point.
Nokdu helps the guard fight off the palace people and then the guard gives Nokdu something that Heo yoon wanted him to have to prove his identity. Then he punches Nokdu and runs away.
Ssook shows up and starts to fight off the guards. She stops the red guard from killing Yoon Jeo, though Yoon Jeo did get stabbed in the shoulder. Ssook runs off with Yoon Jeo and the guard. Nokdu knocks out a guard with a bow and arrow and then pretends like he is checking on him as he tells other soldiers to go in the opposite direction.
The red guard tells him that one of the assassins was a woman. he says he will head off in one direction and tells Nokdu to wait there, he will be back soon.
Nokdu takes off his hat and hides it. The red guard goes to find the King and tells him that he ran away. The King is irate and asks what else he found! The red guard says he found this burned document.
The King opens it and seems to know exactly what this document is. He hides it and tells the guard to find Jung Yoon-jeo. it is okay to kill him, just bring me the body dead or alive!
Nokdu hears all of this.
END PART ONE
Heo Yoon is sitting in his torture chair on a break from getting tortured. The King comes in and asks him when he decided to start a coup? Twenty years ago, when you told me that the boy and Yoon Jeo died? When you hid the previous Kings order? I told you that if you found it, you should give it to me. But you just burned it? Is that it! You want to kill me and put a righteous King in? You also thought that I don’t deserve to be the King like everyone else! That is why you abandoned me and tried to palace a new – King?
Heo Yoon tells him to please kill him. You can do anything with me. But do not trust Yool Moo. The King asks if he is still talking about him? Tell me what kind of coup attempt it is!
Cut to a flashback of Yool Moo telling Heo Yoon that he took his family just in case. If you don’t say anything dumb, then their lives will be safe. if you carry everything with you and die, then your family will have a good life.
Ssook sits with Heo Yoon’s guard. He explains everything to Ssook. Yoon is sleeping. Ssook wonders who they should trust. The guard says that Yool Moo is the cruelest in this game. He is cruel and meticulous.
Dongju holds his wooden box as she thinks of what the maid told her. She told her that the only place the King can go is the most famous gisaeng jip. So Dongju goes inside. She holds a tea tray and hides when she hears someone say, Your highness, can you make me the Queen?
So Dongju thinks the King is inside one of the rooms. She gets out her wooden box and breathes heavily. But before she goes inside, she thinks of Nokdu. But then she thinks about he fathers death. But then she thinks of Nokdu pushing her on the swing. She grips her arrow and stands with teary eyes.
Then the man falls out drunk. The gisaeng tells him to come back inside your highness. Then another man says he is a better King than him. So she realizes that they are all just playing. She takes a deep breath and leaves.
Goes back to the spot where he hid his hat. It was a spot in the palace. But his hat is not there. Then a woman comes out an asks, are you looking for this?
The Queen comes around holding the hat in front of her. Nokdu looks at her. Her maid tells him to show his manners, this is the Queen. So Nokdu bows and stammers that he is the new officer. he lost his hat in the palace.
She tells him that he looks that he lost his way. He asks, what? Then he looks at her again. He says that he is not used to the palace. She gives him a lantern and tells him to take it with him. I know everything around here.
He thanks her and then sees the same jewel on her clothing that the guard gave him. She smiles slightly and turns to walk out. Nokdu then pulls out the jewel from his clothing and remembers what the guard told him about how it will prove his identity.
He looks at the Queen and then slowly turns to walk away. The Queen looks back at him pleasantly and then continues on her way.
Nokdu sits on the swing and thinks as he holds the lantern. Dongju comes up to him and asks why he is here with this light? He says, just in case someone comes. You came.
She asks why he is looking like that? Did someone give you a hard time at work?
He says that he is giving everyone a hard time.
She asks, what?
He tells her that he should just not do anything, that is the right thing.
Dongju is about to talk. But Nokdu continues and says that he doesn’t know. I hope anyone can tell me – who can I ask to tell me how no one gets hurt. I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
He stands to leave and sniffs away a few tears and then asks, what am I saying, just forget what I just said.
She says that she does not even understand. So just go back and sleep. Don’t be all depressed here. She push hits him and says she can take him there. He tells her that she comes in and out whenever she wants so I want to do whatever I want.
FIELD OF FLOWERS
He holds her hand and takes her to a field of flowers. She asks, don’t you hate me? I am always cranky. He says that she is just pretty to him. Why are you so complicated? What are you so afraid of?
Dongu asks him why he is so fearless? We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
He tells her that, because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, I am telling you that you are pretty now. I am taking you home because I want to.
He holds her hand.
Nokduu – And I will hold you hand…
She says only until the end of the street. So he says that he should walk slowly then. So they continue slowly walking on.
Yool Moo talks to his guard/assassin and gets filled in on what happened at Heo Yoon’s place. They need to find Yoon Jeo and know that Nokdu will be looking for him, so they need to follow him.
Nodu is in the city with a poster of his fathers face as he pretends to look for him. But he knows that the guard is following him and give shim the slip.
Elsewhere, Sook gets pulled away by a woman. But that woman is Nokdu. She is all like, ah, you are still doing this? He looks embarrassed and says that he has a reason and then asks where Yoon Jeo is and how his wound is. She says that he left because he did not trust me. Who is that person? Nokdu says that it is his father.
Ssook says that he was hurt, but he was okay when he left. Don’t worry, he is with Heo Yoon’s right arm guy. Nokdu asks why she is there. Are you going to take your revenge on Yool Moo? Ssook asks, revenge?
The King wakes up and drinks tea in bed. The room is hazy and he looks kind of out of it.
In the city, Dongju gets something from a merchant. it looks like a wallet possibly.
She goes to see master Hwang and asks him to give his to Nokdu when he comes back. He smiles and tells her to give it to him herself. She says she has to leave so he tells her okay, give it to him when you come back. Dongju doesn’t really know what to say so she just asks him to please give it to him? master Hwang nods along and she hurries off.
Dongju goes to a building that might be the Gisaeng house, but she sees the King before going inside. She still does not know he is the King though. So she goes to eat with him and tells him that he looks like he has not eaten in days. Did the robber you followed get away?
He asks her if she was going to the gisaeng jip? She says yes, she has business there. He tells her that she does not look like she wants to be a gisaeng. Dongju says no, she is looking for a chance to be a maid in the palace.
The King asks, you also want to be in the palace? Dongju says that she heard that as soon as she gets hired she can make a stable income. The King thinks. Dongj asks him if he still does not sleep well? You did not use the way I told you? He says that he could not because he left her along for a long time. So he cannot bother her to comfort him.
Dongju tells him, yes you can. If she was alone for a long time, maybe she is also waiting for you to approach her first. he thinks about this.
Then the King leaves. Dongju watches him walk out and starts on her own way as well into the Gisaeng house.
Dongju heads inside and looks around, but she runs into the loan shark. he has his people with him. She tells him that she thinks he has the wrong person. Then she kicks him and runs off. He yells for his people to catch her!
She takes off running in the city She runs over a flyer that says that it is an area for contagious disease, so it is banded to go there. But the bad guy follows her inside.
He catches her and asks why she is running so much. Then he tells her that she hit him and has his money. She starts to back away. He tells her to come here, it is dangerous over there.
But she keeps backing away and falls into a well!
A man runs up to him with the flyer and tells him that he should not come here! This place is a contagious disease place! He has his mouth covered. The loanshark looks like he might want to help Dongju but convinces himself that she should be dead, okay, lets hurry out!
Nokdu goes home. Hwang tells him that Dongju gave him this. Also, did something happen to her? She looks like a puppy that lost her mom. Nokdu looks at what Dongju gave him, it is candy.
Nokdu wakes up in the well. The water is about waste deep so she asks if anyone there? She tries to climb out but it is too slippery so she yells for someone to rescue her! Rescue me! Save me!
Nokdu waits for Dongju at home. It is raining so he sits looking at the rain. Hwan comes up to him so he says that he is still looking for her. Hwang thinks that she might have left? Nokdu says no, it shouldn’t be that. They mention that they searched everywhere.
Nokdu gets up and tells him that eh will be back. He take the umbrella.
It is two days later and Dongju is still in the well. The water is to her neck now.
Nokdu goes to a swing and looks at it for a moment. Then he goes to a gambling tavern and looks around for her.
One of the men there sees him. e tells his loan shark boss. So the loan shark tells him that he found him! I will make you live happily with that woman in the other world. Did you not know, she is dead. I killed her.
Nokdu grips this man by the collar and we cut to the rain pouring over Dongju as she tries to stay alive.
The King wakes up from his sleep.
In the well, Dongju only has her face out of the water and tips it to the night sky as she tries to stay alive. But the end is near. She starts to think about walking with Nokdu and holding his hand in the field of flowers.
Then the water covers her vision of the sky as she sinks underneath.
But someone yells DONGJU!
A rope is in the well now and Nokdu dies under to grab Donju and tries to wake her up. But she is out. He holds her tightly to him. Her eyes are closed.
The King goes to see the Queen and tells her that he does not deserve it, but if it is okay, can you stay with me tonight? Like before? he is standing in the rain and looking at her as she stands outside her building.
NOKDU AND DONGJU
Jokdu pats Dongju’s head as she sleeps. Her eyes blink open so he asks, are you okay! She gets up and doesn’t address him, but he tells her that she should not move.
She looks horrible. But she still tries to leave and tells him to go.
ND – How can you say that to me? I was worried about you so much!
DJ – I didn’t ask you to do that. Why are you looking for me? Why did you jump in there?
She leaves, upset, and starts to walk away.
He catches up to her under a tree.
ND – Why are you doing this!
DJ – I have to do something. That kept me alive. When I finish it and go to my mom, I will be so happy! That is why I lived. But I was about to die even before doing it. Why, you? Why do I remember you? Why do I only think about you? You made me stay alive.
ND – I….don’t know why you are pushing me away and what you want to do by pushing me away like this. But whatever it is, whatever happens to us. We are alive and together like this! …. so, can I just follow my heart and like you? I just…like you so much.
DJ – Okay! I like you! I like you so much!
He pulls her quickly to him and kisses her. He holds her hand to his chest and keeps kissing her.
Then he stops and looks at her. She looks at him and then starts to kiss him. She puts her arms around his shoulders and they keep kissing under the tree.
I love it so much! Ah, they always bring the stakes with this show and make my heart pump that much faster as I live this story with them.
♫ I can’t wait till tomorro-o-o-o-o-ow ♫
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4cpN-6pyYL/?igshid=14p3ej9eqdpd (thank you SREE!)
DJ – Are you crazy? How can you sleep here? Everyone is around.
ND – Yes, I am crazy. Can I come in?
YM – The day of the coup is next month on the 15th.
Man – We won’t have too much resistance by people because the people know what he does.
YM – I know a bigger thing than that.
King – Are you sure that everyone is dead?
Woman – Yes! They are all dead!
King – I can double check it. We will see.
Hwang – He came to see you, Dongju, from the palace.
King – Everything went wrong. From that day.
ND – In your memory of that day, am I there?