I don’t know how this show continues to outdo itself, but I thank them for it. Yesterday was an exciting ride culminated in a lovely kiss at the end that we all have been waiting for. And can they tell us where all those gorgeous fields are they they shoot these sweeping shots in? Because I kind of want to take a few photos there myself. Also, this show is so much fun.
Our recap starts at 8 CST!
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Caution: Be wary of typos
Original Soundtracks: Part 1 | Part 2
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 11 (21 & 22) RECAP
The king comes out of his room and sees two slaves. They are the two slaves that remembered Dongju.
Cut to Nokdu holding Dongju’s hand to his chest as they kiss. They stop kissing and looks at each other. Then they start to kiss even more as the rain falls and they stand next to the swing.
Nokdu tries to clean the rain off of Dongju. She asks why he can’t look her in the eye. He says that he is nervous. She asks, now? He is all like, yeah, why am I nervous now. I am a strange guy.
He keeps shivering with nervous energy and says that his heart is pumping so hard, how can you not be nervous? She says that it is nothing for her and she kisses him again. But then she collapses briefly and he tries to hold her up.
In the King’s room, the slaves say that they were all dead. The lady and the daughter were all dead. We buried them with our own hands. The King asks where they buried them.
Yool-moo sits for a meal. But he does not eat. His guard comes in and says that he went to the gisaeng jip, but she was not there. He thinks that she hates him so much so she can’t be here. But at least she did not go to him.
Cut to Nokdu piggybacking Dongju. She doesn’t think they can go back like this! Everyone will see us! He tells her that she has to be super stable and rest. No one is around this early in our yeard. See, no one.
But then Master Hwang comes out with another older man. Dongju hops off Nokdu’s back quickly. Hwang tells Dongju that the palace was looking for her.
The Queen in the palace says that it is okay to have two more maids. She is the one that told the King how to cure his insomnia which the doctor could not even figure out. So just take my request. The maid says yes, my Lady.
Cut to DOngju showing up inside the palace. She looks around and thinks about what Nokdu told her.
VO – We are alive together like this. So can’t I just like you? I like everything about you.
Nokdu runs to the palace and greets his superior who has an order for him. He will give him a few soldiers. Nokdu asks what he wants him to do. The two slaves are next to the red soldier.
Heo Yoon is in a dungeon when Yool Moo and the King show up. But the two female assassins are there as well. One of the widow assassins says that they had a rule that if they heard bells then they could not leave the house. Then he went to the abandoned house in the widow town.
The King asks how they knew if they could not leave their house. Yeon-boon tells him that he killed her friend because she saw something that she was not supposed to see in the house. he said that there was a young guy that would do an important job in the future.
Yool Moo tells the King that he has something to tell him about him. Hwang-tae will confess. So the King excuses everyone except Hwangtae and Yool Moo.
In the woods, the two servants have a hard time finding the gravesite. Nokdu asks who they are looking for. The servants says that it was Master Dongs house. Everyone died, I don’t know why burying them was such a sin. Everyone died, even our young lady.
Nokdu tells them okay, you can go home.
Yool-moo says that Heo Yoon hid a young man who is your son. Later, he tried to remove the evidence and burned and killed everyone in the entire town.
Heo Yoon tells the King that what he is saying is all lies. hwang-tae says that when they were on the island, his brother told him that he will go to the highest place in the country. I thought he wanted to be a general.
Yool Moo says that Heo Yoon wanted him to be the next ~.
But the King tells them to stop! He grips Heo Yoon by the collar and asks how difficult it was for the King to get rid of him, but you are trying to bring him back and kill me? Why do you want to do that!
Heo Yoon asks him why he is so afraid. I thought that that where you are wasn’t yours anymore! The King is not something that you get from killing your subjects and political apponents. You have to have good politics and save your people!
The King yells Shut up! But Heo Yoon keeps talking about how he abandoned his citizens and killed his old friend and new born son!
The King pulls out a sword and runs it through Heo Yoon.
King – I wanted to control myself
But then he looks at what he did and drops the sword. heo Yoon is barely surviving. The King mutters, no, no, what did I do?
A lot of people and servants and guards lay dead among a smoking mansion. The King stands there with Heo Yoon and Yoon Jeo and his guards. He asks why citizens have to die like this. Even though they can’t choose their country, I will make them all want to be citizens of this country. I will make that world. He walks off determined.
Heo Yoon and Yoon Jeo looks at each other with pride.
In the present, Heo Yoon says that the tears the King drew back then, I always missed it. I really wanted to make that world next to you. The King tells him not to say anything. Get the doctor! The doctor!
A man runs off to get the doctor. the King pleads with Heo Yoon to stay alive. But he dies.
In the city, Yoon Jeo and Heo Yoon’s guard walk around and avoid guards. Yoon Jeo wants to see the Queen. He says that Noku should not know the truth until the end. The only person who will protect him is the Queen. The guard says that he wll find a way. Yoon Jeo says that he will figure it out. But the guard tells him that he has an order to protect him until the end from Heo Yoon.
Nokdu goes back to the campus and tells his superior that they do not know where the tomb is, it was a long time ago. The guard says to let them go, they don’t need it anymore. Let them go first, I need to wash my hands.
So Nokdu lets the servants leave. They thank him so much. Nokdu says it was not him, it was the King’s order.
While walking around, Nokdu stops when he sees Dongju putting sheets up to dry. The slaves see her and immediately thinks that she looks like their young lady. But they don’t mention it. Nokdu lets them leave and then goes to talk to Dongju.
He helps her put the sheets up and asks why she is starting her job today. You are not even fully healthy. I will do it, you just watch me. She asks why he is here. He says that when he goes home after work he will just snatch her and go home.
She asks what he will do after work. He says there is a lot they can do. Maybe swing? Or the wresting game? Want to watch it? And the next day….~.
She looks at him pleasantly, he asks her what is it? She says nothing, they can do it all. They agree to meet at the back door. She says okay and then says that someone will see him, so go out.
He says okay and walks off. She starts to straighten the sheets again. But then he dramatically pulls a sheet back and a song starts to play. He puts a little flower ring on her finger.
He tells her that he found it on the street. His master told him to say it. I found it to give it to you. He smiles and then tells her goodbye. He starts to walk away, but she lightly touches his arm and then hugs his from behind. He holds her hand on his waist and they stand like that for a moment.
Then she lets go and pats him lightly on the back. She tells him to go and he says goodbye. He walks away but he keeps turning back to smile at her until he finally walks away. She looks at him lovingly and looks at her flower ring.
Around the corner, Nokdu keeps walking when someone tells him, Yeon?
It is the King and he looks horrible. He almost falls, but his eunuch holds him up.
The King and Nokdu sit and talk to each other in the Kings room. The King asks why Nokdu is looking at him like that. Nokdu says that in retrospect, you never seemed too relaxed, from the begining until now.
The King says that he felt the most calm when he saw him when he was undercover at night. he asks him if he heard what he did today? Nokdu says yes. The King says, okay.
Nokdu asks if this was about the person that he and his boss are chasing? The King says no, it is all because of me from that day. Everything is screwed up from that day. Nokdu tells him that if he knows that something is wrong, then he should have a way to fix it.
The King says that he dreams of that day all the time. It was so cruel and scary. But do you know the scariest thing? If I go back, I am not confident that I can make a different choice.
Nokdu tellshim, King, in your memory….
But then the King passes out, drunk and weakened. Nokdu lays him in bed. As he looks at him he asks, on that cruel day…was I there?
Cut to the Kings dream where he stabs Heo Yoon, but Heo Yoon is still alive. He runs to the gate for them to open it. But then a woman starts to talk and he turns around.
The woman is a shaman and says he has the energy of a King.
The scene changes to the shamans room. The King holds a sword to the shamans neck as she sits comfortably and talks.
King – Tell me one more time
Caption – 20 years ago
Shaman – Any royal born who was born on that day will be the King.
King – What? Nonsense! I am still here. I won all the wars for my father. The next King is a little boy who will be born in a few days? Okay, father was the same. Without the war, the Grand Prince would not be mine at all. But I am the Grand Prince now! So stop talking about the sky’s will, just tell me! What should I do!
Shaman – You can’t change or stop the Sky’s will.
King – Do you know what you are talking about?
Shaman – I can’t misinterpret the Sky’s will only for my own life.
King – I will change it! I will be the King of the country! I will stop it!
He runs his sword through the shaman. Blood bleeds from her mouth and she falls.
The King scares himself awake. Nokdu tells him, your highness, I can get a doctor! he is still by his side.
The King looks at him and asks why he is crying? Nokdu wipes his tears and says it is nothing, I didn’t cry.
The King is sent into another memory of his son right after he was born. The Queen pleasantly holds him. The King holds him as well, though his hand trembles. Later on, he holds the baby outside and looks like he wants to choke him with his trembling hand.
In the present, The King talks to Nokdu on his bedside. He tells him that he hopes Nokdu does not know what kind of person he is, forever.
END PART ONE
Yool-moo is meeting in a house with several older men. He asks them if they heard what happened to Yool-moo? They say yes, if he did not take care of it then they all could have been involved and been int rouble. Yool-moo tells them that next month is their big day. When the King goes out to the palace, we will go into the empty palace. I will bring the soldiers at night, he tells one man you need to open the north gate.
He tells another man to get the Kings stamp and to arrest the King and come back to the palace. He tells another one to take Daebi and finish your job.
A man says the the King killed his younger brother and put the step mother Queen in jail. So we have good reasons. Yool Moo says that they will have more. I know one of his dirty secrets which is a lot worse than what you know now.
Ssook tells the assassins that everything was done by Yool-moo. He destroyed the widow town. There was no evidence, but he tried tokill Yeon by lying to you guys. The two ladies are so upset and says that Heo Yoon died because of them. I will kill Yool-moo!
But Ssook tells them that the three of them are not a match for his bodyguard. We will have to find another way. I will call you when I do.
Dongju waits for Nokdu at the gate. He snekas up on her and starles her. She immediatly reflexes to back fist him in the face. His nose starts bleed and he pouts like he really wants to cry.
Later on they walk home. He has a tissue in his nose. She asks why he tried to surprise her? He says that he wanted to see her surprised. But I look handsome now right? She tells him that he is pretty, he is pretty when he was pretending to be a widow. She touches the side of his face.
He asks her why she is doing that. She tells him that he always pretends to be brave but doesn’t have the guts to take that compliment. Come one.
So they start to walk off again. He holds her hand and tries not to look at her. But he is happy.
So they go around the market and happily look in all th shops together and eat dduk and the candy that Nokdu likes. she tells him that he was so cute when he had it the last time. You were like a rabbit.
She sees shoes and asks if he can guy them for her. He says no! If I buy you new shoes, will you run away again? She says she is not running away, just buy me one. He tell sher not shoes! Anything else, but now shoes!
Yeon Geun watches them looking longingly at Nokdu. He thinks it is good, they are a good couple, a man and woman couple. Then he starts to walk off and runs into one of the ajumma avengers!
Up the street a bit, Nokdu sees the ajumma avenger and bows to her. Then the other two ajumma avengers tap Nokdu on the back. It looks like they just got to the city possibly.
So they all go and have a huge dinner together. One of the ajumma avengers looks happily at Master Hwang as she eats. She tells Dongju that spending two days in the well must have been difficult. She says it is nothing, you two must have suffered as well.
Aengdoo can’t believe that she did not eat for two days. Dongju tells her that is why she is so hungry now. So they all start to eat as more rice is spread around. But the Aengdoo tells them, stops! Put your spoon down.
She grabs the spoon and sees egg on it. So Aengdoo tips the bowl over to see a fried egg on the bottom. She yells, this is an egg! Nokdu tries to say that the doctor told him to feed her well! Just eat!
Dongju tells Aengdoo to eat it but Nokdu tells her that she should eat it! He tries to feed her. The widows says that he can’t watch this, it is such an aeye sore for widows.
Yeon Geun tells them not to do this in front of the elders! But then another ajumma avenger puts food on his spoon sweetly. They all smile about how this is a sweet dinner table. Hwang smiles as well. The tall ajumma looks at Hwang which makes him want to walk away.
Aengdoo tells them that she can eat eggs! Nokdu tells her to eat a lot of meat, here here! So they all keep eating happily.
Elsewhere, Ssook tells Heo Yoons guard that she can sneak in. he says that he can prepare everything. But she says that it would be difficult to see her in person. He tells her that a letter to the Queen is good enough. So Ssook tells him to give it to her. he hands over the letter. He thanks her and tells her to please be careful. But if you go into the palace, can you search where Heo Yoon is?
She bows her head and says that she was about to tell him.
Dongju tells Nokdu that there are a lot of people around! Are you crazy! You cannot sleep here. He says he is crazy, can I come in? She asks, what if someone opens the door? He says, this late? No one will open you door.
She sighs and tells him that she can’t say anything. He agrees happily and says that he will come in! He happily comes in and hops under the blankets with her. He cuddles with her and tells her good night.
Meanwhile, the ajumma avengers are sleeping with Aengdoo, but they are horrible sleepers and wake Aengdoo up.
In Nokdu and Dongju’s room, Dongju starts to play with Nokdu’s fingers. Then she turns around and sees that he is already sleeping. So she watches him sleep and asks, are you sleeping? How can he listen to me so well?
She softly touches his face. But then he holds her hands. She asks, huh are you not sleep? He asks if she is crazy, how can I sleep? She tells him to just sleep, what is this? He tells her that he forgets everything when he sees her. It is difficult, I can’t smile but I want to smile. That is strange right?
She tells him yes. Then she pinches his cheek and asks, why do I like this a-hole? He tells her that he closed his eyes but she woke him up. She asks huh?
He softly touches her cheek as well and then leans in for a peck on her forehead. He look at her and pecks her again on her eye and nose and cheek.
Then he lightly leans her over and kisses her on the lips softly. But then Aengdoo trips inside turning on the light momentarily which makes them both roll like three times away from each other.
Aengdoo drops her pillow and tells them that thos widow eunnies are tooloud at night, i can’t sleep. She lays down and closes her eyes. Nokdu asks her if she saw anything.
Aengdoo asks, what are you talking about? You were sticking together and kissing? Or you were rolling as if your tail caught on fire?
Nokdu mutters, you saw.
Aengdoo tells him that he is not a good candidate for her husband. You have no use. You unloyal guy.
Nokdu and Dongju rolls back to the center and hold hands over Aengdoo as she sleeps between them.
Dongju asks other maids about the basement jail? The other maids says that the King almost lives there. His Kings uniform is always wet with blood. And yesterday another person died. He was a high official. But the basement is for that.
They ask Dongju what she is doing? She puts the laundry with them. Her flower ring falls off. She picks it up and tucks it into her sleeve.
Elsewhere in the palace, Hwangtae tells Yool-moo that he does not feel good about lying. Someone died because of that. Yool-moo asks if he thinks this is glorious happy work? if you do this in front of the king, then don’t follow me. I will do it alone.
But then Yool-moo sees Dongju walking. His eyes grow wide and he hurries to catch up.
Dongju goes to talk to Nokdu. She tells him that she will sleep in the palace from today. It is convenient. But then Yool-moo comes up to them and punches Nokdu quickly.
He grabs Dongju’s hand and asks what she is doing. Nokdu grabs him and tells him to let her go, prince. Yool-moo shoves Nokdu against a wall. The red guard comes up and says that he does not know what happened, but a lot of people are watching yo right now.
Yool moo looks around at all the people. Then grabs Dongju’s arm and tells Dongju to come witch him. She yanks her arm away and says that she does not want to!
The Queen is announced and walks up to them.
Queen – I was walking by and saw this shameful conduct. It was you? Yool Moo apologizes. The Queen asks DOngju if she is the new maid? She says yes she is, your highness. The Queen tells Yool Moo that she does not know what happened, but she works for the person who serves me so she will eventually be my person. So not mistreat her.
She tells Dongju to go. Dongju walks away. Yool Moo watches her leave. The Queen tells Yool Moo that he should leave as well. Yool Moo reluctantly walks away. Then the Queen tells the red guard that she wants to see him. He walks with her.
Nokdu looks at his brother following Yool Moo and grabs him. Yool Moo does not notice. Nokdu asks Hwangtae why he is like this? His brother tells him not to worry. Nokdu tells him to stop. His brother tells him that he should stop, he went too far already. Nokdu asks if Yool Moo holds any weakness? Hwangtae takes a moment, then tells him it is not like that. Do not follow me.
He leaves to follow Yool Moo. Nokdu sighs in frustration.
Elsewhere, Ssook is dressed like a maid in the palace. She puts the secret letter under the tea that is going to the Queen.
The Queen asks, Coup?! Heo Yoon?
The guard says yes, that is why he is dead. The Queen asks how he can do that? he is the oldest friend to the King. The Queen holds her broken charm and says that on that day he looked like he wanted to tell me something. The red guard asks what? She says it is nothing, dont’ worry.
The red guard leaves. But then the Queen sees the secret letter. As the guard closes the door, he also sees the secret letter for a brief moment.
Meanwhile, the eunuch tells the King that Heo Yoon’s dead body is still in the palace, what should we do? The King tells him to throw his dead body in front of the door. Yoon betrayed me a long time ago, I will betray him also.
The red guard comes up to him and bows.
NOKDU AND DONGJU
Elsewhere in the palace, Nokdu asks Dongju if her wrist is fine? She says it is okay. Then she is about to tell Nokdu something but says that she won’t be able to go home from today. he asks why she keeps telling him that and says that he can come there. Good bye, see you tomorrow. He happily messes her hair and heads off.
She looks at her flower ring and then heads inside the palace again.
Nokdu goes to meet with Ssook and tells her that she heard abotu Heo Yoon right? What are you going to do about it? She says that she is thinking about what to do. He puts his hand out to shake hers and says that they should help each other.
Cut to Heo Yoon’s guard telling Yoon jeo that the King killed him himself and put his dead body out like that. How can he do that? Yoon Jeo tells him that he has to go to the palace.
The guard says that they should go together. It is dangerous. But Yoon jeo wants to go with him. he wants to get his masters body. he says that he was about to die of a fever when he was young. A slave boy whose mother even gave up on him. My master took me to a doctor and saved my life. I woke up from the fever and felt like I became a real human being. I became a human being because of my master, so I should go there. I am sorry that I could not protect you until the end.
The Kings eunuch tells the King to drink with Nokdu (but he says his rank). The King asks if he pities him? The eunuch says it is not that. The King tells him, okay, call him.
Elsewhere near the palace, the guard finds Heo Yoon’s body among a lot of other bodies. He has a tearful reunion. But then he gets a sword put on his neck by a mystery person.
At another gate, a person sneaks out. The Kings person sees this.
Back with the guard, we fin out that the person with the sword is Yool Moo’s assassin. he asks where Yoon jeo is. The guard says that he ran away, don’t look for him. The assassin cuts him and says that he will cut his neck next. Tell me.
The guard says that he will kill him anyway. I will not do what you want. My master is here, I have a long time. He holds the sword and says that he came here to go to the other world with him. He pulls the sword into his own body and dies next to his master.
The queen meets with Yoon Jeo behind a screen. She asks, you were alive? They are sitting in a room together. Yoon tells her that 20 years ago, do you remember that I buried your son? She says yes, and you fell~. he says that he did not die that day, and he is not the only one that survived.
She asks, what are you~. He says that the Kings son is still alive, Queen. He bows to her.
Cut to Nokdu leaving the palace.
The Queen starts to hyperventalate. Yoon bows and pleads with her to protect him. She asks, what do you mean Protect him? Where is he! She crawls to the other side and asks, where is her?
Yoon tells her that she has to protect him from the King! She screams, where is he! I will protect him with everything that I have! Tell me, please!
Then the King comes in and sees the two of them together.
In the palace, Dongju looks at the dungeon gatees, she has her arrow and is about to go inside.
The King gets back to the palace. Yoon is arrested. The Queen runs in and screams, YOUR HIGHNESS!
She trips as she runs past Nokdu, he grabs ahold of her. They look at each other as if they feel something.
String music starts to play that give me chills.
A guard yells, Who is there! He runs up and puts a sword to Dongju’s throat. The King walks up on her right then looking very menacing. But he kind of softens when he sees her.
She whispers, detective?
He looks at her sternly.
The Queen continues running through the gates and calling, Your Highness.
Nokdu sees that she dropped something and picks it up. It is the broken jewelry piece that she keeps on her garment.
He grips it tightly and turns to walk back inside the palace.
Agh!!!!!!! This show is SO GOOD! It has hoped right back up there to the top of the list. How can they give me chills with so many of the episodes! I love this string song that plays when some serious stuff is about to happen and must have it in my life whenever it is released.
Everything was set up so well, all the key players are in the city, (even the Ajumma Avengers!) and this writer managed to have all the main players in dramatic situations in the palace all at the same time! that is some amazing storytelling right there, I am just clapping my praises over here as I wait un-patiently for the next episode. LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH.
YM – You could have been dead last night.
DJ – I tried to kill someone so how can I expect to live
YM – Does that guy know about how you live?
DJ – Wait
DJ – Is this yours?
Queen – Can you find one thing?
DJ – That jewel, where did you get it?
ND – The only thing you enjoy in Hanyang is the swing.
DJ – You are a country boy from an island
ND – you should have seen me surfing a big wave
DJ – Would you like to go there now to see the ocean?
Please translate this also
We will try and get to the preview today!
Waiting for 8 th part
Here is the Youtube clip for 23-24 preview
In need of translation😸
Thank you! We will try and get to it!
Omg! Im so confused now about the Kings personality. So was he really an evil selfish king? Like he doesnt want his baby son (Nokdu) to hecome a king so thats why he wants him dead? But why does he looked like he feels so guilty about ordering his death, like he really doesnt want him to die?
And by the way V, i cant help but laugh how you described those 3 widows as “ajumma avengers” …thats gold!! 😆😆😆😆
Thanks again V for the recap! ☺
I completely agree. The King is so sweet during his night time adventures, it’s really hard to imagine doing a ” jekyll and hyde” switch unless he had more than one personality or mental health challenge. It doesn’t add up for me why he would be so extreme.
I think this King is based on a real life Joseon King that had a Jekyll and Hyde quality to him!
Oh really? There was a Joseon king like that? Didnt know that. He was so sweet and kind and gentle and adorable with Nokdu and Dongju it changed so fast and quick during the torture and the interogation. What im also confused about is that, was he looking for Nokdu coz he wants to make sure that he’s really dead? Or he was remorseful and wanted a second chance if he is still alive. This king is driving me nuts! Its hard to decipher his personality like he’s bipolar or something 😖
I could be completely wrong, but I think there is a King like that. Or maybe it was a prince? I really want the King to end up being good because it all was a big misunderstanding.
I love the ajumma avengers so much! 😁
I think the King is pretty selfish with his Kinghood and has anger/rage issues which is why he makes passionate decisions and then regrets them afterwards!
I can’t decide if I like the king or not though!? He’s so normal when he’s with Nokdu, not as the king, but undercover.
And the poor poor queen! She’s gonna have a big role in the future episodes I’m sure. But imagine finding out your son is still alive after 20 years 😱
This is one of the best shows I’ve seen this year so far! Go Go Squid was my top this year- but man this is getting right up there. This show does not play though- they have no problems killing people off 😑
I can’t believe how amazing you are! This was up so fast!! I’ve already watched these two episodes and now I gotta wait another 6 days for more 😭😭😭
I’m already worried about the ending.
Based on the real story of king kwanghee and king injo (yolmoo) , yoolmo would be successful and detrone the king.
also king kwanghee son and her wife didn’t have good ending after riot. I would prepare it if the writer had not give the characters real identities and they all remain fictional. I really want a happy ending for nok du.the scenes which he looks at his mother and the king are really heartbroken. I hope he can live with them and doong ju happily after all this sad times
I know, I’m worried also. In the opening credits it does state that ‘…all characters, organisations, places and incidents in this drama are fictitious…’ however writer has used real names from history for King and his nephew so not sure where the drama is going. I want a fictional happy ending, not the historical one!!! Don’t want Yol Moo to become King.
King Injo in history was a pretty lame King woth no real power, so that’s the only solace if Yol Moo is supposed to be that King in the drama.
Right! I hope they share only the name as inspiration and not the actual story of the real people.