Alright, let’s see if The Tale of Nokdu is going to go the same route as all the other dramas this year or if they will deliver a satisfying ending. Will our duo get to their beach? Let them go to the beach! This drama has been worth the watch so far, so hopefully the ending will be enjoyable, though my hopes are middling at this point. I’m trying to save myself from any future pain, y’all!
Looking for another romance to watch? Check out or list of 31 Free Romances to Stream on On Demand Korea right now!
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 8:00 CST….check Twitter for updates!
KOREAN DRAMA THE TALE OF NOKDU EPISODE 16 (31 & 32) RECAP
Yool Moo takes the King to his throne. The King tells him, whatever it takes, we shuold catch him. Yool Moo says yes, your highness. The King looks up at Yool Moo as if he is thinking something then tells him, no, I will do it myself.
He pulls his hand away from Yool Moo and storms out. Yool Moo follows briefly, but takes on last turn to look at the throne.
Meanwhile, Nokdu is being helped out by Dongju and his brother. They meet Master Hwang who fills them in on what is happening. Nokdu tells him to take Dongju and Hyung, I have somewhere to do.
He lets go of Dongju’s hand, but Dongju tells him that they can go together. So they both go to see the Queen. She is worried, but Nokdu tells her that he is okay. You should go outside the palace, the King came back.
She asks, how? Are you being chased? Nokdu says yes. The Queen tells him that they have a secret door to the outside. she asks her maid to lead them there. Nokdu tells her, mother you should come. But she stops and holds his hand. They both look at each other.
Elsewhere, the King tells one of his guards that he knows where Nokdu is hiding. Lets go.
With the Queen, Nokdu asks what she is talking about, how can you not come with us? The Queen tells him that the King will not be able to kill me because I will be the only one next to him.
Nokdu asks, what about me? I finally met my mother. She says that she also does not want to let him go. But I am the mother of the country. Even though my husband is not a good King, he is still the King. If I am not with him then he will be destroyed by all those bad people. It should not happen.
She embraces Nokdu and tells him, whatever other people say, now that you are my son, my precious son. Forget about all the pain and go far far away and be happy. Can you do that?
He tearfully nods. She tells him that they will see each other so you should survive.
The maid tells them that they need to hurry off. the Queen and Nokdu hold on to each other for as long as possible as Nokdu walks away from her until only their fingers are touching.
The Queen then turns around and sees the King come up wit hallhis guards and Yool Moo by his side. The King tells hr that she is not the only one that knows about this place. It is the place you stayed when you were a princess. Where is he?
She asks him how long he is going to behave worse than an animal? then she grabs his sword and tells him, if anyone moves, I am going to kill myself. If you want to kill me as well, then do it! Kill me! And kill your son!
Meanwhile, the maid hurries Nokdu and Dongju out. She tells them to please leave this way and think about the Queen. The Queen thought that staying here is he only way to protect you two. Be safe. She bows and heads off.
Dongju holds Nokdu’s hand reassuringly and looks at him warmly then nods that it is time to go. they both head out of the back gate.
Yoon Jeo is passed out in a boat as Hwangtae, Master hwang, and everyone wait on Nokdu. Yeon Geun is there as well as well as the female assassins and the ajumma avengers. Hwangta tells them that they need to leave and go their separate ways, they can meet Nokdu soon.
The ajumma avengers are holding Aengdoo and hop inside the boat so that they can protect them. So they decide to stay together. Yeon Geum stays behind though it looks like he wnats to join them. We aren’t sure if he will join them or not. Master hwang tells him to hurry and join them.
Dongju and Jonkdu are in a hideout shack somewhere. He is bleeding a lot. She is dressing his wounds. He tells her that it is okay. She asks what there is to be okay about. Why do you always say that? So he belaboredly tells her that he is not okay. It hurts so much, I feel like I am dying. He looks pretty worse for wear.
She rests her head on his chest. He tells her that she should have hugged him like this before, I feel good now. She tells him not to go to sleep. He says that he will not go to sleep. He will talk to her. She asks, what talk?
He tells her, when did you start to like me? She looks at him with teary eyes and tells him that now is not the time to talk about that. He asks her, did you start to love me from the widow town? She nods and touches his cheek and asks, why do I like someone that wears woman’s clothing.
He tells her, if we go back then will you not like me? He slowly falls to sleep.
In the woods, Yool Moo and his group see blood drops and starts to head out.
In the shack, Dongju hugs Nokduu closely to her and tells him, if we go back to where we first met. I would drag you even if I had to hit you. So you won’t know who you are or who I am. I would run away to a place that no one but you and I know about. Are you listening to me?
She starts to cry more and says his name over and over again as sheh holds him. Hwang comes in and runs to Nokdu’s side.
In the woods, Yool Moo and team are still looking for Nokdu and everyone.
Hwang has put Nokdu on hisback and is carryingn him out. Nokdu is still passed out. Dongju asks him what is happening. Hwang tells her that they need to follow the river and see the ship that he has docked there. You take Nokdu there and I will lead them away. Hide right here for now.
Dongju looks over the rock they are hiding behind and sees Yool Moo. She grabs her crossbow, there is one arrow left.
Hwang tells Dongju that he is not sure if he should ask her this, but when you see Aengdoo…
Dongju tells him, no, we can’t make it with Nokdu. They will catch us. You know you can’t fight them alone. We will all die. I will go there to survive.
She turns to Nnokdu and tells Hwang to please save him. then she hurries off.
She steps in front of Yool Moo holding Nokdu’s things. She tells him that he id dead. YoolMoo asks if she is buying time with this? She asks him to just make it that he died while he was chasing him? Yool Moo starts to walk past her.
She holds his hand and says that if he does this then I wills tay next to you. He asks, do you know what that means if yous tay next to me? I will not send you anywhere and keep you in the house forever. She says that she does not care, do it.
So he turns and walks back to his guards and tells them that he is not this way. Lets go. He keeps walking off. Dongju looks behind at where Nokdu and Hwang were hiding.
Yool Moo continues to walk off to the city.
In the palace, Yool Moo shows the King a body and says that they found him in the river. The King asks if he was stabbed and fell in the water? Yool Moo sys yes. The King is happy that he at least brought him to me.
But the body was int he water for a few days, so he is not recognizable. The King sys that he does not have to see him and then turns to Yool Moo and tells him that he would not lie to him anyway.
Yool Moo leaves and goes to a building. Someone is looking at them in the near distance.
Inside, Dongju sits and reads. Yool Moo presents her with popingsu to eat. He asks her if she would like to try it? You dont’ have to.
She tries some. He asks her if it is okay? She tells him it is. So he smiles.
Then he touches her lightly on her cheek. She turns her head to him and he removes his hand and tells her that she said she can do anything? She telsl him yes. So he tells her that he will wait for her, please give me your heart. I was lying when I said that I don’t need your heart. Whatever it takes, can you come to me, truly? That is all I want.
She tells him that she can promise a lie to him, I can do it. But you and I know each other. The heart and love cannot change with effort.
Yool Moo is lost for words.
Outside, guards are carrying the body away. The Queen stops them and looks at the body and then tells them to leave.
In her room, Dongju lays awake. Then Yool Moo announces himself and steps inside. He pulls the covers over her a bit more and blows out the light. The room grows dark.
Dongju wakes up and looks at the light. This makes her think about Nokdu keeping the room bright for her while she sleeps. she starts to cry.
Yool Moo hears her crying as he walks away. He thinks about going back to her room, but stops himself and slowly walks away.
Dongju tries to go to sleep. But then the light turns back on in the room. She sits up and sees Nokdu lighting the candle. He smiles at her and is dressed in all black.
She looks at him painfully and with disbelief. He asks, what are you doing in the dark without a light? She asks, you are alive? You are alive? He says of course, I promised you I would come back.
She quickly hugs him. He tells her that he is sorry he is late.
Yool Moo walks through his courtyard and then feels something, so he goes back to Dongju’s room and sees that she is gone. He remembers her tellingn him that a true heart and love cannot be changed by trying hard.
He sees the light on in the room. His guards ask if they should follow? He tells them no, stop.
Cut to Nokdu and Dongju happily running away through a tall reed field hand in hand.
END PART ONE
Cut to a woman running through the woods. She is being followed by someone. She crouches as the men catch up to her. One of them in a noble. He tells her, how can my daughter in law be so fast. You killed my son. How come you dont’ just do as I told you!
He tries to remove her coat as she is hding under it. But she hits him. It makes his nose bleed so he yells, how dare you! Then he yanks her coat off.
But it is Nokdu underneath. The noble is stunned, um, you aren’t my daughter in law. Nokdu motions for him to give his jacket back. The noble asks who are you? Nokdu is still dressed like a woman.
Nokdu punches him across the face.
Then we see Nokdu walking with the assassin women and the woman that was running away. The assassin ladies says that it is good that Nokdu is paying them back, but I think he is also having fun punching father-in-laws.
Ssook tells them that they can let him have his fun. Nokdu tells the widow that she can have a room in their town. She tells them that she will never forget their favor.
Nokdu bows and then tells them, see you at the wedding. They tell him that they will go together, why not? He tells them, no!
Cut to Dongju sitting with the ajumma avengers. Dongju says that she misses him. They tell her that it has only been 3 days. There was a big wave so the ship did not leave. He will be here.
They make fun of her and says that she always does this when he does not come. But then she sees men coming from the river and runs off as she yells, he is coming!
All the people walking up the river think, Nokdu must be here.
Then we see Nokdu tying up the boat. A lot of people are on the island at the coast. Dongju runs up to Nokdu and he picks her up and swings her around. they peck over and over again as he holds her high in his arms. They keep kissing as he carries her away.
Everyone watches this. the assassin ladies says that they will kill them. Ssook sighs and says that this is her karma.
Inside the house, Nokdu presents Dongju with a few things he bought for her. there are ornaments and rings. She asks why he bought all these expensive things? He says that he wanted to buy her something nice. So they bicker about how much it costs. he says that you only marry once, so that is why I am spending money.
She pulls out all the things that he has bought for her and sighs about all the money they are spending for the wedding. They keep bickering. She pushes him and tells him that people are preparing for the wedding, go help them. He sighs and leaves. She sighs and shakes her head.
Nokdu goes outside to sit and help with wedding things. He holds the jewel rings and wonder why she is so angry. Yeon Geun is also there talking about his woman and why she is mad at him? I came here all he way because of her. If I did not fall in love with her sparkly pretty eyes then this would not happen.
Then Bok-nyeo comes up and looks at him angrily. She tells him that they can talk at home! I will count to 3. He says, 1-2-3 I am here. So they both smile and she starts to carry him away.
Nokdu wonders what thhey are both doing. Then he sits with his brother who asks if Dongju is mad at hime again? Nokdu says that he is the one that was mad at her and came outside! His brother smiles and says that he is happy that they are lviing like this now.
Nokdu says that he is happy they are like this as well. he is thankful to him and father. The brother asks if he would rather not get married and live with them like before? Nokdu tells his brother to get married. What about Mal-yeon or Ssook? His brother looka t them both and blushes. Nokdu thinks that he likes Ssook and starts to pester hima bout it as his brother walks away.
Than night, Dongju goes to sleep without the light on. Nokdu comes in and smiles as he sees he sleeping well without the light. He chuckles lightly and starts to prepare for bed.
He tucks her sprawled body under the covers once again and lays next to her. He tucks his arm under her neck and happily pecks her on the face. She curls closer to him and they both sleep happily like that.
Dongju gets ready for the wedding. She is wearing a white dress. In a room, Mal-nyeon and Aengdoo sit with her as she gets ready and talk about taking care of Nokdu. Aengdoo tells her that he is a good guy even though he is childish. Dongju tells her thank you.
In the wedding area, Nokdu stands at the alter and waits for Dongju to appear. But the wind is huge and keeps knocking over everything.
They straighten it all back up. Nokdu sighs at his luck. But then Dongju comes walking up looking beautiful with Aengdoo throwing flower petals as she walks to the alter with him. His smile is amazingly bright and cute.
They both look at each other and giggle. Master Hwang is the announcer saying all about the wedding and how to love each other and all that. But then the wind kicks back up and blows out a candle and the scrolls blows away so the master has to run after it.
Everyone starts to wonder if it is a bad day for the wedding? Yoon Jeo is there so they ask him to say something nice while they wait on Master Hwang to come back. So Yoon Jeo comes to the front and starts to say something.
But then we might cut to a long time later as YoonJeo is still talking about loving each other through all the hardships and have good days and bad days when it is windy and not windy and to rely on each other and I trust you gys and believe in you.
All the while the wind is kicking up and up and up until it knocks over the wedding items and Yoon Jeo right along with it. Everyone runs to help out. Aengdoo eats the food from the ground. Dongju starts to laugh. Everyone looks at each other and starts to laugh.
It is a happy laugh fest as everyone laughs. We also see the chickens wrapped in a scarf.
Master Hwang runs back up with the paper and happily joins the group.
SEA SIDE OVERLOOK
Later on, Dongju tells Nokdu to just be happy, she doesn’t care about the wedding and all that. He says that he just wanted her to have a happy memory. He wanted to give her the ring or tell her that they are husband and wife and can live happily ever after.
She tells him that they can do it here.
She goes to a group of flowers and pulls some off to make rings out of them.
She presents it to Nokdu
DJ – Nokdu, I dont’ think that our future will always be happy happy, we could have a big wind like today, maybe sometime I will want to cry. But with you (she puts the flower ring on his finger) I can do it happily. Whatever it may be.
Nokdu – Okay, I will do it also, Willingly and happily.
Dongju – I like flower rings the most
Nokdu – Well, I have something that I wanted to do at the wedding.
Dongju – What is that?
He pulls her close to him. They both look at each other and smile. She puts her arms around his shoulders and he puts his arms around her waist and they kiss like they really mean it.
Dongju wakes up the next morning and sees Nokdu writing at the table. She bundles up in the blanket and looks over his shoulder at what he is doing. He says that he is sending a letter to his mother saying that they got married.
They both happily smile as he continues to write the letter.
In the palace, we see the Queen reading the letter. She happily smiles and folds it and quickly burns it.
9 YEARS LATER
Yool Moo seizes the castle again. Men with torches walk through the palace until they hold swords to the Kings head.
Yool Moo steps up in front of the King who is at an outdoor gazebo eating. The King takes one last drink from his tea cup and looks at Yool Moo. Everyone leaves.
King – You came. I thought you were smarter than me. You are not. You came into this hell on your own.
YM – Why did you leave me alone?
King – If I did not leave you alone…did you want me to kill my innocent son twice?
YM – You know I was also born during the Japanese war. On the same day. That is the real day I was born. Like you son.
Flashback to that night. Another man heard the shamans declaration.
YM – If my father did not hear that, I would have been killed also. But I am alive like this. Just like the shaman said, I will be the King today. And you won’t die as King (or won’t be the King anymore).
King – Can I ask you a favor?
Cut to Yool Moo walking to the empty palace with two guards.
VO (King) – I will accept the death and my destiny also. If I have to fear for the rest of my life, then I will do it. I will take the burden alone. But, can you send the Queen out of the palace without anyone knowing it.
YM – I will do it.
King – It will be lonely. Lonely ….. and lonely.
In the present, Yool Moo walks to the throne. He stands in front of it and remembers what the King said.
VO – You will be lonely. Lonely….and lonely.
Yool Moo sit at the throne and smiles.
Cut to Yoon Jeo and Nokdu sitting together. Yoon Jeo just read a letter.
Yoon Jeo – Nokdu ya…
Nokdu – I don’t know how I should feel. Do I want to cry or not?
His father holds out his hand.
YJ – Come this way.
Nokdu leans forward and is pulled into a hug.
YJ – You can cry or not, that is all fine. I will do the same.
Nokdu buries his head into his fathers shoulder and cries. His father also releases a tear.
Nokdu and Dongju sit on the beach together.
DJ – Are you nervous?
ND – A little bit, what about you?
DJ – Very very much. I don’t know what she thinks about me. Will she like me?
ND – How can she not like you?
DJ – Of course, I am this pretty.
ND – You saved my life.
DJ – Whatever
ND – It is true! You said that you wanted to live with me happily and wait with me. What you said saved me many many times back then.
DJ – It is the same for me now also. I will live happily with you forever. If you have any difficulties, just come to me and cry. If you have anything happy, then we can smile together like right now.
Nokdu puts up his pinky to promise. They both lock their pinkies and smile.
Then they see a ship coming.
The Queen opens up her scarf on the ship and stands as it starts to go to the beach.
Nokdu and Dongju smile as they wait for her to come to shore and walk hand in hand to the water.
A lovely ending! What a lovely lovely ending. That is all that I ask for. Wrap up everything nicely and give us hope for a bright future with all the people we have fallen in love with over the course of this show. I love that the Queen got to live happily on this island with her son and that this island is a lovely picturesque heavenly spot for them all to live.
Somehow, everyone got what they wanted for this ending, except the King who did not die as King. But other than that, Nokdu and Dongju got a happy ending, the ajumma avengers got a happy ending, the lady assassins got a happy ending, Yoon yeo, Hwang-tae, Master Hwang and Aengdoo got a happy ending, even Yool Moo got a happy ending as King. Though it is a double edged sword for him which makes it a satisfying ending for us as well.
I have no complaints. Definitely a show to recommend!