Home > The Tale of Nokdu > The Tale of Nokdu: Episode 3 (5-6) Live Recap

The Tale of Nokdu: Episode 3 (5-6) Live Recap

Recap 3 (5-6) The Tale of Nokdu
Episode 3 (5-6) Recap The Tale of Nokdu, image Hancinema

In the last episode, Nokdu was racked (hit in the family jewels) on accident by Dongju which led to a squeal and girly gasp of “OMO” as he tried to fix the situation. But, honey child, Dongju ain’t no spring chicken, and the way she looked at her hand makes me think that she felt all she needed to feel in that situation. We are a little late posting this today, but definitely ready to start recapping it!

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Caution: Be wary of typos

Shorthand Character Chart: Coming Soon!

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: starting soon….check Twitter for updates!




The assassin ladies walk in the woods with the women in white and go to their temple high on a mountain top. Inside, we see that these women are actually men in white who are all about to have a meeting. But then there is something going on outside, so they pause for a moment. One man says he will find everything out, the leader says no, he will go find it out.

In the gisaeng house, we hear the mans voice of “UGH!” and cut to the inside of the room where Dong-ju holds up scissors and says that she is going to kill him. He Nokdu tries to fake the ladies voice again but the struggle is already underway as he tries to keep her quiet and she is all like, I am not going to let you go!

Outside, the people have come to the door and opened it. They see Dongju and Nokdu sitting, though Nokdu’s back is to them. We also see that Nokdu’s lipstick is all messed up. So they play it off by saying that Nokdu is putting lipstick on her. She starts to pretend to do that.

They ask about the mans voice so Nokdu motions for Dongju to scream like a man so she does and says that her ear was accidentally cut! They are all like, huh, you screamed like that? They both nod and then start to walk out. The three who came to the room look on dumbfounded.


They walk ouside where they get far enough away for Dongju to  push Nokdu against the wall to interrogate him. He had mentioned that he rescued her in Hangyan (Seoul) when she was dressed like a man. She is all like, ah, but then she asks if he followed her here! He says no, he was doing something else and saw her.

She looks like she wants to take him out, but then she has to pretend like they are friends when a group of people walk by them.


the King walks around the palace and is told that there is an island with only women, by one of his guards. The King questions this, but hen he sees his “mother” who is probably one of his fathers wifes. The prince is his brother and is walking aorund with her. But they both look afraid of him.

The King is pleasant to them and tells the little prince to be careful, don’t get cold. All the bad luck comes at one time. The mother holds her son close and walks away quickly with him.

In the woods, Heo Yoon talks with one of the assassins and the gisaeng to ask if she really saw a man? The assassin says that she did. Heo Yoon tells Cheon to be careful of people sneaking in and hen goes back to his meeting.

In the meeting, he tells the men that nothing happened and starts to talk about the Kings insecurity and how it is getting bigger against the prince. He is killing all the people around the young prince. they can also be one of those people. Heo Yoon says he wants to wait until the prince gets bigger. But he wants to have the coup earlier.


In the bedroom, Dongju has noku at scissor point as he kneels and casually asks him all the questions. Like, are you waiting for your lover widow? Like this? Why do you have to be like this? He says that his lady bcame a widow and the family wanted her to commit suicide to get the Yulyeo award (an award to widows who do not get married again or commit suicide after the husband dies). So he says that they tried to run away, but they got separated and there were too many guys….*snif*.

Dongju asks when she is going to come back? He says in only a few days! I will see her! Dongju sighs and says that she was about to call this dirty jerk, eunnie. He says calling her a dirty jerk is too much, I did take care of you.

She thinks back to him scratching her back, then she starts to hit him. he quickly says that she is the one that asked him to do it. Sorry of everything! In a few days I will dissapear like smoke!

He says he will sleep outside, but seh says no, you have to sleep here! He says he loves his wife to be, but she says that he can never think of disappearing in front of her what if people find out! Never ever think about leaving my site.

He asks if this means they will sleep in the same room? Cut to her sleeping in the hallway and him sleeping in the room. He sees that she is sleeping and tries to leave, but she wakes up and puts the scissors to his balls and says that he is a super pervert right? He wants to use the restroom, so she cuts his dress which makes him hurry back inside.

Inside, he tries to devise another plan to sneak out and pokes a hole in the door so he can at least look out. She pocks his eye with her finger which sends him hopping back. He asks if she sleeps? She says that she does not! I will be here all night!


Cut to the morning where Dongju is very much so sleeping. She hops up and realizes that he might be gone! So she looks inside and indeed he has disappeared.

Nokdu goes to to the temple in the mountains to inspect it, all the while thinking that a group of men came here. He walks around the room (still dressed as a woman) and wonders if there is a big plan going on. But he wonders why it is his family.

Cut to the assassins talking about how they don’t normally kill innocent family members, but their boss gave them that order. Nokdu continues to walk around the village and thinks that he neds to know who the boss is and the other guys, so he needs to be closer to those other women. He wraps his shall and walks up to a group of ladies.

In this group, a gisaeng tells the ladies about a guy that was kicked out of the widow village and how they will have a lot of drawings of him around. Dongju catches up to him and pulls him away so Nokdu has to tell everyone that she takes care of her so well, hmm hmm.


Dongju pulls him back to their room and gives him miyukguk (sea weed soup). He says that today is his birthday, so this is perfect. He starts to eat it and they start tobicker back and forth about birthdays and seaweed soup and pretending like you are a woman and hitting on the gisaeng. He says he did not. She asks if his widow knows that he is a pervert?

He bickers that he is not! We were just talking! And my widow is  not that sarcastic like someone! But then a little girl comes in so the two pretend like they are the best of friends and are feeding each other. The little girl tells Dongju that practice has started so Dongju gets ready and heads out.

Nokdu tries to tell Dongju to trust him, he can help her. But Dongju basically tells him to stay away from her and let her do her thing. So she goes to practice the gisaeng dance with the knives that they use. it is a knife dance. But Dongju is horrible at it.

Cheon tells Dongju to stop, because it is hard to watch, and tries to give her some guidance. Nokdu giggles at this and then uses this as a chance to poke around. He peeks inside and sees some ladies talking about a pervert and how he looked familiar. 

Cut to Dongju saying that he saw that man and fought with him, that is how he got this big cut on his arm. All the ladies are surrounding him as he tells the story of having to defend himself from this pervert guy. I had to Judo throw him! He had a knife and tried to threaten me! 

An imaginary scene plays with this knife man fighting Nokdu. He says that it was embarrassing but he ran away to the next town. The assassin lady pulls out a drawing and asks if this is that man? Nokdu says yes! It is him. The avengers also say that is that jerk! Nokdu mentions that he was a bit more handsome than that and then asks for ink and pen.

Elsewhere, Dongju’s gisaneg friend happily comes up to her and gives her a comb. It seems like Dongju collects them. So she thanks her and they walk off happily as the friend asks why she collects this.

Meanwhile, Nokdu draws what this man looks like and mentions that he has a cut above his eye so it will be easy to recognize him with this big wound. The avengers say that they will got o the next town to look for him. They also tells Nokdu to stay here, it is too dangerous! The toughest Avenger holds Nokdu by the shoulder and tells her to join their patrol team and protect the town! She gives her a big hug of acceptance and everyone cheers.

Nokdu tries to tell them that he likes it like it is now, I am actually okay…but they have already decided and walked away.

Nokdu walks away with a few women as well who all talk to her about being so brave and how she was able to do this. Nokdu says that she has brothers. She tells her that she is also good at chopping wood, lets go do that. Some of the assassins go to help chop the wood and the other assassins go to the next village.

In her secret cave place, Dongju has all the cosmetics and combs that she is collecting. She also has a bow and arrow that she fashioned herself. She starts to practice shooting the bow and arrow at a tree and thinks that this will be the last chance she will have to do this. But she needs something besides a bow and arrow.



Nokdu chops the wood very well, which impresses the ladies. He says that he can chop another tree over there. They nod and then go talk about how they have something to do tomorrow. Some kind of plan.

Nokdu listens for a second and then heads off to chop some more trees up. But, in doing it, he accidentally rips the back of his dress revealing his back and then he steps on it and rips off the skirt part revealing his stomach. This is a disaster. So he tries to find a way to hide everything or possibly dig a literal hole for himself to hide when Dongju walks up on him.

He pleads with her for her help. She enjoys a good laugh and then pulls him to run away to get away from the ladies looking for him. Nokdu pulls him all the way to the creek where they jump in straight away.

The ladies all come up on them and are all like, um, what are y’all doing? Dongju tells them that they decided to take a bath together to cool off. they have taken baths together before, she is good at scrubbing my back! he ladies believe them and then head out.

Later on, Nokdu and Dongju get out of the water and start to dry off on a rock. He asks her if she is there to practice dancing? She kind of stutters that she is. So he mentions that she needs a lot of practice. She throws her fan at him. So he holds the fan and wonders if this is so difficult.

He gets up to try and do it. She thinks that he won’t do any motion properly, if he does, then she is his daughter. So he starts to do the motions and it all looks beautiful. Dongju is amazed as he smiles at her and calls her daughter.

She is all like um, when did you learn to dance. He says he saw it and now he can do it, everyone is like that right? She is all like, you saw it once and you can do it? I thought I hated you before, but I really hate you now.

He pulls her up and starts to show her how to do the dance. He tells her just how to pop the fan and how to keep her fingers straight and how to hold the fan and rotate it and all those things. it is a lovely scene with a gorgeous background. Dongju is also a bit taken by Nokdu and tries to play it off. He is a bit clueless.

He keeps helping her until she trips doing one of the spins, so he quickly holds her to keep her from falling and she falls into a dip.



We open right at that dip. Nokdu tells her, hey, I am being serious. *smile* lets find another way (ie. you are not good at dancing). She pushes him off. He says that being a gisaeng is nor for her. She tells him that she does not want to be a gisaeng. Life is just something where you can’t avoid something that you don’t want to do.

He apologizes for not being considerate. She tells him its okay, maybe you area  lucky slave that does not have to do anything you don’t want to do because of your widow. He scoffs and says that he couldn’t do anything he wanted to do or didn’t want to do. He doesn’t want to live his life like that anymore. So he will do things he wants todo and things he doesn’t want to do, just like someone. Then he tells her that it should be difficult for her to survive by doing things she does not want to do.

She looks at him softly yet cautiously which makes him wonder if he is handsome? She tells him that his clothes are dry so let’s go. She takes off with him calling after her that they should go together.

They walk back to the gisaeng house and pass by Yoolmoo who asks if they went to the widow town? She passes him by. So Nokdu tells him that they jumped in the water. Yool-moo thinks that she is so cute. Yool-moo says that Nokdu should have let her have the coat so she isn’t cold. Nokdu is all like, um, I jumped in the water too. So he apologizes and gives Nokdu something then runs up to talk to DOngju.

She knows that he is about to give her so she says not to take it out. He tells her to just enjoy it. So she opens it and sees that it is a lot of candy. Dongju then tells Nokdu that this is for her birthday, he gave it to me for your birthday. Yool-moo is all like, ah, man. Nokdu happily takes the candy and eats it.


The King meets with a lovely woman, maybe his wife, outside to eat on a pergola. She tells him that she knew she was pregnant when she followed him after the war. She couldn’t eat anything and the candy is the only thing she could eat. Do you remember? The King says that she talks about it every year so of course he remembers. 

She wonders if he would like this candy (it is the same candy that Nokdu is eating earlier). The King tells her to stop talking about him, he is dead. She says that she is his mother, why can’t she talk about him, he is our son, can’t I just miss him? The King gets angry and leaves. He sees Heo Yoon on the way out.

One of the candies fall and rolls which sends us to Nokdu grabbing a rolled piece of the same candy on the floor and eating it like he follows the 3 second rule. Dongju and Yool-moo look at him like, I can’t believe you did that. They keep walking off together and we see two men looking at them in the near distance.


Meanwhile, Nokdu’s serrogate father is in a village and trying to find Nokdu. The master tells him not to, he will not come back. He can protect himself. But you will see a tiger if you go to Seoul this late, so let’s go back to the room unless you want to be a tigers food, so lets go back.

In the gisaeng room, Dongju has manufactured a rope tie around Nokdu’s wrist to keep him in the room. They talk from their different sides of the door about whether he misses his widow. He says that he does, he loves her and misses her. But Nokdu is looking at Dongju’s silhouette as he says this. He tells her to turn off the light to not waste her sleep.


The next morning, he left her a letter saying that he is going to the liquor place. She reads it when the man who crushes on Nokdu walks up and asks if the widow I there? Dongju says she went to the widow town.

Cut to Nokdu helping out in the alcohol room. While helping out, she finds all the assassin uniforms. One of the assassins if kind of still suspicious of her and asks her why she is in a certain room. Nokdu plays it off by saying that she is in the wrong room and then asks if they pay for doing this kind of work? The woman says yes.

In another room, one of the other assassins looks at the two drawings of the man she is looking for. She also looks suspicious.

Elsewhere, Dongju is sitting and thinking about Nokdu when she decides to run away to find him. She sees him catch someone who fell, just like he caught Nokdu. The lady is all flushed and says that it would be great if she was a man.

Meanwhile, one of the assassins asks the Gisaengs where Donju’s room is. They point her in the right direction.

Cut to Dongju in the room with Nokdu. They talk quietly about how he should not walk around like this, he should hide quietly until his widow comes. She tells him that he should not jump on any woman here, she heard that about him. He asks if she thinks like that?

The assassin walks around the corner and is listening.

Dongju says that she does not think like that, but if they find him then they will think like that. The assassin hears the conversation and remembers the voice of the man who fought her. But instead of going into the room, she thinks that she needs backup.

Nokdu and Dongju walk out. She asks him where he is going? He says it does not matter. She tells him to wait and starts to dress his knife wound on his wrist. Then she tells him to leave and quickly walks away herself.

Meanwhile, we see the assassin running to tell her people, but then a sword is pulled on her in the woods. She cautiously looks at who pulled it on her.

In another place, we see a candle lit as the three other assassins wonder why the 4th assassin is not coming. They decide that they can start without her.


They start the meeting and say that this man is the one that they need to assassinate tonight, but he is in the middle of Seoul, so they cannot send too many people. One of us should go. The woman says that the yeolyo award is nothing, how can that man kill his daughter that gave birth to his grandson? 

They go to get the clothing in the other room, but that is the room that Nokdu is hiding in! So when they open the door, Nokdu falls out and screams a very girly “Ahhh!”

Cut to the bad guy showing up for Dongju. He talks to Cheon about taking her with him. He heard that Dongju is old enough to sleep with men now. he is sorry for the las thing he did and will follow the custom.

Cheon tries to say that she is  not ready. The man throws his water and breaks his cup, which cuts Cheons face. He berates her and says that he is the noble who will take her with him. She asks, what if I dont send her with you? He tells her that she will have to closed her store and everyone will become a slave and he will send them to Jeju island. Everyone dies on the way over, you know. It is so hard to cross that sea. Then Nokdu shows up.

In the assassin room, Nokdu is held at sword point as they ask him what he heard. he says he heard that they are going to kill someone. They apologize to him as it looks like they might kill him. But he just asks if he can do that kind of work as well.

In the gisaeng house, Cheon tells her that she needs to run away now. The man leaves. Dongju tells her that she is thankful to what she has done for her since that day. the man comes back in with a sword and tells her, are you leaving or not? She tells him no, no gisaeng sleeps with her first man like this. She will get dressed and do it properly.

He says that he likes her more now, so send her to me tonight. Then he cackles as he walks off. Dongju falls on the floor.

In the assassin house, the ladies discuss what they should do, should they listen to her? They go back to her and asks if she is crazy? Do you really think you can kill that guy? Nokdu says that she does not make much money working here, Killing someone pays better.

They ask if she is going to run away? She says that they would not let her run away. So they ask her if she has ever killed someone? Nokdu says that she has seen people die and she took care of her parents. She needs to help them.


Dongju’s friend cries as she prepares everything for Dongju for the night. Dongju tells her not to look like that. She then shows her a little knife and says that she will not die easily, she is leaving. The friend asks if the widow knows about it? Dongju says no, she left. The friend is a bit shocked and asks, this late? Dongju nods and says, I sent her off this late.

With the assassins, Nokdu is told that he can kill this person, but if she fails, she will need to kill herself. Nokdu heads out with the location and information on the person.

While walking away, he sees the friend and Cheon sending off Dongju as if she will die. Every person they send off with that man dies, so they feel that the same can happen to her. Nokdu sees all of this and remembers Dongju not wanting to be a gisaeng.

Dongju gets inside the carrier as her friend cries. The door is closed. Nokdu looks on and thinks.

Cut to Dongju getting to the house of the man. She goes inside the room and sees him standing with his back to her behind a red screen. Dongju closes the door and then walks to the man with her head bowed. 

DJ – I am DOngju from the gisaeng house

The man walks around the red screen, we only see his feet and his hands. Dongju is about to grab her knife to kill him or herself. He touches her chin and pulls it up to him. She is all like, what???

Nokdu is in front of her, smiling. Cute music starts to play like it is like a John Hughes movie.

ND – it looks like you are welcoming me or hating me

DJ – Why are you here?

ND – I need to tell you something.

DJ – In this situation?

ND – The right thing to say in this situation

DJ – What is that?

ND – Well, it is…from now on…I am your  – mom.

DJ – You are my what?

He steps closer

ND – Oh-mo-ni (Mother)

Fade Out


Loved this episode so much! I had to run off so I couldn’t write too much, but just know that I loved it and want to see more of it! That ending part really reminded me of the ending to 16 Candles. I know! They are two very different stories! But still, I got those same feels! Wonderful wonderful episode.

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  1. Rei
    October 7, 2019 / 1:32 pm

    Oooh I cant wait for your recap!
    Flower crew Joseon and nokdu are my favorite shows now

    • V
      October 7, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      Nokdu is stating to head to the top of my list!

  2. Table122000
    October 7, 2019 / 10:12 pm

    The episode was too cute! I’m falling for Nokdu myself-how can I resist someone who loves sweets (just like I do! 🙂
    First it was the shaved ice and now the candy. Omo! Nokdu is the king’s son? Can’t wait for the next episode.

    • V
      October 7, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      His sweet tooth is adorable 😋

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