Empress Ki: Eps 5-6

Run, run, and run. We’re all on the run!

Choice, truth, lies, betrayal, and revenge in the making. Just to  summarize this week’s episodes in few words.



Episode 5 begins with Seung-nyang waking up from her nap in the forest alone. She started running around, searching frantically for Ta-hwan, thinking that he might get caught by Yuan only to find him hanging upside down, having stepped on a trap set by the hunters. She decided to tie him to herself to prevent him from running away again and Ta-hwan kept complaining that going to the capital would be the end for him; however, Seung-nyang still thought that Wang Yoo, the only person she could trust, would be able to save them. Ta-hwan started throwing tantrums, refusing to move but the sight of a snake sent him running faster than Seung-nyang. Wang Go and Co. was presented with a sketch of Seung-nyang’s face by Byung-soo and he was surprised that Seung-nyang was the one who saved Ta-hwan. He ordered the sketch to be put up around the city and rewards offered to those who found her while the Yuan team started to search for them around the forest but thankfully, the rain halted their search. Seung-nyang reminded Ta-hwan, who kept thinking about his own comfort, to start thinking about the people who died because of him, while she’s secretly wishing that her father would hang on a little more until she reach the capital.



Yoo and his minions were in disguise and ran into Wang Go on their way to Daechung Island. They managed to avoid being recognized but saw Ki Ja-oh brought in a cage, hinting that something had gone wrong with the Crown Prince back on the island. Yoo decided to follow after Wang Go secretly. Byung-soo was so happy that he’s going to be appointed by Wang Go as his General but at the same time, the soldiers were being drugged by Moo-song and Jeombakyi for them to set Commander Ki free. However, they ran out of time and Commander Ki told Moo-song to find Seung-nyang and Ta-hwan first and leave him there. Wang Go returned to the place and ordered Byung-soo to make him blind and cut his tongue to make him unable to talk while keeping his alive. Byung-soo revealed his reason for betraying the country: because Goryeo betrayed him first by causing the death of his family members. Commander Ki tried to persuade him that Yuan was the root cause of it but to no avail.



Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang were still on the run and he suggested that they hid in the mountains for several months until he would become the emperor and promised to rewards her with something that Yoo couldn’t match with. She proceeded to gag him to prevent Ta-hwan from wasting his energy by talking. Dangkise and Co. were still searching around the forest, refusing to give up on finding those two. Yoo and Co. were also heading there and he found Seung-nyang’s arrow, giving him hope that she’s still alive. Seung-nyang tucked Ta-hwan to sleep using the dry leaves and her own outer shirt as his blanket to keep him warm, afraid that the soldiers would notice if she light up the fire. Ta-hwan asked how the people like Seung-nyang respected Yoo so much that they would sacrifice their own lives for him while his own people were trying to get rid of him. He wondered if there’s someone who would sacrifice his life for him. Seung-nyang kept thinking about her father but she soon realized that her wound from the arrow was getting worse. She tried to apply some leaves and suddenly, Ta-hwan jolted up when she was taking off her shirt. It turned out that he was sleep-talking, blabbering that he could be a great Emperor and would take revenge on Yeon-chul before falling back to sleep.



Dangkise and Co. found traces of Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang’s overnight stay, with Seung-nyang’s blood on the tree bark. Dangkise assumed that they won’t be able to move fast with her injury (and remarked how Seung-nyang’s steps and leaps were short like a woman’s) while Baek Ahn was nervous that Ta-hwan would be found soon. One of the hunter dogs used to track them found Seung-nyang and Ta-hwan but she managed to shoot it to death. Soon, the soldiers managed to track them and ran close behind them. Yoo and Co. were also there, looking for Seung-nyang. Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang ran towards a rocky cliff but he’s too afraid to jump to the other side. Dangkise found them and persuaded them to come towards them, but Ta-hwan decided to jump anyway, prompting more good points for him in Baek Ahn’s good book. Wang Yoo reached the other hand of the cliff and witnessed everything.  The soldiers shot arrows towards them, causing them to fall into the water. Both Yoo and Dangkise thought they had died and Yoo couldn’t hide his anger towards the Yuan any longer.



The young Emperor of Yuan had passed away and the Empress Dowager found out that Yeon-chul had went to Goryeo himself with the reason to escort the Crown Prince home but she knew that it wasn’t so. Seung-nyang dragged Ta-hwan out of the water and found him down with a fever and tried to heat him with her own body, pleading him to stay alive in order to save her father. Ta-hwan woke up to find Seung-nyang sleeping on top of him and his heart started to beat faster. She soon woke up and he pretended to sleep, witnessing Seung-nyang’s bound chest in the process. She wondered why he wasn’t breathing while his heart was beating so fast and tried to perform CPR but he jolted up to her surprise. She was happy to find him alive and hugged him. He wondered if her chest had been affected by the wound from the arrow but she assured him that everything was alright before leaving him alone, while Ta-hwan was confused with his faulty heart beating for Seung-nyang. LOL Seung-nyang, you caused two guys to question their sanity for falling for you!



Wang Go brought General Ki to meet Yoo to testify about the attack on the Crown Prince, but Ki couldn’t talk or see anymore, so Byung-soo provided his false statement. Yoo knew that the Yuan officials were behind this and Tapjahae’s wound from Ki’s bite proved that they met him before, but Yeon-chul arrived and proceeded to threaten Yoo and the safety of Goryeo’s people using Ta-hwan’s death. Taltal assumed that Yeon-chul came to Goryeo to make sure that Ta-hwan was dead, probably because the Emperor had died. Yoo was confined to his chamber and feeling frustrated with Yuan, he wanted to kill them with his own hands, but his underlings pleaded him not to do so, afraid that Goryeo people would bear more suffering from his action. He cried in frustration, unable to protect anything despite his position as a king. Seung-nyang and Ta-hwan reached the capital in disguise and saw her sketch around the place. She confirmed that Byung-soo was indeed the traitor. They took shelter in an abandoned shaman’s place (where people would avoid at any cost) and Seung-nyang suddenly passed out, her wound taking toll on her health.


Ta-hwan, feeling guilty for causing her to fall sick, ran out with Seung-nyang’s bow and arrows to find medicine for her. He found a drugstore and tried to trade in the bow but the doctor refused to accept anything except money, so Ta-hwan tricked him into accepting stones and ran away with the medicine. He was chased by the soldiers and ran into Jeombakyi, who recognized Seung-nyang’s bow. Jeombakyi helped Ta-hwan to escape the soldiers’ trail and found him afterwards. He got the doctor to treat Seung-nyang and the doctor told Jeombakyi that he never saw a woman endured such a severe wound like her, surprising the man. Ta-hwan chided himself for being selfish and expressed how she was his first protector and his only friend.



She woke up on the next morning and Jeombakyi told her about him knowing her true identity as a woman, but she pleaded him not to disclose the fact to anyone. She got to know that Yoo was being confined inside his own palace by the Yuan and decided to find a way to let Yoo know that Ta-hwan was safe. She got the idea to send Ta-hwan in a coffin and told him to disclose the fact that those soldiers who attacked him were from Yuan and not from Goryeo. She decided to use Byung-soo and revealed herself to him when she met him. As expected, Byung-soo was surprised to find her alive, in front of his eyes…



Episode 6 opens with Seung-nyang approaching Byung-soo, acting like she didn’t know anything about his betrayal and offered to give him the Crown Prince’s corpse. She showed him Ta-hwan’s body inside the coffin and Byung-soo bit the bait: he arrested her and brought her into the palace together with Ta-hwan. Yoo was dealing with Yeon-chul about Goryeo’s status as Yuan wanted to make Goryeo part of them instead of its independent status as a free nation. He even admitted that he killed Ta-hwan alone in order to spare his people, but Yeon-chul won’t budge from his initial decision, forcing Yoo to abdicate and he’s to be sent to Yuan as hostage.



Byung-soo proudly announced the arrival of Ta-hwan’s corpse and Baek Ahn was ordered to verify the identity of the body inside the body. He accidentally made Ta-hwan sneeze and they were so close to be found out by Dangkise, but Baek Ahn managed to cover it. Seung-nyang was brought to meet Yoo and the other Yuan officials. While the Yuan were faking their sadness over Ta-hwan’s death, Seung-nyang announced that he’s still alive and suddenly, Ta-hwan jumped out of the coffin. They were all surprised but Ta-hwan was more surprised to see Yeon-chul there. Seung-nyang urged him to tell them the truth about the attack, but he freaked out and pretended to pass out in order to escape the moment full of tension. Yoo didn’t really care as long as Ta-hwan was still alive and he’s happier that Seung-nyang was safe, while she’s worried about her father’s safety that depended on what Ta-hwan was going to say.



Yeon-chul was very angry that his sons failed to confirm that the Crown Prince was really dead but they couldn’t do anything to kill him at the moment. Baek Ahn knew Ta-hwan was faking his unconsciousness and told him about the Emperor’s death, causing him to wake up at once. Seung-nyang still believed that Ta-hwan would reveal the truth and then went to meet Commander Ki, who’s still alive but in a bad state. He didn’t believe it was her and she handed him the rings to make him recognize her. He was happy to be able to meet his daughter again and she vowed to avenge him. Ta-hwan wanted to tell the truth to return Seung-nyang’s deed, but Taltal made him realize that he needed to ascend the throne in order for him to avenge his late father’s death. Byung-soo was beaten by Wang Go over his failure and saved with the news that Ta-hwan had regained his consciousness.



Ta-hwan gave a long thought about the matter and met with both Yuan and Goryeo side to reveal the truth. He admitted that Goryeo was the one responsible behind the attempt to assassinate him and Commander Ki personally pointed the sword at him. Seung-nyang was very mad and upset at him while he could only apologize to her in his thoughts. Seung-nyang was dragged to the prison, where she witnessed her father’s last moments before he died. Ta-hwan met Yeon-chul and pleaded the old man in tears to save him while Yeon-chul was wondering what his true plan was. Ta-hwan actually planned with Baek Ahn to show how weak he was in order for him to gain Yeon-chul’s trust. He accepted his condition to make his daughter Tanashiri as his primary empress. Ta-hwan silently vowed that he’d repay all the bad deeds Yeon-chul made, including Seung-nyang’s share, but she’s made a vow to herself to kill Ta-hwan with her own hands.



Ta-hwan had his first audience in Goryeo court, ordering the sentence on those who tried to kill him, including the order to send slaves as concubines and eunuchs to Yuan (something that Seung-nyang asked him to abolish once he became the emperor, but ironically, that was his first edict as an emperor). He’s still stuttering while reciting the orders but he reminded Wang Go about his attempt to harm him with a cold tone beneath his carefree exterior. Yoo was forced to abdicate the throne and sent to Yuan together with the Goryeo people, including Seung-nyang. Ta-hwan also returned to Yuan. Yoo tried to feed the people but they blamed him for what happened to them. Dangkise ordered for the women to be killed but Yoo blocked him, causing himself to be hurt by Dangkise’s arrow. Seung-nyang offered to personally brought the unconscious Yoo, while Dangkise kept watching her closely. Someone was following them from far and he turned out to be Officer Park Bul-hwa who kept his promise to Commander Ki in order to save Seung-nyang.



Ta-hwan officially ascended the throne and Empress Dowager was surprised to learn that he’s going to marry Tanashiri. Baek Ahn chided Ta-hwan for not telling him about it earlier and Taltal told him about the rumours about Tanashiri: a haughty girl who easily became envious of others. They predicted that Ta-hwan won’t be able to escape Yeon-chul’s influence over the court with him being Ta-hwan’s father-in-law. Yeon-chul overheard Baek Ahn and Taltal talking about Ta-hwan and ordered them to go to the border, sending them away from the court. Meanwhile, Dangkise started to suspect that Seung-nyang was a woman. Yoo was very weak from the wound and Seung-nyang tried to give him some water, but Byung-soo won’t allow her to do so. Officer Park could only look at them from afar, unable to help. He met Yoo’s minions, who’s also following Yoo secretly.


Tanashiri and Ta-hwan only heard less than desirable things about each other  and when they met for the first time, both were quite taken aback with each other. Ta-hwan was smitten with her beauty before she started laughing at his praises. LOL. Seung-nyang was approached by Dangkise during the night and he confirmed his suspicion that she’s a woman, tearing her shirt and exposing her bound chest..


It’s hard to choose between Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang, because they have their own reasons. Both have daddy issues and they have to, at one point, choose between their comradeship and their revenge. I am very sad for Seung-nyang: she goes through so many things to save her father, including protecting Ta-hwan because that’s what her father told her to do, only to be betrayed by the person she protected with all her might. From her point of view, Ta-hwan sacrificed her father for his own life and ignored the help she offered him all this while. But then, Ta-hwan cut off his friendship ties with Seung-nyang, the one and only friend of him, because of his plan to avenge his late father’s death. He wanted to gain Yeon-chul’s trust before ousting him afterwards, both for his father and Seung-nyang’s sake. As I said before, it is hard to choose whom to root for at this point, because they have limited choice. Ta-hwan is probably the one with more reasons to be blamed, but how can he make a choice for the truth when his own life can be taken away at any time? I pity both of them, the victims among the powerful ones.


Yoo is another person that is so unfortunate, because he’s treated like a pawn in between Goryeo and Yuan’s conflict. He’s the king, but his power remains useless. He tries so hard to keep his position, to prevent Yuan from taking over the court, but he can’t do anything with attacks coming from all sides. The scene where the women blame him for what happened to them (sent as tribute to Yuan) makes me sympathize with him more. He had tried his best, but the resistance is not strong enough to prevent Yuan from wielding their power in his own land. And the constant mockery from those Yuan lackeys…Yoo, be patient and make sure to repay them for what they have done to you and your people!


I am interested to see what will happen in Yuan afterwards. Their roles are all reversed: Seung-nyang from a tough man to a woman, Yoo from a king to a powerless hostage, and Ta-hwan from a timid baby prince to an Emperor. They will meet again and I can’t wait for their plans to start, though I’m quite nervous about Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang. He will surely be surprised to learn that Seung-nyang is a woman and Seung-nyang might take this opportunity to steal his heart and trust before carrying out her revenge. I’m happy that Yoo will be closer to Seung-nyang in the upcoming weeks and I like to see him around with her, but I hope he won’t have to protect her from those crazy men anymore. I don’t want to see Seung-nyang being attacked by them just because she’s a woman and hopefully she will be able to escape those men when she enters the palace.


Tanashiri seems to be cheerful and free-spirited (albeit a little spoiled) woman at first glance but conflicts seems to be brewing between her and the Empress Dowager due to her haughtiness and temper (based on the rumours). It’s also probably because of her status as Yeon-chul’s daughter that the Empress Dowager is not too fond of her, but  we will see how these two women dealing with each other while the people around them are dealing with the politics. Baek Ahn and Taltal are the closest officers beside Ta-hwan and I’m looking forward to these three secretly planning things behind Yeon-chul and his sons.


p style=”text-align:left;”>*Thanks for all the comments! Sorry for not replying, real life has gotten busier and suddenly there’s influx of things to be done! Glad to hear that this rough recap is helpful for Empress Ki’s fans 🙂

20 thoughts on “Empress Ki: Eps 5-6

  1. Thank you verry verry much. Please do continue to make recaps of empress ki, you are the only one for now to do so. I’ve loked everywhere. Love this drama, i didn’t think i coud laugh so much at a historic drama. Love it and love you guys.

  2. Me encanta este drama, me muero por que llegue la próxima semana y ver el comienzo de este trió amoroso en acción. Gracias saludes desde Colombia

  3. Many thanks for English timely recap. I always looking forward for this. Empress Ki Drama series is loved! Castings are great esp. JJM and HJW.

  4. Thank you so much for your speedy recap of Eps. 5-6! ‘appreciate it so much! ^_^ this is one drama that i really enjoy watching the most

  5. Thank you so much for your recap. Not many people recap this drama so I feel very thankful to you.
    I can’t wait for the next episode. The preview is killing me!

  6. I love to see your recap, relying on them before I can find the eng sub. So far, this show has been very good, I will also earnestly look out for next week’s development.

  7. Thank you very much for your clear reviews! I really look forward to Episode 7 and can not wait to see more interactions between WY and SY!

  8. Thanks a lot, as always! From the preview, it looks like SN will need some saving next week. I’m all for WY to save her, but I wonder where the warrior SN went… I mean, I’m sure she’d rather die trying to resist that guy… I really hope she stays badass! *crosses fingers*

  9. My plans to wait with Empress Ki till it was somewhere halfway did not work out. Too good !
    But I watch Empress Chun Chu, ( 2009, 78 episodes ) as well. Starting with episode 21.
    For those who love historical drama’s like this, Empress ChunChu is also very good !
    A bit more serious, but it has a very strong cast, rich settings and good drama. The time-period is at around 970 AD. There is sometimes a voice-over telling what happened based on real facts. This voice-over also explains women had a bit more freedom in these days, when Confucius was not as important compared with the later Joseon.

  10. I couldn’t wait for Monday to come. Episode 7 will surely be a revelation. I have to wake up early to watch live streaming in the States. I hope MBC will do the sub earlier. HJW a great and versatile actress. Hope she’ll win in the MBC award this December.I don’t care if there were only few episodes shown. What counts are the performances of the actors. Empress Ki fighting.

  11. Empress Ki is a great drama series… love all the actors. They did really put their heart into each roles. Thanks MBC for the English sub.. i always watch it on the other side of the globe. — Puyallup,WA.

  12. Hi there, again Thank you so much for the recaps last week episodes….what a great actors they are I had mix of emotion when I watch it eventhough can’t understand the language, thanks to you ! So far so good….I’m xcited again to watch the next episode tonight and I’m xpecting your recaps more. Fighting.

  13. Entering comment after watching Empress Ki, i can t help but wonder if Ta Hwan and Tanashiri`s might have ended other way if Tanashiri had behave better on their first meeting, or being a better person than her family members are, Ta Hwan might be able to love her. They started on the wrong foot, and descend all the way from there.

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