Six Flying Dragons has reached its 40th episode yesterday, and while it feels like yesterday when it first aired (after a long wait for it), so many things have changed, be it the characters or the relationship between them. We are fast approaching the ending (although it is still a mystery where they will end the story) and thanks to history and its sequel Tree with Deep Roots, we already know who will come out alive at the end of all these conflicts between the characters who were once on the same side. Well, except for Boon-yi. And it is probably a good time to wish her good luck for the remaining episodes.
(Spoiler alert up to Episode 40. Consider yourself warned!)
Theories have been floating around ever since the drama premiered back in October and hey, I LOVE theories, especially for things that will happen in dramas! Among the six dragons and most of the characters that have been popping out in the series, Boon-yi is the only main character whose identity and ending are yet to be known, but that is fine by me. If you are familiar with Tree as well as the history behind Dragons, you would be aware of how Yi Seong-gye (Taejo), Yi Bang-won (Taejong), and Jeong Do-jeon will fare in the end, as well as the fictional characters in the Dragons-Tree realm, Bang-ji and Moo Hyul. But Boon-yi is still a huge mystery (for those who still care about her, that is), and the theories about her identity later are worth discussing.
Introduced as Bang-won’s beloved, the first thing that came to my mind when Boon-yi got her dragon ‘title’ was her status being Taejong’s concubine later. Taejong had lots of concubines, and with Ddang-se getting the surname Yi with his personal name Bang-ji, we could assume that Boon-yi, too, would take the same surname as her brother. So, she could become one of the Lady Yis among Taejong’s concubines..and there were four of them with the surname Yi. Of course, this theory dated back to the earlier episodes, and up until the latest episode, it doesn’t seem that she would be made a concubine later when Taejong rose to the throne or after he abdicated the throne, like the cases for the concubines with the surname Yi.
The way Boon-yi dresses also sparks another discussion of her identity being the younger version of Banchon leader in Tree with Deep Roots, Dodamdaek (or the lady from Dodam). Both Bang-ji and Moo Hyul are fictional characters just like Boon-yi, but the guys have their older versions shown in Tree. So, it is not that far-fetched to have Boon-yi transforming into one of the characters who appeared in Tree. In the latest episode of Dragons (40), Sambong promised to relocate Boon-yi and the members of her organization to..you guess it, Banchon, instead of giving them some land. It could be another clue or a red herring, but the writers sure know that we are curious about her identity to tease us openly like this.
However, there are some things that don’t fit: first is how Dodamdaek spoke in Tree. She used the dialect throughout the drama, and so far, Boon-yi had never used any dialect in Dragons. Second is the title itself. Dodam is the place where Sambong grew up, and the name of the peaks which Sambong’s pen name originated from, is also known as Dodam Sambong. Hence, they would have come from the same hometown, but Boon-yi and Sambong aren’t. The third one is the turning point that will be pivotal for Boon-yi to part ways with Bang-won. Episode 40 showed the strong bond these two had, and it would be difficult to break them away from each other..unless something happens in the upcoming episodes; something so awful that will make Boon-yi turn her back against Bang-won and cut ties with people around Bang-won to support Sambong wholeheartedly while operating the organization in secret, which will eventually evolve into Milbon. Perhaps, if Bang-won’s future actions will be unbearable for her to take it, Boon-yi might walk the path as Dodamdaek and become a formidable enemy of Taejong later.
When Da-kyung proposed for Bang-won to take Boon-yi as his concubine, the theory of Boon-yi being Lady Kim Hyobin appeared. Yes, it is just another route leading her to become a concubine, but it is even more special since Hyobin was one of the earliest Taejong’s concubine, and she even gave birth to Prince Gyeongnyeong, Taejong’s second son by order of birth (and his first illegitimate child). In history, she was a servant of Lady Kang and then Lady Min, serving as her attendant before she caught Taejong’s eyes when he was still a prince. She was the object of Lady Min’s jealousy and got thrown outside the house into the cold weather before she gave birth to her son, and it was thanks to other servants’ help that both mother and son survived.
To be honest, after watching her in all the episodes, I can’t really picture her as a concubine but we can never predict how the characters change especially in those critical times. Bang-won’s advice to her got me thinking about it: what if she eventually decided to be on his side to stay alive, just like how he told her to swallow anything as long as she survives in the end? Or will it be a decision she makes to protect the people of her organization? Only time will tell..but another question remains: if she would be Hyobin, how did she get the surname Kim?
I actually think that staying as a commoner until the end fit Boon-yi’s character more, since she is someone who stood by her own principles and she will protect her people at all cost, but being a commoner in historical dramas means bad news, gentlemen. She chose her organization over both Bang-won and Sambong in the latest episode and at this rate, she might stay as a commoner until the bitter end without taking any sides. That, in a sageuk, is never a good thing. Commoners tend to die easily; even if she’s the main character, it’s not a guarantee that she will escape the ending unscathed. Plus, all the information she has gathered through her organization means her life is always in danger..and she could fall victim into attacks from both sides, leading to her death.
Still..in the end, it all depends on Boon-yi’s choice; which route she will decide to walk on and whose side she will choose, it will be revealed in the upcoming episodes. Whatever your choice is, Boon-yi, good luck for the final ten episodes. Don’t thank me, because that might bring bad luck to you. Let’s hear other theories: who do you think Boon-yi is?