Soldier: Ep 1-2
Do not watch this if you cannot handle the following: torture, war, separation, crushed worlds, angst, slavery, oppression, and anything else that is painful.
This is a bleak, stark drama if I ever saw one. I’m not into sageuks much, and the only one I saw was a fusion sageuk, CHUNO! Surprisingly, Soldier tops all the sadness and tragedy in all of Chuno’s 24 episodes in just ONE EPISODE. To make it even more daunting, it’s 70 episodes long. I don’t even know if I can take this for 70 episodes. However, Soldier (also known as God of War) is high quality with great acting and a great hero. It has a lot of GRIT because it just thrusts you out into the cold cruel world of slavery and oppression.
All happy and peaceful at a small mountain village. Our main character, Mu Sang, is a monk who’s also quite skilled in the martial arts as well. Of course he has a SECRET…..he’s the son of a runaway slave. This cannot be good.
And of course, I just have to ship our monk with a slave girl, Wol Ah. They grew up as childhood friends.
Cuteness abounds in their flashbacks and the first part of ep1. Basically both Mu Sang and Wol Ah are very sheltered from the outside world in their little mountain village. Mu Sang grew up his whole life in a monastery and Wol Ah seems to have received really good treatment as a slave girl. They’re pretty much living in a bubble which is about to burst. Don’t expect their happiness to last very long because…
..they get separated during a government crackdown on all the monks. I was intrigued by the WARRIOR MONKS that kicked butt in the first episode. They are martial arts masters, some of which were sent out to war. A group of warrior monks rebelled against the military officials because they were fed up of the poor conditions on the battlefield. This ends up implicating all the rest of monks, as well as the villages surrounding their temples. Not only Mu Sang gets taken away, but also Wol Ah and all the villagers. Hundreds upon hundreds of monks are tortured and executed by the army. “Confessions” are extracted from monks..in other words, the interrogators tortured them to force them into blaming one certain military official for the revolt. Already we’re knee-deep into a power struggle between government officials.
I also ship Mu Sang with Song Yi, a noblewoman. Note that this is when he’s revealed to be of slave status. So I’m shipping a slave with nobility. IJEGTIOAJSEGJ. Song Yi is a smart, witty woman who really is ahead of her time. Even her father comments that if she had been born a man, she would’ve become a high ranking official. She embodies girl power, elegance, and pure wit whereas Wol Ah represents innocence, naivete, and purity.
At first I really shipped Wol Ah & Mu Sang because they were so cute together, but now I don’t really know. Wol Ah becomes a slave/servant at a large residence. At this point of time she’s in the weepy mopey stage and it’s kinda annoying me because I just want to shake her and tell her to get it together, for her own sake! I get that she’s in a foreign, scary place that’s completely different from the warm, kind village she once lived in, but please!!! She needs to get it together and toughen up so she can survive in her harsh new environment.
And on a side note, KIM HA EUN is yet another supporting character!!!! I loved Kim Ha Eun ever since Chuno (and I heard she was great in Conspiracy of the Court) and she does not disappoint me in Soldier. Thank goodness for her, because she really lights up the screen in all her scenes. I really need that when the rest of Soldier is so dark and dreary.
So, to sum it up, Soldier is about Mu Sang, who’s now a slave, climbing up the ranks until he eventually becomes a military official. All of the bloodshed and injustice done toward the monks really made me want to watch the following episodes because I really want to see Mu Sang kick all of the other military officials’ butts .