Ryu Deok Hwan, how you slay me.

The last time I was overwhelmed and consumed emotionally by a king, I gave my heart and gut out. I cried and bawled like a baby. The heartbreak tore me to pieces, ripped me innards body and soul apart, and messed me mental upside down. It was just a mere few months back, when Lee Seung Gi blew me away with his emotionally raw and heartfelt acting as the SK King in K2H, the young king in dilemma trying to balance between love and his nation’s trust, the young king who had to challenge himself and his country to defend his beloved ones. It was one of the best acting performances I have ever seen from Seung Gi, so riveting his display of gamut of emotions was, so strong and effervescent, I have never felt this proud, as a fan. King Jae Ha nearly sealed it for me, as the King of the year 2012…

….until Ryu Deok Hwan‘s King Gong Min came along.

I still stand firm and solid by my view that Faith is not a good drama, all factors and elements considered. The execution and the direction still suck donkey balls, the story zones me out in spite of its promising time-traveling premise, it has no single connection or relevance to Eun Soo’s capability as a great doctor, the evil guys are stupid and useless cardboards, and the bodyguards woodalchi, they’re kinda you know… not skillful or good as we’re supposed to think they are? Drama’s essentially, still crapstatically crappy. *there I said it, no throwing stones as I know a lot of people love this drama*

But you know guess what? I’ve hung on for 20 episodes, 20 episodes of this crap. And drained almost half my tear glands watching the last. All and only because of one man who crumbled to the meek and lowest of his life from the highest, for the one and only woman he loves. All because of his yearning for and clinging to an undying hope for an independent Gorgyeo. Cheesy and pathetic as it may sound to those who’re not watching, but heck, you have no idea. Whatever that had transpired in the last 2 eps between Gong Min and Choi Young, his dear Queen No Guk, the man from Yuan, Deuk Seung Gong and whoever, they were all DA BOMB! DA DOMB! DA BOMB! Forgive my expounding of excitement, this drama doesn’t really deserve such joyous delirious raving from me, but da heck, Ryu Deok Hwan, it’s you! It’s just you and ONLY YOU!

I used to think it’s Song Ji Nah’s adoration of the actor, why are his scenes and lines so much better than everyone’s else? Why does his scenes come across more feeling and emotional than the rest? Why is his story with everyone more interesting than let’s say, CY and ES’s romance development to me? Now I know, now I know. It has nothing to do with the drama or writing or Song Ji Nah whatsoever, nothing by all means. It’s nothing about the show. It’s HIM. The actors, crew and everyone have given their all for this drama, and I fully and respectfully acknowledge their efforts and diligence. But if we’re talking about quality for quality alone, the only name I could utter without doubt and downright straight from the bottom of my heart, Ryu Deok Hwan.

What he does and has been doing with Gong Min, I do not think anyone would argue with me, amazing amazing amazing. Every single emotion and expression he displays, so carefully thought out and carved out. He conveys with conviction, and when he takes over, he commands and stands firm and strong, not allowing anyone else to shadow his presence. He may not be the lead, but he is relevant. He may not have the most of drama time, but his presence is felt and cannot be done away with. He may not be Lee Min Ho, but he is RDH with gravitas that not even LMH can come close to emulating. It’s proof of an accumulated acting experience of 20 years, at the age of 26.

[*Ep 19/20 spoilers*]

Ep 19 had the cutest King and Queen interaction in ages! I loved loved loved every single minute, moment, scene they shared, no matter how brief. Park Se Young is kinda rigid  in her performance as No Guk, somewhat stiff and listless, but when RDH comes into the picture, they immediately emit all kinds of electricity and sparks, elevating their scenes into something more than just a normal King/Queen conversational scene. RDH has a magical and effective power over his co-stars, even with Lee Min Ho, he manages to make their scenes better, more charged up and emotional. The reason why I fawn on and on over RDH’s versatility as an actor, he does it without awkwardness at all. So at ease and smooth. Remember when he switched from stress-burnt King to lovable and cute husband in just seconds. I literally squealed like a kid when he tried to convince No Guk that he was done with work and would go to her room soon. How awesomesauce-ly adorable was that huh? DAEBAK! Not even the hoard of CY-ES cuteness could compare.

Then it happened. The most heartbreaking reunion hug ever to grace my screen in memory. I already had quite a bit of a tearfest in the beginning of Ep 20, in every single scene of GM worrying about No Guk’s whereabouts, when he put down his pride and dignity, gave in to Deuk Heung’s wishes, begged for mercy and abandoned his nation which he had longed to lead and yearned to protect. This episode belonged to the King and the King alone. [*end of spoilers*]

I have seen RDH in other projects/dramas/movies, but was never THIS enamoured and overwhelmed. I don’t remember having seen him this over-wrought and drained. The hopelessness felt in his lingering and restrained tears, when faced with his breaking confidence and devastated wife, it pierced thru right into the heart, the core of it. I found myself tearing a stream on-stop, it couldn’t stop because I felt the pain and agony, it couldn’t stop because it felt all too real. RDH killed every single scene he had in Ep 20, totally blew every fish out of the water.

If I could give him an award for his performance in Ep 20 alone, I would. My personal award of recognition. For what he’d done (to me), it’s a first in my history of watching Korean dramas – watching a drama, and going to finish it (a crappy one) just for a supporting character. Still don’t care less about the main story, CY or ES, it’s you, and only you.

Now excuse me while I go cry at a lil corner, poor Gong Min-No Guk. T___T

credits: naver news / gif frm tumblr

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13 thoughts on “Ryu Deok Hwan, how you slay me.”

  1. ahh..
    here you are, writing an awesome article about ryu deok hwan again.. 🙂
    what a versatile actor, he is..
    couldn’t agree more..

    1. Thanks!

      The real RDH off-screen, so very adorable I want to pocket him!

      Love that the Faith set is always full of fun and laughter 😀

      1. Excuse me for being delusional for RL pairing of RDH-PSY, I can’t help but squealed when PSY says “sunbae-nim..” while pulling RDH’s sleeve in the first video.. And yes, RDH is so cute that I too, feel like putting him in my pocket and carry him everywhere!! 🙂

  2. yayyy~~~~~ ❤ thank you for another Ryu Deok Hwan appreciation post~~~ you have no idea how much I spazz reading this– let's just RDH-fangirl together the rest of the way~~

  3. This is exactly my feelings about Faith. I started watching it for the epic storyline and Lee Min Ho, but that didn’t last long. I stopped watching it about halfway through and will pick up again once it’s finished airing. BUT the reason I’ll pick it up again is all for Gongmin (and Ryu Deok Hwan) — I LOVE him and want to see what he does with his character.

    1. Rest assured Gong Min and Ryu Deok Hwan will slay you alive when the time comes. The actor really immerses himself well through into the character, every time he comes up, my sight never strays away. Even LMH and KHS hold up a lil better when he’s around.

  4. I am not watching this show (or any kdrama atm for that matter) but I KNOW a good OTP when I see one! Even when I read the recaps I kinda glance through until I reach the king and queen’s part. Which is not that many though… *sadface*

    1. They may only have brief scenes here and there, but their presence lingers.
      Some fans have even cut clips specially for Gong Min and No Guk:

      One thing I can say for sure, drama would not have been the same without them. Power of the King and Queen!

      1. Thank you so much, Ripgal. I really enjoy every of your posts about my darling King Gongmin and Queen Noguk. It have been a long time since I have that much feeling for a couple, they’re just so meant for each other. I am a little disappointed that the plot isn’t very good and not so neatly. When Choi Young asked Princess Noguk why she is so fluent in Goguryeo language, she said that 8 years ago, she met someone and wanted to learn the language to talk to him. I hoped that Writer Song Ji Na would have some scenes about this. Ryu Deok Hwan and Park Se Young are just awesome, I want them to have more screen time. To tell you the truth, I have a really boring feeling when the scenes of Choi Young and Eun Soo came up, maybe I’m a picky type but I don’t see they have any chemistry at all.

      2. Hope you enjoy the rest of Gong Min and No Guk’s scenes, they certainly were the highlights of the show for me 🙂

        Possibly the final Royal Couple BTS – from Ep 23

        RDH as usual, loves to tease his Queen! 😉

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