This week on Man Crush Monday, our featured man is saving us a time traveling trip by coming here to the present from Joseon himself. Let’s welcome the Crown Prince, Lee Gak, from “Rooftop Prince” to the 21st century! His story is certainly a rather strange one, but Lee Gak tugged on the heartstrings so much, we just went with the flow and found ourselves enraptured by his exciting journey. After the unexpected death of his Crown Princess, Hwa Young, Lee Gak secretly assembled a team to do a little detective work. He was keen enough to suspect foul play, rather than an accidental death as everyone believed, and it was for that specific reason, that Lee Gak found himself in the modern times, falling in love with Park Ha, the reincarnation of Hwa Young’s sister, Bu Yong. Let’s take a look at the five reasons that makes Lee Gak so crush-worthy (spoilers ahead):
1. He’s a fair and kind Crown Prince.
Due to their privileged lives, royalties can be arrogant, conceited, and downright mean sometimes, especially to those of a lower status than them. With Lee Gak; however, that is not the case at all. He’s constantly bright, friendly, and pleasant. He has a love for poetry and simplistic beauty, such as his Crown Princess and nature in general. He treats others with respect and even when he was a child, he was well-behaved rather than mischievous. In the end, although he dealt out a harsh death penalty for the perpetrators of the crime, it wasn’t unwarranted. He even, despite his reluctance, showed Hwa Young and her mother mercy because it was what Bu Yong wanted.
2. Lee Gak is hilarious, even if it’s often unintentional.
I think there’s something just so amusing and endearing about his childlike innocence when it comes to discovering something new. Of course, it’s understandable that he would be absolutely mesmerized by all the modern day items and technology, but it doesn’t make it any less comical to see his face light up in pure delight or to see the wits getting scared out of him by moving images on a television. His sidekicks make it even more hysterically funny, but Lee Gak is always at the center of their shenanigans. Spending time with him would never be a bore because there are too many things in the world to show him and, more often than not, he loves them! What’s truly amazing about this particular trait though, is that Lee Gak adjusts pretty quickly and even turns situations around to suit his needs. Remember when he called a tow truck to take him and his vehicle to the park so Park Ha could teach him how to drive? Ha! Talk about clever!
3. He has a teasingly playful nature.
When Lee Gak isn’t busy trying to figure out the modern world and trying to calm his racing heart due to sheer terror, he actually already has his own playfulness. His carefree attitude is nicely countered his by dedication to his duties – like tracking down the ones responsible for his Crown Princess’s death. He certainly knows how and when to be serious, but he also knows very well when to kick back and enjoy himself. He finds amusement in teasing Park Ha, but she always returns the favor with equal fervor, making them the perfect match. I dare you not to smile when you watch their antics, especially that one time where he pretended to have another allergy attack and demanded Park Ha give him CPR again! HA! Lee Gak is really the best of both worlds and he is honestly such a sweetheart now that he knows what true love really is… without all the sageuk restrictions! He he!
4. Lee Gak can be fierce.
Don’t let his laid back demeanor fool you though, because when Lee Gak roars, even the lions might tuck tail and flee the scene. He can have a short temper, but they honestly don’t last long if it’s completely unreasonable – only because he was raised to have a full staff waiting on him hand and foot. Now that he doesn’t have that luxury, it took him a bit to adjust, although he does pretty well for himself. That kind of short-temper wasn’t the fierceness I was talking about though. No, I’m talking about the unforgiving side of him. The side that goes head to head with those trying to take him – or his reincarnation – down. Lee Gak constantly tries to stay one step ahead of the game and carries the burning negativity in his heart as fuel to defeat Yong Tae Mu. He can be scary, cunning, manipulative, threatening, and strategic. He’s also a mega talented actor with the way he pulled off being Yong Tae Yong. It’s such a big contrast to his usual attitude, but it fits him and his status of Crown Prince so well! I loved watching him surprising the living daylights out of Yong Tae Mu and Hong Se Na on a normal basis, all in the name of protecting, not just himself, but Park Ha as well.
5. He’s a fantastic mystery solver.
Hide all the crossword puzzles and Clue games! Lee Gak has a brain for solving mysteries! I will never know how he managed to connect the dots so completely from his Joseon era to the modern times simply by living with Park Ha for a short period of time, falling in love with her, and realizing that Hong Se Na was almost completely devious, especially with Yong Tae Mu planting ideas in her head. Still, the man managed to do it, much to the surprise of everyone back in the palace (of course, the fact that only a day had passed there might have added to the surprise factor…). But not only that, Lee Gak also displayed his amazing talent numerous times when unveiling both Hong Se Na and Yong Tae Mu’s individual and combined schemes and catching Hong Se Na, with evidence, as the culprit behind the death of Yong Tae Yong’s grandmother. Sometimes, you just have to wonder if he’s got eyes and ears everywhere…
Do you approve of Lee Gak from “Rooftop Prince” as this week’s Man Crush Monday? On our scale of 1 to 10, how does he rank on your crush list? Let us know in the comments below and remember to keep nominating those crushes for our December Mystery Reveal!