4 Pivotal Moments In Episodes 5-6 Of

It’s hard to believe we’re already midway through “The Forbidden Marriage.” The show shows no sign of letting up its frenetic pace as our love triangle gets better fleshed out, with often surprising results. So Rang (Park Ju Hyun) continues to delight as the cheeky yet rationale former noblewoman who is starting to have more than fond feelings for King Yi Heon (Kim Young Dae), who is giving into his own change of heart. But will the dangers of the palace be enough to tear this budding romance apart?

Here are four moments from the recent episodes that had us rooting for this main couple.

Warning: spoilers for episodes 5-6 below.

1. Yi Heon versus Shin Won

Romance has been sizzling between both branches (really all branches) of our lovely trio, and it boiled over last week when So Rang’s stalwart bodyguard and former fiancé Lee Shin Won (Kim Woo Seok) pulled her out of Yi Heon’s room before the rest of the court could enact their plan to have So Rang and Yi Heon get together. As romantic as the gesture was in Shin Won’s view, there’s no hiding the immediate ramifications of the action. Because it really makes no sense. Shin Won knew that the “wedding night” had been planned for some time but kept quiet right until the moment itself. Had Yi Heon known that the entire inner court was trying to get him to spend the night with So Rang, he would have been furious at the manipulation and ordered them to stop, which is why Shin Won’s grand entrance to drag So Rang away from Yi Heon’s bedchamber really makes no sense.

So Rang is aghast when he tells her that the entire inner court had planned her and Yi Heon’s “wedding night,” but she’s even more bewildered that he believed that she would just go along with the plan when even Yi Heon had no clue. And Yi Heon is equally upset and furiously jealous that the man he trusted and valued as his best friend would go and pull something like this without so much as a warning. He rightfully notes that Shin Won doesn’t seem to see him as a friend anymore and Shin Won doesn’t contest this. (Really dude? Are you really throwing your best friend over for a girl who doesn’t like you back?) Yi Heon barely holds onto his sanity as he is in a palace full of enemies and ugly memories, and losing his only best friend pulls out something dark in him as he challenges Shin Won to a battle of swords. Shin Won is reluctant to fight (but then you shouldn’t have made a scene and pulled So Rang away!) but ends up slicing a piece from Yi Heon’s robes before losing.

So Rang has enough of the whole thing and jumps in front of Yi Heon. But instead of us getting a painful moment where Yi Heon assumes that she’s protecting Shin Won, she says that she’s protecting Yi Heon from himself. And the thing with Yi Heon is that he admits when he’s wrong. So he walks away. Afterwards, he rightfully considers whether Shin Won should face consequences for his actions but is convinced out of it, and the two men agree to put away their rivalry and call it water under the bridge for So Rang’s sake and for their own. It’s an awkward, painful, but mature point in their friendship. The only strained note is when Yi Heon asks Shin Won not to fall in love with So Rang. It isn’t an order, it’s a request. And there’s nothing he can do if Shin Won disobeys, and they both know it. But Yi Heon has made a decision. Now, if only So Rang knew it.

2. Return of the Crown Princess?

So Rang is too astute not to know when she’s in a tug of war and quickly declines the position. She tells Shin Won that she only wants to be friends with him. There is a telling pause when he asks if she’s never seen him as a man, but it’s because of the unresolved past between them with neither able to reveal who the other is especially because So Rang’s scheming stepmother has literally given So Rang’s identity to her daughter (So Rang’s half-sister). Yet, when So Rang confronts Yi Heon, she doesn’t take as firm a hand as she did with Shin Won.


There’s something desperate and yearning about her eyes as she tells him that she was just one among many palace maids and that he shouldn’t have fought Shin Won over her. Yi Heon tries to disagree, but she cuts him off by implying that he still isn’t over his dead wife. Yi Heon pauses at that, and So Rang sadly leaves, thinking that she’s right. She still doesn’t know about the murders in the palace, so she tries to convince Yi Heon to forget his dead wife. She seems to be telling herself that it’s for the good of the country and for Yi Heon’s own good, but there seems to be an undercurrent of selfishness in there as well.


If only she knew that Yi Heon still dreams of his wife, but they’re more grim than romantic. Love and loss have haunted him for seven years, but these days it’s more duty that drives him, especially as the anniversary of her death is coming up, which is always when another woman in the palace will be found mysteriously dead. And Yi Heon is desperate to ensure that it doesn’t happen this time. So when So Rang “channels” Crown Princess Ahn Ja Yeon’s (Kim Min Ju) spirit to tell him that his wife never loved him but was with him out of duty and people start to report ghostly sightings of his dead wife, Yi Heon is nearly out of his mind with shock. So Rang bribes the princess’s former servants to loudly say that she was with Yi Heon out of duty and loyalty but never love and the poor guy nearly collapses. Shin Won nearly collapses himself when the court ladies start to ask if the king has something going on with his hot best friend. Haha.

Shin Won nearly collapses again when he finds So Rang paying the court ladies. To Shin Won’s credit, he nearly tells Yi Heon but stays silent because he can refuse So Rang nothing, and she isn’t doing it out of bad intentions. But the result is that when Yi Heon himself sees Ja Yeon’s ghostly apparition in the lake one night, he almost goes insane. It’s So Rang who tears him out of the stupor, holding him tight and telling him to stop hurting. One look at their anguished faces, and Shin Won knows that he’s doomed.

3. So Rang’s choice

From hunting down the fake “ghost” of Ja Yeon as a plot concocted using mirrors in the lake to comforting Yi Heon during his breakdown, So Rang has been offering Yi Heon a shoulder to lean on quite often. All her concern is reserved for him, and with her having no clue about the murders in the palace, she doesn’t realize just how much danger she’s in until it’s too late. Once our trio discovers that someone has found a girl who looks like Ja Yeon and has been dressing her up as Ja Yeon to torment Yi Heon, So Rang suspects that the girl might still be in the palace hiding amongst the maids. So when Shin Won leaves for just a few minutes as the palace searches through the maids, she doesn’t think too much of it—until the evil Jo Sung Gyun (Yang Dong Geun) shows his hand and has her arrested for being the only maid whose identity isn’t verifiable.

Everyone tries to cover for her without bringing up that Yi Heon allowed her into the palace despite that, because they know that if Sung Gyun hears that Yi Heon brought in a lowly wandering girl, he will use it as ammunition against both So Rang and Yi Heon. But without an authority that overrules Sung Gyun, So Rang is tossed in prison. Even then, she still tries to protect Yi Heon by theorizing that the woman must have hidden amongst the soldiers scheduled to leave the palace. A furious Yi Heon checks the soldiers himself and is shaken upon finding the woman who looks exactly like his dead wife, but he recovers in seconds and races off to rescue So Rang. He really has moved on! It’s the anniversary of Ja Yeon’s death and is terrified that Sung Gyun will have hanged her at the princess’s quarters, but he hasn’t. Yi Heon tracks So Rang and her captor down to a dungeon and finds her bloody and bruised but refusing to give up his name. Visibly devastated, he freely gives up that it was him who kept her by his side and removes his kingly robes to cover her.

I can’t, it’s so romantic. 

In private, he apologizes repeatedly, saying that this is all his fault because the perpetrator knew that he’d be distracted by even a mere sighting of his dead wife as he was so hung up on her all these years. But she refuses to blame him or let him blame himself. He says that he revokes his request for her to be possessed by Ja Yeon’s spirit from time to time and will fully move on from Ja Yeon. When So Rang sadly says that there is no reason for her to be by his side, he gently tells her that she is his aide. He doesn’t need Ja Yeon’s spirit to want to have her around. It’s pretty clear at this point that these two have it bad for each other and know it, but they just don’t know how to act on it!

4. The Three Sleuths

Alas, though our three sleuths think that they have successfully foiled another death at the palace, Sung Gyun had a mastercard up his sleeve. Yi Heon emerges from that hug with So Rang to hear that the woman he arrested who looked like Ja Yeon has been found dead, hanged from So Rang’s quarters. Seeing someone who looked exactly like his dead wife hanged again triggers Yi Heon’s PTSD, less to do with love and more to do with the repeated horror of having that moment brought up over and over and of failing to protect the victims.

Shin Won finally tells So Rang about the murders at the palace every single year. She realizes that it was supposed to be her this year and that the dead woman’s body being at her quarters is a warning to her as well. But So Rang is So Rang, and nothing can stop her. So even though Shin Won tries to convince her to stay with him or leave the palace with him, she goes straight to Yi Heon’s side and comforts him. And rather than wallow in the past, they decide to tear down the murderer once and for all.

Upon finding that the dead Ja Yeon lookalike was a gisaeng kidnapped from a house of courtesans, they theorize that whoever smuggled her into the palace must have bought her from the kidnappers. But in going hunting for said kidnappers, So Rang quickly ends up being kidnapped herself with a frantic Shin Won chasing after her. Yi Heon is quickly informed of what happened and storms off with fury in his eyes. The next thing we know, we get a very “Goblin“-esque slow motion walk of our king and his captain striding toward the group of kidnappers. And whatever is coming next promises to be a whole lot of fun.

I’m not a huge fan of So Rang being in danger twice this week, but given that she’s been saving the guys the entire time thus far, it’s fun to see them race ahead to save her. It was always a given that she would be in danger given her precarious position in the palace and it was realistic to see that come through. Next week promises more political machinations with Sung Gyun taking advantage of Yi Heon’s absence. Moreover, Yi Heon’s grandmother, the Grand Queen Dowager (Cha Mi Kyung), remains on the hunt for a wife for him and is eyeing So Rang’s nasty half-sister (who literally stole So Rang’s identity) as a candidate. The show has been doing a great job thus far balancing humor, pathos, and romance, with the political backdrop serving the story rather than the other way around. Park Ju Hyun, Kim Young Dae, and Kim Woo Seok have also been killing it so far. There couldn’t be a more fun weekend drama for the holiday season. Next week can’t come soon enough!

Check out the drama below!

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What did you think of this week’s episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and attempts to write the greatest fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!

Currently Watching: Summer Strike,” “The Forbidden Marriage.”
Looking Forward to: “Island,” “The Interest of Love,” “Queen of the Scene,” “Black Knight,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.

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