Water: Cha Soo Hyun’s true nature

Nature plays a huge part in this drama. JH is actually a representative of nature, either in the form of the wind, the sun or the tree. To be more precise, KJH is often associated to the air (wind, butterfly), while our heroine is revealed to be linked to water due to the presence of the sea. First, the drawings underlines this aspect. Striking is that the sea is represented in the two following pictures:

episode 1
Encounter episode 6 drawing 2.png
episode 6

One might say that the sea is illustrated here because in these two episodes, JH and CSH were close to the sea: Cuba and Sokcho. Yet, this doesn’t explain everything because in the third episode, the sea is often seen as they are in Sokcho, however the drawing represented our heroine trapped by a fence and window. She was forced to stay immobile. Furthermore in the episode 10, JH and CSH were in Cuba, yet the garden of Grandfather Samuel was the main topic of the drawing. As you can observe, the location as such doesn’t explain the presence of the sea in the drawings. Moreover, in the second drawing the sea is here dangerous due to the waves, the latter are referring to the people trying to stop them from getting close to each other. 

Therefore we need to examine when the sea is shown in this drama. The first episode starts with CSH standing in front of a window looking at the sea. 

Encounter episode 1 CSH and the sea.png
episode 1

She is in Sokcho and the manager is briefing her about the reservations and the future opening. Interesting is although CSH’s face is expressionless, the viewer can sense that for her, looking at the sea is relaxing. In the episode 6, she explains why this hotel was so built (view to the sea and the mountain in order to relax and get closer to nature). It becomes clear that she has been missing nature and especially the sea. Yet, in this scene the sea looks so far away and the window serves as a shield. It was as if CSH was forced to admire nature, here the ocean, from far away, behind the window. She looks like trapped in that hotel which reminds us of  a prison, so in order to feel better, the big view gives her the impression that she is not dead. However, if you take a closer look at the window, you’ll see the bars… so the form of the window reinforces the idea of a prison but in a bigger dimension. The sea appears again, when JH is listening to music and relaxing.

Encounter episode 1 JH port sea.png
episode 1

The ocean has the same effect on him, nonetheless he is above the sea and doesn’t touch it at all. He is not really looking at it, he is rather dreaming. Both are in a similar position in reality,  yet CSH is further away from the sea than JH and CSH seems to be more longing. For our main progatonist, it is a matter of his own choice, he is not that interested. We saw him taking more pictures of the city and people than the sea at such. Arrived in Cuba, CSH seizes the opportunity to see the sunset at Malecon beach, however the manager recommends her to go to Morro Cabana because the view is more spectacular. So her decision shows that she is attracted to the sea and nature as such. Nonetheless, she has to climb that mountain in order to enjoy the spectacle.

Encounter episode 1 Morro Cabana sea sunset.png
episode 1

If we compare her position to the first scene, then we notice that she is still far away from the ocean. However, she has been able to escape from her prison. For the first time, she feels free. But her freedom is just temporal. I had described before that the view of the sunset at Malecon beach had a magical moment: this marks CSH’s awakening.

Encounter episode 1 Morro Cabana 8.png
episode 1

I couldn’t help myself, while watching this scene, thinking about two stories. The first is the legend of Aphrodite’s birth and the second is the sleeping beauty. The legend of Aphrodite says that blood coming from the sky (Uranus genitalia) fell into the sea, creating white foam… and the goddess of love and sex was born. The sleeping beauty is awakened by the prince’s kiss. In both stories, we have something in common: birth and awakening which are quite similar. Since the sun often embodies JH, the sunset in the ocean can be seen as JH kissing CSH and bringing her back to life. The person is like reborn, she symbolizes love for JH who for the first time is attracted by a woman. I mean, she caught his attention earlier but her reaction at the sunset had a huge effect on him. Nevertheless, CSH is still far away from the ocean. For me, the sea embodies CSH’s true personality so that we come to the conclusion that water is her true element.

As the story progresses, we can observe how CSH and JH gets closer to each other and the sea is also getting closer to CSH as well. In the episode 3, we have three scenes where the ocean is in the background.

Encounter episode 3 CSH and JH meeting close to the sea.png
episode 3: They meet again in Sokcho
Encounter episode 3 JH and CSH talking to each other.png
Encounter episode 3 JH and CSH the beach.png

First, due to the painting affair, CSH has to travel to Sokcho and for the first time, we see her wandering around the hotel, walking on docks looking at the sea. Striking is in the first picture, JH is taking pictures of the sea and CSH is walking downstairs. She is still above the sea. So JH’s attitude towards the sea seems to have changed and their encounter has an effect on CSH. She didn’t expect him there. What caught my attention is the closer they are to the water, the happier and the more relieved CSH feels. In the evening, she can even smile and play happily without any worries and shackles. Another observation is the effect of the sea on both of them: in the second picture above, JH confides to her and she listens. In the episode 4, CSH is confiding to him, while she thinks, he is sleeping.

encounter episode 3 sea side.png
The closer she is to the sea, the more she reveals about herself.

The sea plays a huge role, as it reveals her true personality (her own thoughts, her own feelings). This explains the need of CSH to look at the sea in the episode 1 and 6 from the window. She needs the sea in order to feel better. She shows more and more her true feelings and personality. She is revealing herself little by little. It looks like the sea helps them to open up. 

Encounter episode 9 scene at the lighthouse 1.png
episode 9

In this scene, JH was reading a book and this sentence about the sea attracted his attention: “If the sea’s job is to make waves, mine is to think of you”. When JH was living in Sokcho, separated from CSH, he visited the places they had been in order to seek comfort. He had the impression that CSH was close to him. Due to all these events, he had already linked the sea to CSH. Moreover, when CSH appears in this scene, JH is again reading and not looking at the ocean. I sense that it must be somehow painful for him to look at the sea after their last phone call (“no news, good news”). In this picture, we see the wind moving the book pages, however we see the waves in the background moved by the wind. We could interpret, JH as wind brings in CSH’s heart emotions to life. He makes waves, something that CSH has no control over. This explains why in the first picture above, we see the sea and the waves… CSH as sea and JH as wind are visible there. However, the difference between the waves is huge… CSH is in the first picture of my post really back to life, while in the episode 9, she has finally admitted that she couldn’t live without him. She is finally able to confess how much she missed him and how much he means to her, yet she doesn’t confess his love for him. While he runs towards her, she just walks slowly. To conclude, she is not entirely true to herself, she is definitely restraining herself. Notice that she is not touching the sea. She is just very close to water, that’s how the restraint is visible.

Striking is that in the episode 10, the viewer see how KJH walks to the same spot he was seen in the episode 1 and rests there after meeting Grandfather Samuel. This underlines that KJH feels the need to be close to the sea. He went directly there unlike in the first episode. Moreover, he is not listening to music. His attitude is really different. To me, it outlines that our hero is missing CSH a lot. While in the garden, the stars in the sky made him think of her, here the sea makes him think of his girlfriend.
The climax is shown in the episode 11:

Encounter episode 11 JH CSH beach 1.png
episode 11
Encounter episode 11 JH CSH beach 2.png

CSH and JH have their feet in the ocean, they are enjoying the beach and the waves. There is no distance between CSH and the sea any longer, which means CSH has found back her real personality and she is enjoying her new found freedom. She is outside, running freely and there is no window or dock separating her from the sea.    

And if we look back at the drawing from the episode 6, the waves are here the enemies because JH has forced them to react. The presence of JH as wind created waves, since the wind is the cause of waves. He brings enemies in CSH’s world, the sea. They are forced to reveal themselves.

However, the last drawing showing the presence of water is in the episode 13.  

Encounter episode 13 drawing beginning.png
episode 13

This time, the sea or a a lake seems to be frozen. This drawing represents CSH’s inner world, her last wall… which KJH is unaware of its existence as he is walking on the same side. Since he is by her side, he believes that he has achieved his goal (being as close as possible to her), yet he is wrong. This picture reveals the invisible barrier. Notice, we have here a mirror as the lake reflects their bodies which will mislead KJH. He won’t notice how he is pushed away, after his girlfriend meets his mother. The meeting is shown in the form of the white butterly leaving CSH’s body. This is the real blow which makes CSH change her mind. The frozen lake represents the last wall CSH had build around her. She is still somehow trapped and not entirely free.  

credit to @utkim (forum soompi)  


This gif illustrates perfectly my interpretation about nature and walk. CSH is in the dark, as if it was the night, since we can see two stars. Yet there is no moon. KJH is the only one living as he is walking. KJH is the wind and CSH is the sea. Notice that there is no wave before, the sea is calm. While approaching her, KJH creates a huge wave so that there is a lot of foam, bulbs of air.The wind brings movement and life to the sea. Their reunion creates something magical and huge. The big wave outlines the positive effect of KJH in CSH’s life: full of movement, excitement and joy.

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