Lee Rim and Lee Gon: a fight between artificiality and nature based on “The King: Eternal Monarch”

What caught my attention are the places Lee Rim is often seen. I find it interesting that we often the antagonist in the following places:

episode 7: Lee Rim and the CEO’s son on the right
episode 7: Lee Rim’s dark room

Both places give us a huge clue about Lee Rim. In the first picture, the traitor is standing in front of a furnace. Fire is associated to hell, when you look at the different pictures of hell from the European Middle Age. Furthermore, there is also another fire behind the doppelganger who replaces the CEO. This place is illustrating Lee Rim’s true nature: he is like the Devil. Furthermore his place looks like a workshop underlining the artificiality of this hell. This hell is made by a human. It is neither natural nor a godly place. In this “hell”, the son of the CEO is confronted with the final judgement: his death… he is even tormented before his death due to the multiple stabbing. Notice the painting in red in the first picture… it reminds us of dripping blood coming from his victims.

Then the other place is the dark room where his future targets for his big plan are revealed. Even the expression “dark room” is an allusion to the darkness of his plan. The red symbolizes the blood therefore the red announces the future of the pictured people: they all are his victims, even the doppelgangers Lee Rim succeeded to seduce because once they have lost their usefulness, he will get rid of them. The camera and the furnace are both manufactured by humans, they are not natural elements which outshine Lee Rim’s true personality. There is no coincidence that artificial is a synonym for fake and imitation. He is not a real god, rather an idol like the golden calf created by humans in despair hence his realm is artificial. This is the reason why he is so dangerous. Lee Rim is trying to create a fake realm. With his plan, the balance of the world has been disturbed. And this also explains why Lee Rim uses another gate to travel from one world to the other. It is underground, next to a bridge … here again we find again the themes of darkness, artificiality and manufacturing which contrasts to Lee Gon’s gate: the bamboo forest, a natural element, presented at the beginning of this analysis.

Here, the trees are alive, unlike in the workshop of Lee Rim where you only see cut wood. The bamboo forest reminds us of water as well due to the green. Green versus Red; Forest versus Fire (destruction of wood). Lee Gon’s favorite place contrasts so much to Lee Rim’s favorite places.

Episode 6: Prince Byuong and Lee Gon on the right

It is in the open, the pavilion is surrounded by water and the tree is blossoming. Unlike with his uncle’s places, the construction is in harmony with nature. There is light, the tree can live, even if it is surrounded by a building. That’s why Lee Gon is associated to light and his uncle to darkness. And this explains why Lee Gon has chosen Jeong Tae Eul as his Queen who loves planting. JTE is also connected to nature.  

episode 6: Jeong Tae Eul is sowing seeds in the passage between the two worlds
Episode 6: Here she is even talking to the plant: “I know you’re from a different world, but you should sprout. Your friends are in a much harsher place now”.

Her gestures show that for her, nature should have its place everywhere, even in a place where there is no wind, no rain, no light and no time. Striking is that both protagonists talked to the plant. Lee Gon ordered to the plant to grow nicely as well. We can observe her influence on him. Both are close to nature, while Lee Rim is often shown in closed and dark rooms, even in a building in constructions underlining the coldness and roughness coming from him. 

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