This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
In this essay, I’ll focus on the new character Nameless who appeared for the first time in the chapter 43. What caught my attention in the latest episode was the way how Byeonduck presented him, it was through hearsay. That’s the reason why I selected this title in the first place. (Chapter 51) (Chapter 51) And now, if we look back at his first appearance, he was indeed recommended by hearsay. Min was the first one mentioning him to Jihwa. So in the following panel, the speech bubble represents Min’s voice. He is the one describing Nameless to Jihwa.
Nameless or No-Name is portrayed as someone greedy and ruthless. Because of the interruption of the intercourse, Jihwa has even the impression, Nameless is selling himself for money. It looks like he has no conscience, only money matters to him. That’s how the gossip portrays him. However, in the chapter 51, we also discover that he has another reputation. He is supposed to be a good lover or better said, sex partner. (Chapter 51) It looks like he has made a name for himself among people through hearsay, although he doesn’t have a name. How ironic! Since he doesn’t possess a name, it was as if he didn’t exist. A name defines a person as such, it gives an origin (family name, parents etc.) which is really important in Asia. Since this story takes place in Joseon, the importance of family and name is even more relevant. Without a name, the man has no root so that we could say, Nameless is like an orphan. In other words, he shares the same fate than Baek Na-Kyum, an orphan with unknown origins. I could even add he lives like a shadow through hearsay. I believe, there is no coincidence that Nameless was introduced through gossip twice. It is a part of his figure, he lives through grapevine for a purpose in my opinion.
Because of this detail, I couldn’t help myself connecting him to our main lead Yoon Seungho. The latter also uses rumors as a tool in order to deceive people. Remember my theory that Yoon Seungho acted as the biggest sodomite ever in order to hurt his father and manipulate people around him. At the same time, the aristocrat utilizes hearsay as a shield in order to protect himself. The least people know the true Yoon Seungho, the better it is as his weaknesses can’t be exposed. That’s why I called him the master of deception. Therefore I think that Nameless uses the same strategy, he hides behind hearsay. Note that we have two rumors in the chapter 51, the one about Yoon Seungho returning to his bad habits and the other about Nameless. Therefore I come to the conclusion that both gossips mirror each other and are no coincidence. This reinforces my impression that Nameless created this image about himself through gossips for a reason too. And here is the question: Why would he do that? What is his purpose to have such a “reputation” as greedy and ruthless? I doubt that avidity and cruelty are his true motivations. Just like in the noble’s case, we should question this hearsay. Hence I will examine Nameless, not through gossips but through the pictures Byeonduck gave us and make some speculations.
When he appeared for the first time, he was dancing with another artist following the music played the musicians. This picture reveals that Nameless is working with others. His work as entertainer is just a cover, since he does dirty work behind the scene. We can definitely say that Nameless is the chief of the band because of the following picture: (chapter 51) The minions must be the musicians and the dancer. As you can observe, the man is not just some criminal driven by greed and brutality, he has abilities for he was able to impose himself as the leader of this band. I detect that he is methodical and quite decisive. Remember that he gave instructions to Jihwa in the chapter 50. (chapter 50) Strictly speaking, he is a strategist which is visible when he tells Jihwa that he has other channels.
As you can observe, he resembles a lot to Yoon Seungho. Some readers started even imagining that they might be related because they look similar. However, this is for me too soon to adhere to this theory. What I can definitely announce for sure is that both characters have a similar thinking and personality. Hence this doesn’t surprise us that both are described as ruthless as well. When the manhwalovers read that Nameless was working on other channels, they immediately connected it to Deok Jae. The resentful servant is spying on his account as he wants to get revenge on his master. (chapter 51) They were not wrong with this association, however I feel that in that cabin, there was another channel that Nameless was working on. (Chapter 51) Why would he have sex with her? Why would she approach him? I have the impression that the hearsay (him being good at sex) was relayed to her intentionally. Remember that in Painter Of The Night, nothing is there by accident. Jihwa might have caught them randomly, yet there is no ambiguity that this intercourse has its importance. Therefore I tried to determine the identity of this woman. (Chapter 51) If you regard her clothes, you’ll note that her appearance resembles the one belonging to maids. (Chapter 47) The colors of the jacket and skirt are quite similar. However, there is a huge difference between the two maids. Although the servant in the picture above is the head-maid at the kitchen, she doesn’t own any expensive hair pin or ring, while it is different with the woman sleeping with Nameless. She possesses two jade rings and a golden hair pin. This is not something a maid would own. We have 2 possibilities. Either the woman disguised herself as maid by wearing such clothes and hid her real identity or she is a maid close to a lord and the latter gave her jewels for her sexual services. The third possibility is that she works as a gisaeng which would explain the contrast between the jewels and the clothes. She belongs to the lowest social class, yet she has to distinguish herself through her hair dress and jewels. This idea was proposed by one of my readers Anyway, in my opinion, Nameless approached her for a reason. He is digging for information. We have two possibilities: either he is spying on nobles (the clients of the gisaeng house) or he wants to know more about the painter. Let’s not forget that the latter was raised in a brothel. While Jihwa believes that Nameless is doing it for money, I think that he is using his body for information. Why do I come to this conclusion? It is quite simple. Since I sensed so many parallels between Yoon Seungho and Nameless, I am using the protagonist as role model. Because the noble used his body in order to defeat nobles and to hide his own self from others, I believe that the commoner is acting the same way. Both have a negative reputation through gossips and hearsay.
Because I explained that the lord hid his traumatic past behind his bad reputation, I have the impression that Nameless is also hiding his tragic past behind the hearsay. We have definitely proof that the “criminal” has a terrible past: his body.
Thanks to one of my followers, I was able to discover the signification of the tattoo on his chest. Notice, he has the same tattoo twice: Thief. So he was condemned because of theft and this twice. This is something he can never erase hence I come to the conclusion that this is the reason why he covered his whole body with tattoos.
By having so many tattoos on his body, he made sure that the tattoos “thief” wouldn’t catch the attention and be perceived as a weakness, there are tattoos among others. Sure, my problem is that I can’t discern the meaning of the others. On the other hand, I am quite certain that he uses tattoos as a cover to hide his weakness, his wound.
Another observation is that Nameless is quite observant, just like the rich noble. He realized how weak Jihwa was due to his gestures (the shaking hand, the noble biting his finger nails) (chapter 50) that’s why he ordered him to stay home in the chapter 50 and here asks if he has been drinking. He can perceive people’s personality very well. I would even add that Nameless’ heart must have been touched, when he noticed Jihwa’s bad habit: biting his finger nails. He must have sensed that this noble had still an innocent soul. Striking is that although the red-haired noble is just a wreck and even insults the “criminal”,
the latter never gets upset. He always remains calm and still treats his “client” with respect. He continues calling “sir” or “my lord” all the time. Notice the contrast of Nameless’ attitude towards Jihwa and Deok Jae. He never threatened the aristocrat, while he had a killer gaze in front of the domestic. (Chapter 51) Even the evil domestic got scared, when he experienced this gaze.
This attitude unveiled Nameless’ disdain but also mercilessness towards the domestic. He pays no attention to the servant, whereas he is treating Jihwa so differently. He shows a certain care, which is unveiled when Byeonduck lets us enter his mind. This image represents the commoner’s perspective. (Chapter 51) That’s the reason why this zoom on his chin covered with tears was preceded with the drawing of Nameless’ face. The latter looked at Jihwa’s mouth and tears, while the commoner allowed the noble to voice his worries and anxiety. His eyes don’t express any disdain or arrogance in the last painting. Here, we could say that Nameless is not cold-hearted, quite the opposite, he is sensitive. Sure, he doesn’t allow the red-haired aristocrat to mistreat him, yet he shows a certain curiosity and concern towards his client. In fact, this reflects the purity of his heart. He senses the noble’s sinlessness which stands so much in opposition to the criminal’s reputation. In this scene, the manhwaphiles can detect another similarity with Yoon Seungho again. The gaze and action reveal more than any word. And here is the next question: why would No-Name be quite nice to Jihwa?
Since I observed so many parallels between Yoon Seungho and Nameless, I couldn’t restrain myself imagining that both could be working together in reality. But I have to admit that as good as this theory sounded, it is now quite certain that they have no ties. On the other hand, I still believe that at some point, they will be working because both could be reunited by a common desire: their resent for the nobility. We know for sure that the powerful protagonist despises social hierarchy and judges people based on their skills and work. He had no problem to take a painter coming from a brothel as his “wife”, so why not having a “commoner” working for him? While composing the essay “White versus Black”, I realized that yin and yang symbolizes perfectly the main characters’ personality. While Yoon Seungho has still a pure mind (White), his heart has been corrupted due to his tragic past (black) that’s why he keeps hurting the painter over and over again. On the other hand, Nameless has a pure heart, yet he has a corrupted mind due to a traumatic experience. His “vicious” mind could be the reason why he is able to perceive a conspiracy and even plot a crime. He doesn’t lose his temper, when he is threatened.
From my point of view, he even envisaged this possibility. Striking is that his head is indeed covered by a black veil which corresponds to my association with the black mind.
Surprising is that the manhwalovers discover the black cloth at the end of the chapter. Does this belong to Deok-Jae? If so, then this represents his vicious heart and mind. He resented the painter and bullied him in many different ways illustrating the darkness in his personality. This would also explain why the criminal has no remorse to kill the vicious servant. He really hates that kind of people. Let’s not forget that based on my theory, Nameless is sensitive to innocence and kindness due to his pure heart. Simultaneously, this could also belong to the ruthless criminal, a sign of his brutality. He won’t spare anyone standing in his way. So the rumored ruthlessness becomes a reality in the chapter 54. He has no problem to get rid of an annoying witness. He will dirty his hands, if he needs to, he feels no remorse to kill someone.
What caught my attention in this picture is that Nameless is looking at Deok-Jae through his mask. It was, as if he was now transforming into the butcher he is supposed to be. The eye is looking at the domestic, the latter has already become his target. From my point of view, there are two reasons why Nameless decides to eliminate the servant. First, he has this desire to protect the red-haired noble whom he views as innocent. We shouldn’t forget that the criminal was the one who reminded his client of the gravity of the wrongdoing. Since Nameless has sensed that the aristocrat is plagued with huge pangs of conscience, he has become aware that Jihwa has been incited by someone else. Because the commoner has a corrupted mind, he can perceive the darkness in other people, like Deok-Jae, but also he can think like a vicious person. That’s why he has been working on other channels. I have the feeling that he is trying to uncover the conspiracy which led Jihwa to hire him. That would explain why he told Jihwa, he had to wait for a while. Nameless decided to look into the matter, when he noticed the red-haired aristocrat’s anxiety. He wanted to uncover why Jihwa would want to get rid of a low-born. Since he has a pure heart, it is definitely possible that he abhors the idea of murdering innocent people. Yet, his black mind is the reason why he is able to plot against others.
Since Nameless was convicted as thief, it is definitely possible that he had such a tragic fate due to the purge, since Yoon Seungho became a victim of betrayal due to the purge. In other words, if my theory is correct that the commoner suffered a traumatic past like Yoon Seungho, I doubt that he would let nobles manipulate him, especially if he was framed himself in the past. Therefore the suffered injustice could be the butcher’s real motivation. This explains why he is working on other channels. He needs to find out the identity of the mastermind behind this conspiracy. He wants to keep Jihwa away from this event. Besides, Nameless would be the perfect enemy for Min as he embodies White heart. So far, Yoon Seungho can’t defeat Min with his broken and corrupted heart. With his viciousness, the criminal can uncover the secret, while Yoon Seungho’s mind is too pure to even imagine such a plan. Moreover, his mind and heart are too preoccupied with the artist hence he has become blind and deaf to what is happening around him. Right now, the lord is in a weakened state, the perfect opportunity for Min to strike.
As you can observe, the theory of the protagonist working together with the ruthless commoner has been abandoned, yet I am quite sure that they will join forces at some point. Furthermore, since Byeonduck is using elements from the first season but has changed the chronology, I came to realize that Nameless’ actions (Chapter 54) reminded me of Jung In-Hun’s behavior in the first season. He used commoners in order to dig up some secret so that he could blackmail Yoon Seungho. (Chapter 29) Therefore I have the impression that the commoner is behaving like him, yet this time it is in order to unveil the identity of the mastermind. That way, he could protect Jihwa and at the same time, he would be able to get rid of a heinous person. On the other hand, since Min has become aware that his plot failed because the assassination didn’t take place, Black Heart can only condemn the red-haired aristocrat and Nameless. It is definitely possible that Min chooses to hurt Jihwa as retaliation which can only push the criminal to become very hostile to Min. From my point of view, Nameless will become a great helping hand for Yoon Seungho in the future. With his Black mind, he can even predict what villains will do. The protagonist’s mind is too pure to recognize the viciousness in the scholar. He might have perceived his hypocrisy and stupidity, nonetheless he still doesn’t know what Jung In-Hun afflicted to the painter. From my point of view, this explains why Yoon Seungho couldn’t defeat the scholar so quickly. He was too naive in this aspect. However, the main character needs to have someone with a black mind so that they can anticipate the scholar and father Yoon’s moves.
The final reason for my theory that Nameless will become the protagonist’s ally is the way Nameless is used. Byeonduck seems to have created a second OTP because Nameless keeps touching the noble’s wrist and is quite caring.
Consequently I can’t imagine, the noble being involved with Nameless and the latter becomes Baek Na-Kyum’s real assassin. Their “love story” would be too tragic because there is no ambiguity that the influential noble would go after these two, if the painter or someone else close to him would get hurt. Besides, based on my theory (White versus Black), Nameless with his corrupted mind is the only one capable to defeat Min with his black heart. The darkness of the mind can fight against Black Heart. Furthermore, Nameless can help Yoon Seungho to defeat Jung In-Hun and Father Yoon later. Observe that so far, the main lead never attempted to get revenge on his father. He just hurt his father with his behavior and the rumors, yet father Yoon was never really attacked or defeated.
As a conclusion, Nameless will play a huge role in the future, not just as a killer but as a double-agent. I consider him as the alpha and the master of deception among the commoners. His mask as entertainer symbolizes his disguise. By meeting Jihwa, he realizes that there are still some pure people in the world which will lead him to change his life. Nameless resembles a lot to our protagonist Yoon Seungho, hence I felt their collaboration would be quite interesting, if my theory was correct. Nonetheless, after the end of season 3, it looks like Byeonduck doesn‘t plan to use No-Name and Jihwa a lot. So if the Joker appears in season 4, it will be brief.
Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My Reddit- Instagram- Tumblr-Twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.
9 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: Hearsay (part 2) – second version”
Hello. I really enjoy your analysis. I love your theory about the relationship between our lord Yoon and Nameless (why Nameless? Why not “John”? Or Cher? It’s the same ambiguity!). It could be a really good plot twist.
Now, I have a theory about the identity of the woman who was, (cough, cough) enjoying Nameless’s services: I think she is a kisaeng. Although, I do not know a lot about the life of the kisaeng in the Joseon period, to me, her, being a kisaeng, can explain a lot of things: her dress, accessories and appearance (she seems pretty and young) and according to your theory, she can become a great asset for Nameless, because the best place to get information about powerful men is a kisaeng house. They get drunk, they talk, they gossip. She can gather all the information, deliver it to Nameless, and he can pass the information to our lord while they workout together (I mean, look at their bodies!).
Well, that’s my theory, I hope you enjoy it!
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What a great idea!! It’s true that the nobles go to the kiseang house. The best place to get new intel.
I must say this must be the best analysis I’ve read so far! Almost gave me shills down my spine and made me smile like a moron. Everything makes so much sense, like puzzles that just fits. Like a true Sherlock Holmes story 😂🙏🏼 Well, we won’t know for sure about your SH & no name theory until next Friday, but it seems like a perfect plot twist. Elegant and well thought out, something byeonduck would do.
I discovered your blog about 3 weeks ago and I’ve been reading your posts about POTN almost Every single day since then. Makes the experience of reading the comic just so much more exiting and to be honest, I only understood the comic on a surface level before I stumbled across your essays. A huge thank you for your work, it really keeps my mind occupied and soul filled with happiness during these hard times. THANK YOU!
Best wishes from Sweden.
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Thank you for leaving such a comment. It really makes me happy. I have to say that I was really upset because someone wrote to me this: “the problem with you is you speculate and imagine things, and you call those things analyses. That’s not how you analyze a story. You have to base your analysis on what were dished out on the story and not on what you think as a reader. All the “analyses” you’re too passionate to write and share online sound like you did not only read beyond the line but also like you read a different book.” After reading this, I was shaken, wondering if I would overthink everything. However, like I mentioned above, your comment and like the one from @Sakurita_san reassured me.
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Well, I think like this: I enjoy fiction (like POTN) even though it’s not reality. I enjoy your speculations and theories, even though we don’t have ways to prove things or they prove to be completely different in the end. I still enjoy it, and makes my experience of reading the FICTION just so much more enjoyable. Yes, your analysis made me see POTN in a different light, but in a more exciting light. For me, that’s the only thing that matters…Speculation and theory means “not knowing” right? So even if you’d made assumptions that turn out to be completely bananas, I don’t care, and you’re doing a fantastic job doing it anyways 🙂
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Thanks a lot for the great feedback. It does make feel much better. If possible, I’ll post another essay today.
No way we really love your analyses please keep going !! I’m always looking forward to you and it’s thanks to you I’m so into potn I’ve became so excited and understand way better
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Oh man this is a great theory and did cross my mind but I feel like it is too early to tell. I know that No-name will play a big part and that he is like another version of Seungho in the way that both of them do not care for social norms also both of them are super tall (especially for Asian men). Touching a noble for such a “low born” was unheard of, even if to grab the wrist (much less “lift the veil” when he asked Jihwa if he was drinking). I think the shippers did call this pairing, there does appear to be a 2nd couple forming. I do also think Min will come up again
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I came to find out the meaning of No Name’s tattoos. It was a punishment in ancient Korea to tattoo a person’s crime, so I hear from Google.
Brilliant analysis. I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts. It also helps me get through the week waiting for the next chapter 😂
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