Painter Of The Night: 🖤 Black Heart (part 1) 🖤

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/ 

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In chapter 52, the manhwalovers witness the return of Min who dared to challenge Yoon Seungho on different occasions during the first season (chapter 33 and 41). In my two analyses about Min, I had described him as someone ambitious, jealous and manipulative thereby I started considering him as a villain for the second season. The lord with a green robe is led by his desire to overthrow the protagonist and to replace him as the new alpha among the local nobility. Thanks to this chapter, we definitely get to discover new sides of this villain called “Black Heart”.

But it is time to dedicate to chapter 52. In the beginning of this episode, we see Min smoking with a huge smile on his face. (Chapter 52)

He seems to enjoy it very much. However, to our shock, we discover that this aristocrat is smoking opium, a very addictive narcotic drug which was very popular among Chinese back then. Yet, you have to know that in reality opium trade was in the hands of British dealers. Already in 1729, the Qing emperor Yongzheng even forbade opium but this interdiction was useless as British merchants continued flooding the market of Qing dynasty with this drug, made possible by corrupted officials. Consequently during the 19th Century, according to historians, there existed around 12 millions Chinese addicted to opium so that the economy was affected. The high number of opium addicts forced the 8th emperor of Qing Dynasty Daogang to ask his Prime minister to confiscate opium from British sellers leading to the First Opium War between Great-Britain and Qing Dynasty (1839-1842). This info is quite relevant as it helps the readers to understand better the story. This explains why opium is imported from Qing and secondly why Min shouldn’t smoke it in the street. First, since Min shouldn’t smoke it in the street, I assume, opium was still forbidden so that we can conclude that this trade was certainly smuggled. Since Joseon was a vassal state of Qing, I assume that opium wasn’t legal in Joseon either. In other words, Min and his fellows are committing a crime.

Nonetheless, I deduce another info from this scene. Min is not the one who bought the opium but the other noble, for Black Heart asks him about the nature of the “tobacco”. Yet Min smokes it as if he owns it. From this single observation, I come to the interpretation, Black Heart is a profiteer and opportunist. He can enjoy opium without spending a high amount of money as his fellow was the one who bought it. He likes taking things from others, acts as if people around him were indebted to him hence he has the right to claim things from other aristocrats. As you can observe, Min is not just greedy and jealous of Yoon Seungho, he treats the other masters the same way.

The third observation is that Black Heart shows a disregard to others and especially to low-born. He doesn’t care if people see him smoking opium as he considers commoners as nobodies. This proves that Min believes, he is above the law as he is a noble. He shows no concern for his reputation, since he doesn’t fear any repercussion. No low-born will report him for smoking opium. On the other hand, he is not pleased to hear from the master with the khaki robe that he has to stop smoking the opium. He follows the fellow’s suggestion, however he can’t help himself criticizing him for his remark: “Do you have to be so difficult..?”. His comment is interesting because it indicates how Min views his companion, he is a killjoy. This reveals how much fun signifies to Black Heart. That’s why he likes manipulating people and even incited Jihwa to have the painter killed. This wasn’t just because he wanted to hurt Yoon Seungho and establish himself as the new king. He takes pleasure using people as his puppets. This was already palpable in the chapter 43, (chapter 43) but this signification is reinforced with this chapter. To summarize, Min treats everyone as pawns, including nobles. This outlines his arrogance. He considers himself as a puppet master, a great mastermind hence he is superior to everyone, including Yoon Seungho.

Chapter 52

Then, we see how the noble with the khaki robe leads our villain to the protagonist’s mansion. A single gesture, yet it is so full of signification. The aristocrat is behaving like a servant. He even addresses him as lord Min showing a respect but also a certain distance. Lord Min is treated as if he was superior to him. Yet, the noble doesn’t appear to be affected by his role as underling. He seems to be used to this situation. Therefore I come to the observation that lord Min seems to have imposed himself among nobles. He has become a high authority explaining why his actual position stands in conflict with Yoon Seungho’s.

What caught my attention in this drawing is the role played by Min’s fellows. They are his source of info. That’s how he learns about Yoon Seungho’s sponsorship and Jung In-Hun’s success at the first round of the civil service examination. As you can note, the arrogant noble is relying on his connections among the nobility in order to obtain new info about Yoon Seungho. This is also confirmed later, when he meets the painter at the mansion. He is so surprised to encounter him.

Chapter 52

He had heard through nobles that Yoon Seungho had returned to his old self, and had started inviting nobles again. Black Heart explained the lord’s sudden change with the painter’s death. Furthermore, during all this time, the artist was never seen by the guests hence they had come to the conclusion that he had disappeared. So in Min’s mind, his plan had succeeded. This detail is quite important as his sources of information are not reliable. Min can only see and hear what aristocrats witness in the main lead’s presence. Besides, their observations are biased, like the following picture proves it. (Chapter 52) One aristocrat calls the main lead “a madman”. So he is judging the seme based on his perception and knowledge and in my opinion rumors about him played a huge part. All the info collected by the nobles and reported to Min are somehow filtered. They only pay attention to other nobles and to what matters to them. This is important as I believe that they are neglecting the commoners. Since they are low-born, they are nothing in their eyes. This explicates why Min didn’t even bother to ensure that Nameless was indeed hired and he would do his job. He only heard about Nameless through other nobles and maybe even used him too, yet he accepted the rumor about Nameless as truth. (Chapter 43) Therefore I believe Min defends the values perpetuated among the aristocracy: titles give lords the right to consider themselves superior to commoners and to treat the latter as bugs. Min is the representative of this mentality, for him low-born have no value and no right. They can be killed or be mistreated, this is the normality for him. And this mentality is faulty as Min is neglecting an important factor: commoners. They represent the majority and play a greater role in the masters’ life. The result is that he made a huge mistake because of this source of info. He just relied on his fellows, however I have always said that Yoon Seungho used rumors and has always acted in front of other nobles. In other words, Min has a false image about the main lead and there is no doubt about it.

Pay attention to Min’s statement about the powerful protagonist:

Chapter 52

For him, he is easy to read. Black Heart is contradicting his counterpart since he is saying, the main lead is no lunatic. Striking is the expression “watch closely”. This detail is important because it explicates why Min approached Yoon Seungho in the first place. He needed to observe him in person to make his own judgement. He noticed the locked gaze between the main lead and the low-born, he realized the preciousness of Baek Na-Kyum in Yoon Seungho’s life. That’s why I see a confirmation of my previous analysis about Min. He was never an uke in the first place. He had to play this role in order to get close to the protagonist. Therefore he acted like a whore in that chapter 8. (chapter 8) Furthermore, after having sex one time, he remained by the painter’s side observing his expressions and reactions. He understood what the painter meant to the protagonist. (Chapter 9) However, his judgement is only partially correct as his perception is also influenced by the reports he received through his connections, like I wrote above. After the two challenges, Min could no longer approach the main lead hence he had to rely on other sources.

But why does Min think like that? He has the impression that the lord is not a deep thinker. Black Heart has no idea that the protagonist read all the books in his library. He thinks, Yoon Seungho is led by his emotions and can’t anticipate people’s moves. He might be merciless towards commoners but he is not really using his violence against other nobles. So far, he has never attacked any aristocrat. He might have humiliated them but that was it. Even after Jihwa got caught, Yoon Seungho only punished the spy but spared his childhood friend. In his mind, the lord is no strategist. He didn’t anticipate that Min would manipulate Jihwa to have the painter murdered. He threatened Jihwa and even Min, yet nothing really happened.

The arrogant mastermind imagined that if something precious to the main character is destroyed, then he would either return to his old self or be devastated. He would never retaliate. He can’t be really in love with a low-born or if he really is, then he will never reveal it. For Min, the famous lord might have been intrigued and attracted by the low-born, yet in reality he is just like them. He is too attached to his social status. Besides, he is just a depraved man so his moves are quite predictable. The lord will never go after another noble because he never did it in the past. Besides, each time Min challenged him, the lord retreated(chapter 33) or left it with a simple thread. (Chapter 41) Min never took it seriously. He only saw it as an empty menace. The problem is that Min’s perception is mostly influenced by the rumors existing about Yoon Seungho. I doubt, he is aware that the main lead has shadow guards. I even suspect that he never heard Yoon Seungho’s thread made in front of the painter.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Let’s not forget that in this chapter, Yoon Seungho was threatening to murder a noble which is quite daring. From my perspective, the aristocrat wasn’t making any empty thread. He was honest. As you can observe, Min’s words are revealing a lot about his false judgement about the main lead, which could be fatal for him. He believes that he is protected thanks to his title, Yoon Seungho will never dare to oppose him. He is not a real fighter. He became the ruler because of his infamous notoriety and there is nothing real behind it. He always avoided any confrontation.

Chapter 52

Striking is that just before he contradicts his fellow, he has a strange reaction. He is looking up at the sky but not at his companion. It was as if his mind was elsewhere. Here, I see another sign of his blindness and arrogance. He doesn’t pay attention to his companions, he doesn’t need to. They are far so inferior to him… how can they perceive Yoon Seungho as a madman? He is so easy to manipulate… you just need to strike the right nerve, and the man will just back off. He will never dare to fight back like in episode 33. The man literally fled, when he was pressured to bring the painter. He is just a man consumed by lust, nothing more. That’s his biggest mistake in the end. He might have perceived Yoon Seungho’s weakness, but he hasn’t truly investigated his personality, his background and his past. More importantly, he is not aware of Yoon Seungho’s true mentality: he hates nobility due to his past suffering. Hence for him titles have no value. Moreover he has no problem to be in contact with commoners. The painter is the best example.

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

30 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: 🖤 Black Heart (part 1) 🖤

  1. Great analysis. Now that I read your interpretation, it appears to me that Min is definitely doing that for fun and not because he hates Seungho or holds some personal matter against him. He is a narcissistic pervert who enjoys manipulate people and see them suffer. It still makes him a villain but not to the extent I was imagining. You are right, he is actually as stupid as In-hun. Arrogant and mean, but unlike the teacher, he is a better observer. How do you envision the next events to look like? Nakyum getting kidnapped and SH turning all the mansion upside down to understand what happened?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Min might be stupid and arrogant, this doesn’t make him less dangerous. To incite murder out of fun and ambition is quite vicious. No, the more I think about it, the more I have the impression that Yoon Seungho had already planned to go after Min.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent analysis! I never really thought much of this character but know I can see his importance on the development of this story. It’s good too see how greatly the author writes her characters, I love they’re like this, multifaceted and interesting. Honestly I’m looking forward to read what could happen!!

    And… there is something that is bothering me and I really wanted to know your opinion on this. It’s about that old servant that is always on Seungho’s side. The one who told Nakyum he’s acting like spoiled child. Btw, this alone angered me so much, you have no idea. It’s like he is erasing all Nakyum’s pain and suffering… like he wasn’t abused or treated like shit. Anyway………
    For some reason I started to think about what this servant told Seungho. What exactly he did told him because we didn’t get to see that, only the master’s reaction. And honestly, don’t you think he’s overreacting way too much? Why the hell is he so angry? Why would he even consider sharing the one he loves over a little bit of teasing? Idk, maybe I’m thinking way too much but I can’t see this all to be a SH’s plan (if it is, thats great and it makes sense but I just can’t see it like that rn).
    Anyway, did you write something about that servant? I’m pretty sure I’ve already read all of your analysis but lol just to make sure! What do you think about him? Could he be a villain too?

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    1. Although it was upsetting to see old servant scold NK I feel like it was not uncommon for the time period. It was his way of encouraging NK to pursue SH. It’s very clear that this old servant cares alot for SH and also NK in a more round about way. In fact he’s the one that gets to witness the beginnings and aftermath of the intimacy many times. He is somewhat like a grandpa figure to both of them but his alliances lies with SH. He also wants SH to actually be happy, I truly believe that. My opinion is that he sees SH as the one usually initiating and that NK is more passive and he recognizes that it hurts SH in a way. SH wants NK to chose to say with him not because he has not where to go but because he actually wants to stay. I think the servant said the somewhat harsh sounding words to try to incite NK to act. Also SH really did spoil NK in a unusual sort of way (not that the violence is ethically acceptable) this is historical Korea we are taking about here. Not only is NK a lowborn he was raised by prostitutes. This is like the low born of low borns. But yet he took a meal with a powerful noble.

      I also feel that the visit was not planned and that NK just happened to visit at a time that there was a sex party. Awaiting bebebisous’ comments as well

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are right about Min. He is indeed a matchmaker but I believe that each time, he is bringing some harm to the couple, although he has good intentions. Letting the painter meet Min was not a good idea and Yoon Seungho had to improvise. The kiss is not expressing lust at all. It is to protect the painter but at the same time to attack Min. The play with the tongues should be perceived as a fight with swords.

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      2. That’s true… I guess this is more like this character. He’s trying to help but ended up making things a bit more complicated. His interest to make his lord happy is genuine… thinking more about what happened on other chapters, that’s true. His harsh words made me angry ahaha that’s why I guess I started to think he could be some sort of villain. Than you for clarifying it for me!

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    2. The analysis about valet Kim is called “The helping hand.” I examined him in different analyses after the second season started. Since the start of the second season, I’ve started criticizing him as he does things on his own, thinking he is helping the two protagonists. Here again, he did something which Yoon Seungho wasn’t expecting. So far, I haven’t examined Seungho in this chapter as I am focusing on Min first. It helps me to figure out the lord’s moves.

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  3. Min really isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. He’s the exact type of idiot that thinks just because someone hasn’t done something that somehow means that they won’t push back no matter what is done to him. Seungho has clocked him and his petty schemes are undoubtedly going to come back to bite him.

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  4. I really do enjoy reading your analysis and the discussion back and forth. I believe Min creates and looks for opportunities to entertain his desire to see others suffer. He also is able to manipulate many nobles like Jihwa and you’re right that one of his assumptions is that SH is just a man consumed by lust.

    On a slightly different note that expression that SH wears at the end of the episode looks like it could kill. I wonder who it’s actually aimed at.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Min is one of those people who thinks he knows everything and can outsmart everyone because he believes falsely that he knows all the facts. He’s convinced himself that he’s the smartest person in the room and everyone else is just a fool tripping the stage for his enjoyment. He really believes Seungho won’t kill him because as you’ve already stated he didn’t kill Jinhwa over his previous transgressions namely attacking Nakyum. Doesn’t understand hasn’t doesn’t automatically mean won’t. He doesn’t realize that Seungho is the real puppetmaster here. Seungho is really playing up his façade of a man consumed by list taking full advantage of the rumors and gossip that swirl around (really wouldn’t put it past him to have start quite a few himself), Min is in fact see exactly what Seungho wants him to see, he’s just delusional in the belief that he’s see what Seungho doesn’t want seen. He doesn’t feel the noose tightening because he doesn’t even realize that it’s even there. He has such a disregard for everyone asides himself that he doesn’t understand that he is on serious danger. When you belittle and disregard others you are bound to walk around with tunnel vision, it would not surprise me in the slightest bit if Seungho has spies on him; lowborns that he wouldn’t give a second look to that are informing on him and all the other young nobles. The looks that Seungho both at the beginning and the end of the episode clearly show that 1.) Min’s classist prejudices have caused him to develop rather fatal blinders 2.) Seungho is playing 4th dimensional chess and Min is playing tiddlywinks; Min won’t realize how badly he done fucked up until the exact moment that Seungho draws his sword and cuts him down. 3.) Him distancing himself from Nakyum maybe done in part to lure idiots into a trap with the assumption that the painter has lost the young Lord’s favor, proof positive Min’s reaction and question to see Nakyum. Min believes that he has an impenetrable shield with his nobility, been unaware as you’ve stated Seungho’s probably justified hatred of the Noble class; Seungho is a penetrative shieldbreaker. (Saw a certain picture from future chapters on Pinterest and are really wondering who’s dead at his feet.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Where did you see that picture? You made me curious. But your observation about the start/end of the episode is really good. Thanks to you, I’ve got another thing to analyse. I am more and more convinced that Min is going to get killed and no one will suspect Seungho. I mean, if that happens, he can frame the other two nobles… the opium is illegal and could be used as an excuse for the death. Min was killed in a delirium. I mean, these are just thoughts but I am quite sure the noble has ways and means to get rid of his opponent and no one will suspect him. I really take Seungho’s warning seriously.

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      3. Pinterest, the night before last I would have to go back and if I can find it again. I was looking for something else, saw it but got sidetracked and didn’t think to dig deeper. Though it was of Seungho looking like was outside somewhere with a trembling Nakyum over his shoulder, his sword out with blood splashed on his blade and his Hanbok. You are most welcome. The look in his eyes directed at Min would probably terrify anyone that had any real sense but as it long been established, he clearly doesn’t. Cunning and intelligence are not the same thing, Min believes (like most of those people that are like him) that he is intelligent but mistakes it for cunning. An intelligent person wouldn’t keep poking the particular rabid bear known as Yoon Seungho until it mauls him….but he firmly believes that the situation is completely under his control and hasn’t even occur to him that Seungho clocked him from and is just waiting for exactly the right moment to crush the head of this particular venomous serpent….really hope that blood is Min’s he so NEEDS to DIE!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am thinking like you! Min is just cunning and that’s it. He is just like Jung In-Hun in the end: both vicious and hypocrites. Notice that Min keeps looking down on commoners, yet he wants to taste the painter. He described BNK as a “witch” to Jihwa, someone people should avoid… nonetheless he had his eyes on him the moment he saw him. Remember how he looked to the side in the direction of BNK, the moment he was about to have sex with Seungho. He was already lusting after him… however he keeps saying that the boy is a “whore”.

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      5. Now that you’ve pointed it out Min and Jung In-Hun are very similar in character and personality. Both firmly believe that they are above others and untouchable. One man that looks down on those he sees as beneath him but wants to embrace a lowborn. Another man that hates homosexuals and homosexuality using his student to cozy up to his sponsor and basically telling him to whore himself out and pass him their pillow talk. Neither actually realizes just how dangerous Seungho truly is. One trying to grasp a weakness so that he can shield himself until he can grab another thigh, the other believing that he’s the master when he really is barely a student.

        Also, 😟😟 was really hoping that was an official scene. Can’t you tell that I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY!!! Want Seungho to paint the scenery with Min’s blood?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Honestly, I am hoping to witness another scene with Seungho’s ruthlesness. During the first season, Baek Na-Kyum was the one who got to experience this side… now, it is time that nobles get to experience Seungho’s brutality.

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  5. Am I the only one who thinks that Seungho’s kiss to Min was not to protect Nakyum at all but a way to punish him from liking his teacher instead of him? It looked to me like a childish behavior from a heartbroken Seungho. I have the impression SH is in a punishment phase. He is avoiding and ignoring Nakyum since he knew the truth about InHun. He is drinking and having sex parties like before. He wasn’t expecting Nakyum to visit him that night and when he saw him, he didn’t even look at him once. From Nakyum’s own words, we know that SH glazes at Nakyum with an “unreadable” expression… but the panel accompanying this thought was a drawing of SH with a super angry face. Only a naive and innocent guy like Nakyum is unable to read that xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can interpret it the way you want. However, I believe that this gesture wasn’t just to protect the painter but to fight against Min. He is angry as Min insulted Baek Na-Kyum. He is angry as he chose the moment to approach him, when he is not alone. He is upset because he is wearing the white headband again. As you can see, we cam interpret the source of Seungho’s anger in many different ways. My purpose with these essays is that readers starts questioning Yoon Seungho’s behavior. IMO, Seungho isn’t just focused on the painter. He has to watch out… enemies are lurking around.

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  6. Daamn, I haven’t even noticed that Nakyum was wearing the headband again! So Kim’s rudeness actually paid off. Nakyum is going back to his old self and forgetting about his prostitute pseudo-status. That’s a good progress. He’s quite slow on figuring out his emotions towards SH though. It’s about time!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can I call you Nim, is that your name? I just wanted to pop in and say that I don’t know anymore what I look forward to the most- POTN episode on Friday or your analysis on Saturday/Sunday. You are the best and I love how you incorporate history into the analyses ❤️🙏🏼 Keep on going!

    Also, it confuses me how people seem to have gotten the story so differently than you and us followers of your blog… For example, in the reddit page of POTN I keep on disagreeing with people’s view of SH. There seems to be a general dislike (or misunderstanding?) of Seungho and I suspect people are missing the nuance and deeper symbolism of the story.

    What I love with POTN is the play on opposites like mind and heart, illusion/rumors and truth, harshness and softness, experience and innocence. And now the different characters as opposites; Min -SH have different leadership styles and attitudes toward social hierarchy, and how NK used too much mind and too little heart/body and Jihwa too much heart/body and too little mind. Also love how minor and tiiiiny changes in climate, clothes, expressions and behaviors tells the story and lets us get to a deeper level, if we want to. These are all things you’ve made me think about ☺️

    Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, no. I am so very sorry to hear that. Please don’t let people that let people that think “Seungho is an asshole and nothing else.” Get you down. It’s fairly obvious that while Seungho an asshole that has engaged in some deeply rephensible behavior, that’s not all he is. Just thinking of those detractors like they are Min; individuals that firmly believe that the young Lord is a brutish, sex crazed silk pants incapable of deep thought or carefully laid plans. I may have not been reading your analysises long and clicked on the link you left the comments out of curiosity but I did make a WordPress account early this morning because I agreed with your character analysis of Min so much that I just had to respond and so that I could comment and discuss with you. Yoon Seungho isn’t so easily dismissed, how well-written and multilayered is he that both those inside and outside of the fourth wall kind of disregard him and don’t feel so inclined to delve deeper into him or brush off an complexity he has. I do also agree that SH is the way he is largely because of deep sexual trauma and close betrayal in his past and like Akihito from Finder because of what he went through he learn to use sex as a weapon, feed into people’s assumptions and masterfully manipulate them as he sees fit to the point that Min thinks that he had the upper hand and can bring him down at anytime and take his throne not realizing that he’s already been tangled up in SH’s web since a long time ago. (So Bebe-nim, hwaiting!!!!)

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