The Ghost’s 🥀 Nocturne: 🤔 Choose your fate! ⚰️ 👼

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Because the Ghost’s Nocturne’s first season has just ended, I felt the need to examine this terrific manhwa again. In addition, it was necessary, as I had developed certain theories like for example Jae Shin and Queen Han Chae-Hee were both the children of a god and a human. Though the side stories in English have not been released it yet, one chapter confirmed my theory. But actually, this thesis was already proven correct much earlier. You’re probably going to ask when exactly, right?

1. Fate, water and nails

The author left all the clues in chapter 31. 😯 The most conclusive evidence is that Jae Shin has a fate (chapter 31) which stands in opposition to the gods and Jae Shin’s brothers. Yeomra and his sons have no fate, for they all have one task: to lead the deceased to the afterlife and judge them so that they can be reincarnated. (chapter 31) But since the main lead has a fate, I deduce that his “life” is connected to death and as such it is not eternal. Under this new perspective, you comprehend why I added the coffin ⚰️ as emoji in the title. Fate insinuates mortality. Observe that he changed from a little boy to a grown-up. (chapter 15) However, his transformation took centuries and this can be explained with his father’s immortality. The proof for his long life are his nails. (chapter 31) It must have taken him centuries to have them long. Besides, I can imagine that there exists no time in the afterlife, because immortality is a synonym for eternity. For the brothers are immortals, they have no real notion of time. Hence they employed the idiom “it feels like it was only yesterday”. Nonetheless, Jae Shin definitely chose to keep his nails long in order to distinguish himself from humans. That’s the reason why he was introduced with long nails. (chapter 5) This is no coincidence that his hand is connected to magic and supernatural powers. But imagine he chose to lose his long nails after being kissed from Lee Nok. (chapter 22) It happened, when the puppy got adopted. The Crown Prince started considering the cute dog as his family, the moment he decided to give him a name. We could say that this was like an adoption. (chapter 22) Though Jae Shin disliked the name, his heart melted, as soon as he got embraced by his lover. (chapter 22) Therefore it is not surprising that he returned the kiss to The Crown prince. (chapter 22) This is important, because through this scene, the manhwaphiles could observe two important changes. Jae Shin discovered that he could make the Crown Prince happy, he could be his source of comfort and joy. Under this new light, it becomes understandable why Jae Shin had a different perception of the mortal world after that scene. His heart had started beating for Lee Nok. (chapter 22) Thus he chose to renounce his long nails on one hand. (chapter 22) What took him years or probably centuries to grow vanished within a few seconds. The loss of his long nails is the sign that Jae Shin is slowly turning into a human.

But there is more to it. Striking is that when the protagonist confided to his puppy his thoughts about the main lead (chapter 31), Jae Shin desired to know more what his lover thought about him. .(chapter 31) He was left unsatisfied. He desired to know how much he meant to him. This reflects Jae Shin’s gradual interest and growing affection towards the main lead. As you can see, Lee Nok is slowly opening up his heart and mind to the puppy Jae Shin, and it is the same for the Ghost prince. The gentle and caring Crown prince’s words can only affect the protagonist.

Then I suddenly realized that this was the place where both had met for the first time. (chapter 1) The pavilion has a huge significance not only in this story, but in manhwas in general. First, the pond with the pavilion is the symbol for the humble and dedicated scholar. Why? It is related to the lotus, which is strongly intertwined with Confucianism and Buddhism.

In both Confucianism and Buddhism, the lotus flower is seen as a symbol of honest poverty and virtue associated with an aloofness. Poverty and virtue come from the fact that lotus flowers grow in muddy and dirty waters, yet it still has such beauty.” Quoted from,it%20still%20has%20such%20beauty.

Consequently, the plant came to represent the upright and faithful scholar. This new meaning was based on Chinese wordplay—lotus (lian) and uprightness (lian) which are homonyms. This explicates why during Joseon period, Korean neo-Confucian scholars loved having quadrangular ponds with lotus flowers in their propriety. This is not surprising that the Crown Prince has a huge pond, as he serves as the role model of all the scholars. Hence he was tasked by his own father to preside the next civil service examination. (chapter 32) And what do these two scenes have (chapter 22) (chapter 31) in common? Water!! Look at the colors the artist C.-R. Jade utilized for Jae Shin’s fall from the building. Blue and green… an allusion to water. Besides, I had already pointed out that water served as a connection between the two worlds. This means that Yeomra’s beloved son was following his destiny. Exactly like the father had predicted. (chapter 3) This is no coincidence that Yeomra met the other deities at a pavilion in the end. The ruler of the Underworld is aware that nothing can be changed. Not even the meddling of ghosts or evil spirits or a god can affect Jae Shin’s destiny which is to become a human. In the past, he gave up on his humanity, for he had to witness the loss of his mother. The latter wouldn’t remember him after her death and reincarnation. This must have pained Jae Shin, since it was, as if he had never existed. Only his immortal brothers and father knew about his existence. The irony is that the protagonist has no idea that his decisions are all predetermined. He has the impression that he is making his own decisions. This panel reflects the contradiction perfectly. (chapter 22) He thinks, he made the decision on his own (meet the prince), yet he chooses his fate, to follow the flow of “water” and as such destiny.

But since he is becoming more and more human thanks to Lee Nok, it is not astonishing that he decided to remain in the human world during Chilseok. The reason is simple. What distinguishes humans from gods is pain! Thus Yeomra and the other gods from the afterlife are connected to punishment. (chapter 1) This helps them to be impartial and as such just, for they can’t suffer. This means that the protagonist was accepting torment and pain for the Crown Prince’s sake. (chapter 31) Naturally, he denied his growing attachment in front of his brothers, yet he couldn’t fool them. Interesting is that the ghost prince justified his choice by imagining that during that night his sex partner would be harassed by many ghosts. (chapter 31) However, the reality was the exact opposite. (chapter 31) The ghosts wouldn’t approach him. Thus I deduce that Chilseok is only affecting Jae Shin and not the other spirits. But why?

2. Chilseok and Jae Shin

In order to get an answer, it was necessary to investigate the signification of Chilseok. And guess what I discovered, these festivities are connected to a forbidden love story. 😮

“On opposite sides of the universe lived Jiknyeo, a young woman who was very good at weaving clothes and Gyeonwu, a young handsome herder of cattle. Jiknyeo was the daughter of the heavenly King and she was so beautiful that she was loved by all of the angels in heaven. One day as Jiknyeo was weaving, she looked out of the window and caught a glimpse of Gyeonwu who was living across the Milky Way. The two soon fell in love and with the blessing of the King they were united to marry and live together. The young couple were so in love that Jiknyeo stopped weaving clothes and no longer would Gyeonwu herd the sheep and cows. This upset the King very much and he decided that they should live apart from each other, separated by the Milky Way.

Only once a year were the couple permitted to meet each other, on the seventh day of the seventh month. On July 7th each year, although Jiknyeo and Gyeonwu were excited to meet each other, they couldn’t cross the Milky Way. The crows and magpies of the universe saw the despair of the young couple and would come together to make a bridge so that they could meet and hug. After spending a short time together, the couple would realize that it would be another year before they could meet again and they would both cry. It is these tears which symbolizes the start of the monsoon season.” Quoted from

As the manhwalovers can imagine, as soon as I read this, I couldn’t help myself suspecting that Ananas had chosen this “impossible love story” as a source of inspiration for The Ghost’s Nocturne. Since we have a forced separation and two different kind of people, I think that in her manhwa, the legend about Chilseok is actually based on the love story between Yeomra and Jae Shin’s mother. I don’t think that the god of the Afterworld could leave his palace so easily and for a long time. And now you comprehend why Jae Shin was suffering so much during that night. (chapter 32) (chapter 32) It is related to his origins and as such birth. However, he is not the only one suffering from Chilseok. Queen Han Chae-Hee is going through the same painful experience. (chapter 34) However, contrary to the Crown Prince, she can not choose, for she is now attached to the palace. This can only reinforce my thesis that she is exactly like Jae-Shin, the child of a god and a human. Because the authors created similar panels (chapter 32) (chapter 34), it becomes really obvious that these two figures are completing each other. Why? It is related to Taoism philosophy: the harmony of yin (red-black-female) and yang (blue-white-male). Consequently, I deduce that the Queen and the ghost prince were actually destined to be together, but someone intervened. This means, he didn’t believe in fate.

3. The blind man and his words

If you have already read my essay “Devoted curses”, you are already aware that for me, the blind man is a god from the afterlife. (chapter 30) And now, I can prove this theory. First of all, I detected the presence of Yeomra’s palace in this picture. (chapter 1) The shape of the building is the same. This means that the speaker had already been there. Only agents and other people connected to the afterworld can appear there. In addition, no human can remember the palace once reincarnated. Then, the pupil of his eyes reflected (chapter 30) the red spider lily, the flower from the afterlife. That’s the reason why Jae Shin has red spider lilies as earrings in the cover. This eye we are here seeing is the man’s third eye which looks like a wart. (chapter 30) I had already speculated that the vicious Queen had received her eyes from her father. (chapter 8) Hence he is blind now. Moreover, I couldn’t restrain myself from associating this red eye (chapter 30) to Sauron’s in Lord of The Rings From Tolkien.

This monarch was not originally evil, but due to his greed and ambitions, he got corrupted and became the symbol for tyranny and evil. He became a monster, and later even an evil spirit. However despite everything Sauron got defeated and this twice. Each time when he believed to have won, he was caught by surprise and as such by misfortune. He always lost his power due to the loss of a ring. It was, as if the spirit was trying to fight against his destiny, overlooking that his power was not natural, but based on a small item, a ring. And I feel that the blind man is acting the same way, trying to defy destiny. I would like to point out that his question (chapter 30) implied a certain surprise, he was left in the dark how the Crown Prince was able to meet the ghost prince. Let’s not forget that the protagonist lives in seclusion in the palace, and all his moves are monitored. Besides, when he leaves the palace, he is always followed by guards and his childhood friend. In other words, the man was wondering how it was possible that these two men could meet. He has no idea that Jae Shin was turned into a little white dog. (chapter 1) The word creature is really ambiguous, it can refer to an animal or to a human.

Finally, his meddling can be perceived, when he used prejudices to sow the seeds of doubt in Lee Nok. He described Jae Shin, as if he was like any other ghost. He compared him to a terrible beast. (chapter 34) His warning was to push the Crown Prince to reject Jae Shin and put his distance from him. The irony is that his words were actually describing himself. He appeared the most human, as he was weak and blind, yet his intention is not well-meant. Bringing the couple apart signifies that Lee Nok is left unprotected. He can become the target of humans and ghosts. Striking is that the artist Jade employed black and red as colors, when the main lead remembered his words. This is no coincidence, as the old man (chapter 30) is also connected to red and black. I would even add to fire which contrasts to water. (chapter 22) As you can perceive, he is fighting against the flow of life and as such against fate. He stands for the opposite principle of Yeomra’s (chapter 31)

4. Fate or choice?

But why are they thinking so differently? From my perspective, their different vision originates from their own perception about humans. Don’t forget that Yeomra’s role is to judge the deceased, and if my theory is correct about the blind man (4th god), then he also judges and sentences them. While the other chose to see the positive side in humans, the other came to view them as weak, greedy and bad, hence they are punished. Besides, if the man is truly a god sentencing people, it is quite easy to envision how his power turned him into an arrogant and greedy god. As a deity he could only feel superior to the mortals. This would explain why he would start meddling in mortal affairs.

But there is more to it. My title for this analysis contains an oxymoron. Fate is an antonym for choice, for the former denies the existence of free will.

In philosophy, determinism denies the existence of real freedom, as their point is that humans will make decisions based on their surrounding and their past experiences. They are influenced by their subconscious as well. Besides, by denying the existence of free will, some could come to deny their responsibility for their choices and actions. Like for example they only did it because they had been manipulated or had no other choice (like for example obeying an order). However, since people don’t reflect deeply about the reasons for their choices, they have the impression that they are free to make such a decision. And this declaration leads me to the following observation. Jae Shin is in this exact situation. He has no idea about his fate, only his brothers and Yeomra are aware of it. Thus the god and his sons spoke about his destiny in his absence. (chapter 31) Jae Shin believes that it was his own choice to lose his long nails or to stay with Lee Nok during Chilseok.

But let’s return our attention to this picture. (chapter 30) By letting us see his inner thoughts, the manhwalovers could see the real blindness of the white-haired man. How so? It is because his eyes are only focusing on death and Yeomra’s kingdom. To conclude, his battle is totally futile. Why? It is because he doesn’t know that the main lead is slowly winning Lee Nok’s heart by being a puppy. (chapter 22) In his mind, Jae Shin is still living as a prince among the mortal world. Naturally, his words did affect the Crown Prince, as he could see with his own eyes the change in Jae Shin’s behavior and gaze. (chapter 34) Thus he was reminded of the old man’s advice. (chapter 34) In other words, he was trying to manipulate Lee Nok. He wanted to ensure that the Crown Prince wouldn’t fall in love with the Ghost prince. But in my eyes, the blind man is not recognizing that his intervention was in the end planned. Why? It is because Jae Shin’s transformation into a human is not complete. He is still selfish. (chapter 32) and in denial about his own attachment. By creating a riff between the couple, he pushes the Crown Prince to come even closer to the cute puppy Jae Shin and reveal the intervention from the blind man and confess more about his emotions. Thus the main lead’s wish would come true. (chapter 31)

5. The spirits and ghosts

Because the blind man tried to instigate fear in the main lead, it becomes obvious that in this story, humans are getting manipulated and as such deceived. Right from the start, the manhwalovers could witness the importance of tricks and lies in The Ghost’s Nocturne. Yet, this doesn’t end here. The existence of ghosts is the evidence of the intervention from supernatural beings. It is the way ghosts are created. Deceased who have given up on their name become ghosts and are forced to linger in the mortal world, until they vanish. (chapter 31) In fact, even if they don’t vanish, they can get eaten by evil spirits. (chapter 15) But how are ghosts born? It is because an evil spirit appears shortly after their death, and offer a tempting deal: (chapter 31) But this means that the evil spirit has to be informed of the death of a mortal, because it needs to arrive before the appearance of the agents from the afterworld. This explicates why the deceased didn’t respond to the 3 summons from the messenger and guard of the afterworld. (chapter 31) As you can see, someone is leaking information to these spirits. Because Jae Shin had an access to it before, I am assuming that Queen Han Chae-Hee is somehow linked to this. In my eyes, it must be her father. Moreover, the brothers divulge that this could only happen, when these mortals were about to experience something important in their life: like marriage or probably emancipation of a slave. (chapter 31) Thus I come to the following deduction. Someone is aware of their passage to the other world, hence the puppet master can create a situation where the future deceased is about to have his wish almost fulfilled. Yet their dream gets ruined, for they die. Hence the evil spirit appears and can tempt them with a cheap trick. That’s how they got tricked. As you can detect, everything is pointing out that someone is manipulating the book of names. (chapter 1) Nonetheless, no one detected the fraud so far, for the ghost’s brother mentions that this has rarely happened. (chapter 31) Even Jae Shin had never heard of this trick. The irony is that the statement from the immortal brother implied that this was just a coincidence. Chance stands in opposition to fate. However, the presence of the 3 ghosts next to Lee Nok divulges the existence of a trick!! (chapter 31) 3 is never a hazard. Furthermore I would like to outline that their faces are actually exposing the passage of time. The bride was turned recently into a ghost, and the one appearing as a skeleton should be the first one vanishing. Remember that their time in the mortal world is limited. This explicates why the bride tried to send Jae Shin to Yeom. She initially hoped that her rival would get eaten by this vengeful spirit.

What caught my attention is that the ghost lost all his memories, as soon as she accepted the offer from the evil spirit and gave up on her name. (chapter 31) Anyone reading my essays about Painter Of The Night (especially the one entitled Truth and memories) is aware of the strong connection between name and memories. Without memories, a person loses his or her own identity. Thus people suffering from amnesia or dementia have problems to identify people or even recognize themselves. They feel lost. However, names are important in this story, as humans’ life are determined in the book of names.

All this new information made me realize how different Yeom is!! (chapter 08) She never lost her name and her memories which makes her very similar to a human. In addition, she almost kept a human appearance. But there is more to it. (chapter 13) When she chose her destiny, to be buried alive out of desire for revenge, she wasn’t entirely sure what she would become. The modal verb “might” implies the existence of a doubt about her true nature. In my eyes, she is no real malevolent spirit, for she is telling the truth to Jae Shin. She is giving him good advices. But there is another reason why she is no evil spirit in the end. It is because she is the positive reflection of this evil spirit!! (chapter 34)

Observe that this shadow has no name, no form and shows no empathy. In fact, this shadow appears ruthless and selfish and highly manipulative. (chapter 31) Thus he is able to create ghosts, whereas Yeom’s role is to eat them. (chapter 08) In my eyes, she was created to create a balance in the human world, yet the shaman has the impression that it was her own choice. But it is true? How come that it took her 10 years before she met the monk? (chapter 13) Was it a coincidence? I don’t think so. My reasoning is that this evil spirit (chapter 34) is connected to Yeom’s fate and as such to Han Chae-Hee. Finally, I would like to outline that when the poor shaman was buried alive, her eyes were not covered. (chapter 13) However, as a spirit, her gaze is covered, the exact opposite way! (chapter 13) From my perspective, the intention behind this was that she could use her mind’s eye. In other words, she should be able to recognize the truth. This explicates why she didn’t eat Jae Shin. (chapter 8) I would even say that this former shaman is not blinded by revenge. She is even clear-minded and very intelligent. (chapter 13) She is already aware that someone has been altering the book of names for quite some time. Thus for me, Yeom is the nemesis of this dark shadow and the blind man. And this observation brings me to my final part: Queen Han Chae-Hee.

5. The queen and the evil spirit

Since I consider her as the negative pendant of Jae Shin, I could only come to the deduction that her path is leading her in the opposite direction. Instead of becoming more human, she is gradually losing her humanity. I would even say that she is getting closer and closer to become a ghost, and as such an evil spirit. This explicates why she had no problem to have the shaman’s family killed. (chapter 13) She refused to listen to the shaman’s advice, for she saw her disposition to see ghosts as a positive aspect. (chapter 8) I detected that she is only relying on her eyes and not on her heart. Her behavior diverges so much from the Crown Prince’s statement: (chapter 31) he would listen to his heart to judge the mysterious Jae Shin who seems different from the other ghosts.

While the queen had the impression that her decisions were self-made, I have my doubt here. Why? IT is because I believe that she received her eyes from her father. (chapter 8) Hence she acts like a judge all the time. She sentenced the shaman to lose her family, then she abused a maid for a mistake (chapter 21), and the moment she got reprimanded, she made sure that Queen Yoon got sentenced to die by poison. (chapter 21) For me, her behavior reminds me of the eyes of a god used to punish humans. And what was the consequence of her action? She created the spirit Yeom indirectly. However, the moment the vengeful spirit Yeom was born, there is no ambiguity that she needed help from the afterworld or better said from the huge evil spirit!! But who is it exactly?

I have to admit that I am not sure about his true identity. Striking is that the queen never dared to look at the spirit directly. She used a mirror! It was, as if she was protecting her gaze from the evil spirit. (chapter 34) Her attitude contrasts so much to Lee Nok’s who still looked at Jae Shin. (chapter 34) It was, as if the dark shadow could swallow the “witch”, the queen, if she were to gaze at him directly. One thing is sure. This evil spirit is eyeing at Lee Nok. The Crown Prince stands in the center of this story. On the one side, we have Yeom, Jae Shin and his brothers working together helping Lee Nok, on the other side, Queen Han Chae-Hee is working together with this evil spirit and the blind man. (chapter 34) I don’t think that the white-haired man is the same character than the black shadow, for the latter has no face and no eye. But what does the black shadow want from Lee Nok? It could be that he wished to devour the Crown Prince. (chapter 34) In other words, he wants him to be his companion. It is also possible that this shadow would like to recover his name, as the brother outlined this possibility (chapter 31) But for that, his biggest wish has to be fulfilled.. (chapter 31). He was once a powerful person. Another possibility is that the evil shadow is there to ruin Jae Shin’s destiny. Why? It is because as long as Lee Nok is the prince’s destined partner, Queen Han Chae-Hee is still in danger. Remember that the rule is the balance between yin and yang, and as such harmony between death and life. However, by manipulating the book of names, the “schemers” disrupted the equilibrium in both worlds. While Jae Shin’s role is to bring back the balance between these two worlds, Han Chae-Hee has the opposite function: creating havoc. But her father is in denial about this. He feels legitimated to protect his child. But the more the villain and her supporters fight against the flow of water and as such destiny, the more they are doomed to fail. This means that they will suffer the most in the end.

And now, it is time to close this essay. I would like to outline that the moment the old man intervened and tried to manipulate the Crown prince, (chapter 30), Jae Shin’s brothers appeared. (chapter 30) This is not random, it follows the rule of the yin and yang! Once more confirming that the author applied the Taoism’s principle. Moreover, when the queen makes the following promise to the evil spiritat the end of the first season (chapter 34), she appears cold and ruthless. I would even add that she seems to be a coward, as she uses others. On the other hand, Jae Shin appeared to be brave, for he chose to stay in the human world. Secondly, he revealed his vulnerability and attachment to Lee Nok. He grabbed his hand (chapter 34) and begged his lover to stay by his side. (chapter 34) Red is the symbol not only for love and passion, but also for life, while black oozes coldness, power and control. (chapter 34) But more importantly, the black and white predominance in this panel makes me think of death! Note that in this scene, the queen seems to be cornered, as if she had no choice, for she is getting pressured. Under this new light, my avid readers can comprehend why I selected the title “Choose your fate!” None of the characters is in reality free. Why? They are simply following their destiny, though in their life, they are all making choices.

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.

2 thoughts on “The Ghost’s 🥀 Nocturne: 🤔 Choose your fate! ⚰️ 👼

  1. When I was reading that chapter I wondered for a second if that malevolent spirit is Queen Chae Hee’s lover. The fact the panels happen in parallel and foil makes me think they have a mutual “benefits” relationship. Which might also explain this mysterious half brother of Lee Nok aka her son who is said to be ill and cannot be seen by anyone. Always shown with his back to us. Could it be because he is son of Chae Hee a half human , Half God and a Malevolent spirit his appearance is giving something away?
    Chae Hee seems to use ghosts and their resentment to her own ends so I won’t put it past her to take an evil being as lover too to increase her power this way.
    Incidentally I was thinking of this line the King screamed at Lee Nok when they were arguing over his mother and acceptance of Chae Hee as his mother aka “you have been Bewitched”. I wonder if it’s not the King who is Bewitched? He looks almost tired and crazed in certain moments and it could explain how a mere 20 something year old girl who was disgraced from previous Queen’s tutelage not only managed to came back in Harem but rise so soon as Queen herself. There aren’t any Half brothers of Lee Nok so it’s possible the King isn’t the most fertile and Chae Hee had a kid with that malevolent entity and passed it off as his
    The entity could then have his child on a Human Throne aka power, he might have helped Chae Hee Bewitch the King in exchange for power for his offspring. Also might explain why he wants Lee Nok. Perhaps to take his future fate as King and give it to his own son, and kill him .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the idea of a lover very much. I also thought that this evil spirit might be aiming the throne. My reasoning is that during Joseon different kings were overthrown and even some, when they were very young. So the evil spirit might have developed resent and greed at the same time. Imagine this. By killing Lee Nok, his biggest wish could get fulfilled too. Then he would get the opportunity to get reincarnated. I also thought that the prince was suspicious, because you can’t see his gaze.

      Liked by 2 people

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