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/ I am also using doctor Frost as reference again. https://www.webtoons.com/en/mystery/dr-frost/list?title_no=371 I am also mentioning the K-drama “Bad and crazy”
It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33 That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.
You are probably wondering why I selected such a title, when the story in episode 93 took place in the kisaeng house. I was inspired by the new episode from Doctor Frost again. Right now, doctor Frost and his former student are fighting against a terror organization using brainwashing. Here, the author explains the birth of terror which can lead to war and even to a genocide. (Doctor Frost, chapter 180) As you can observe, fear and hatred are the main components for unleashing agitation and violence. But this can only work if the medias are amplifying these emotions. Yes, I am talking again about propaganda. And today in the newest episode, the commissar used the fire as a metaphor to describe the evolution of terror. (Doctor Frost, episode 183) This means that you can stop the fire from spreading, if you observe the fire path. In other words, if you pay attention to the evolution of the hate crimes, you can slowly put an end to the climate of terror. Important is to find its origin. Then she added this. The fire becomes the most effective in the winter forest. (Doctor Frost, chapter 183) Here the manhwaphiles should see the forest as a symbol for society and humans. (Doctor Frost, chapter 183) This signifies that the people will get easily influenced by their fear and rage, if there exists a cold climate. A society without compassion and affection. And with only one spark, the forest can get destroyed. This signifies, the absence of love and understanding play a huge role in creating an environment full of hatred and violence. This is not surprising that because of the Coronavirus, intolerance and violence are on the rising, since people are getting more and more isolated and scared. And now, here is the next question: What symbolizes the winter forest in Painter Of The Night and more precisely in episode 93?
1. The hoodlum Yoon Seungho
When people read the episode 93, they had mixed feelings. On the one hand, they were moved by the way Baek Na-Kyum was treated by his noonas. It was such a warm welcome that it made the painter so happy. He was literally glowing out of delight. (chapter 93) On the other hand, many readers were greatly disappointed by Yoon Seungho’s behavior. He had prevented Heena from meeting her brother, and the painter was left in the dark. But the lord had also sentenced her to seclusion. (chapter 93) In their eyes, he was indeed a hoodlum or a bastard. According to the blogger theprocrastinatingredkitty, in the Korean version Yoon Seungho was called a bastard (chapter 93) Yes, he had done it again… he hadn’t trusted Baek Na-Kyum and had become violent or ruthless again. But after reading my introduction, you can already anticipate what I am about to say. The winter forest was in fact Baek Na-Kyum’s family. The noonas and the painter had been missing each other so much, but because of Heena’s belief and intervention, she had destroyed this family. Yes, I see her as a religious fanatic who unfortunately got brainwashed by Jung In-Hun and now by Kim. This is no coincidence why Heena is sent to a cold and dark room (chapter 93), while the noonas and the artist are sitting in a comfortable room. Hatred versus love… even the colors in the picture reflect the true emotions of the characters. Now, it is time to elaborate my interpretation.
2. Baek Na-Kyum and his noonas
When the painter arrived in the courtyard of the kisaeng house, he was alone. (chapter 93) So where was the lord? I will give you the answer below. Striking is that during the whole time, the artist didn’t notice his absence, until his lovely sister asked him about his whereabouts: (chapter 93) Her question reminded him of Yoon Seungho, therefore the artist looked for him, and got surprised, because he didn’t see his husband by his side. (chapter 93) This scene is important for two reasons. First, the behavior of the kisaeng clearly showed that she had been left in the dark as well. She was not lying, as there was no drop of sweat on her face. While she had no idea where her brother had been this entire time, Heena knew this the entire time!! 😬 But she kept silent and as such, she hindered her sisters to meet the painter as well. But this doesn’t end here. (chapter 93) The kisaeng had not only been left in the dark, but she had also been lied. How did I come to this interpretation? The caring noona employed the expression “you’ve flown the nest already”. With this idiom, she implied that Baek Na-Kyum had willingly left the kisaeng house. He had made this decision on his own, for he felt the need to leave the gibang, whereas the readers already know that this was the opposite. He had been forced to leave by Heena. (chapter 46) Like I had already pointed out, the kisaeng had made sure that Baek Na-Kyum didn’t bid goodbye to his noonas. Heena had lied to them saying that this was the boy’s desire and he was now old enough to leave the mansion. This explains why the nice noona employed the idiom “I know”. This is a signal that she had been told by her sister!! But the most infuriating is that Heena left her colleagues in the ignorance for 18 months. None of them knew where the painter was exactly. In the beginning, they had actually no idea that he first lived with the scholar. Besides, notice that the kisaeng complained to the artist. Why didn’t he visit them once in a while? The older sister had given him an order not to!! The most astonishing is that the gentle noona showed great understanding. She accepted the painter’s white lie. (chapter 93) I couldn’t help myself smiling, when I read his excuse: “I was caught up in something important” (sex? spring poetry?😂). At the same time, it broke my heart, for he reduced his long suffering with a single sentence. The noonas had no idea how he got brainwashed and abandoned by the kisaeng and the scholar. The latter even abused him. Note the huge contrast between the noona’s attitude and Heena’s: (chapter 68) Heena put the whole blame on the painter, though the latter had been following her orders. She showed no understanding contrary to her sister. Besides, since she knew where he was, why didn’t she contact him in the end?
To conclude, Heena was the reason for the separation between the painter and his noonas. This means that she was responsible for the painter’s agony and trust issues. He had never been abandoned in reality. Hence we could say that she was paying for her sins. She was not allowed to participate in the family reunion. Striking is that when the kisaeng showered her brother with love (I would like to know her name!!), Yoon Seungho walked past them. (chapter 93) You can detect his presence on the left. This means that so far, he had been standing in the background observing the reunion attentively. I couldn’t help myself connecting this scene to this one panel: (chapter 76) Back then, Nameless had been confronted with reality: the protagonists were just two men in love and their affection was deep and genuine. So imagine what it meant for the lord, when he saw this scene in the shadow: (chapter 93) He could see what a real family was! This is not surprising that he spoke nicely to them later, and even didn’t take the seat of honor later. In fact, he showed humbleness, for he took the seat next to the door, the lowest in the rank. (chapter 93) There’s no doubt that he was seeking for their approval. To conclude, he remained in the background in order to judge the kisaengs correctly. Would they behave like Heena or not? In fact, Yoon Seungho had made a jump of faith. He had trusted the painter’s heart. However, he couldn’t let Heena ruin this happy reunion. Therefore she got excluded. She could have made a ruckus.
More striking is that when the lord walked past them, none of the kisaengs got shocked or condemned him. They couldn’t identify him right away. This means, they only knew him by his name, lord Seungho. Even one of them said this: (chapter 93) In her eyes, he was a handsome man. Another fell under his spell as well: (chapter 93) This is important, because this shows that the kisaengs are not thinking like Heena at all. They don’t resent him, because he is a noble. (chapter 65) I would even add that they couldn’t recognize him, and I am now assuming that they had not heard about Yoon Seungho yet. They couldn’t put a name on him, he was just a fancy companion. (Chapter 93) They were not shocked or surprised. They had no reaction at all. This means that the smear campaign started much later: hate speech! The spark of the fire in the winter forest! (chapter 93) In the first version, I had blamed Heena, yet I have to admit that I made a mistake, because I had paid too much attention to this image. (Chapter 93) Here, they whispered quite loudly and actually blamed the noona for her negative description. But this declaration contradicts the previous one. (Chapter 93) Observe here that none of the kisaengs clearly said that Heena had been spreading rumors about the protagonist. The two women employed the following expressions: „They say“/„I am sure we don’t know the half of it“. The kisaeng with the purple hanbok was pointing out that these rumors were actually upsetting their colleague. This means that in the gibang, someone made sure to call him many names similar to this situation: (Doctor Frost, chapter 175) It created the illusion that Heena had been badmouthing Yoon Seungho and desired to obtain the support from her eonnies. But who had called him a rake and a pervert? The noona herself! (Chapter 93) We could say that they were spreading the rumors herself. Therefore their karma was to get caught! (Chapter 93) However, they were just repeating what they had been told. Hence it didn’t work. Why? First, it is, because the painter appeared alone. They could see with their own eyes how well he was doing. (chapter 93) In that scene, the kisaengs were pure and innocent. The other reason is that the noonas aren’t brainwashed, hence they are still selfless and compassionate. In other words, the winter forest was just sleeping, and as soon as the sun appeared, the forest was being reborn. Love and affection never disappeared despite the long separation. That‘s the reason why the fire couldn‘t spread in the end. But who described the main lead like that? (Chapter 93) Naturally Min!! How do I come to this conclusion? Simply by recollecting his words in the tavern: (chapter 93) He was actually portraying himself as an immoral person lacking in sexual restraint. He would not know fidelity. But the moment the kisaengs got caught, the lord proved their words wrong. He remained calm and treated them well despite the insult. (Chapter 93) He made no fuss and accepted their apology. The most striking is that he ended up apologizing to the noonas. (Chapter 93)
3. Fighting against the fire
And this leads me to the following conclusion. Heena was now under the spell of Kim, hence she insulted the main lead as a murderer, whereas the other kisaengs were under the influence of Black Heart, though it is very possible that they could have been influenced by another colleague, who was acting on Min‘s order. (Chapter 95) The manhwaphiles should recall the following rule: a scene will be reflected in the next episode. There is no doubt that the valet was the one who ruined the Yoons in the end by causing mistrust and jealousy. He destroyed the family. Therefore Kim sent the ruined painting to the father, and even refused to give the letters from the brother. He made sure to create misunderstandings, silence and tensions between the Yoons, portraying each of them like a monster or a selfish and common brute. This is not surprising that for the father, the son is a monster: (chapter 86) Kim was successful, for he could change their personality entirely. He used social norms, people’s superstitions, fears and flaws to his advantage. Why? It is because he had to hide his own wrongdoings and betrayals. That’s the reason why the lord’s mansion could be considered as a winter forest as well. But since Heena resents powerful nobles, her negative emotions and her bias made her the perfect tool for the next scheme. But Min and Kim failed. Why? It is because they had two different approaches: The valet preferred using the scholar‘s death for the smear campaign, whereas Black Heart wished to destroy the affection and trust between our beloved couple. Moreover, since the noonas had stopped Heena from approaching her brother with their warm welcome, the kisaengs‘ attempts to ruin the relationship between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum were rather half-hearted. The noonas were lacking determination and stubbornness.
First, it is important to examine why the lord even agreed to the painter’s request. What caught my attention is this panel: (chapter 92) The lord saw that the painter was looking elsewhere and his gaze was full of longing. Secondly, he had promised his lover to fulfil all his wishes. (Chapter 91) He didn’t want to break his promise. I am wondering if this idea was not suggested by the butler, because the meeting in the inn was no coincidence. The noble Min made sure to trigger the painter’s memory with the presence of the kisaeng and the blue-lavender hanbok. As you can see, Yoon Seungho didn’t have much choice in the end,
What caught my attention is that Yoon Seungho went in direction of the party where Heena was participating. (chapter 93) First, I thought that the man with the green hanbok was Black Heart, since the kisaeng facing the man in green resembles to one who followed him to the tavern, the one under the purple jacket. The color of the skirt is the same. (chapter 92) However, at some point I began doubting this, for for the green shade is a little different. Moreover, I was reminded of this panel: (chapter 87) Yes, the same colors, the green hanbok and the kisaeng’s clothes are the same. On the other hand, since Min had wet clothes, it is also possible that once in the gibang, Min received a new hanbok from the host, similar to the scene in chapter 59, when Lee Jihwa was asked if he had played in the snow. (Chapter 59) On the other hand, Min appeared later as the doppelgaenger of Lee Jihwa. (Chapter 96) So we have to wonder if Min switched clothes three times during the same evening. But it is definitely possible, for each episode is reflected in the next.
Another possibility is that Yoon Seungho met his former abuser, but I have my doubts about it, since the man kept his distance from the main figure for quite some time. In my eyes, he needed a reason for his return. Consequently, my theory is that the main lead met Black Heart again, and talked to him about Heena. Don‘t forget that the main lead was present, when the kisaeng had made a ruckus in his mansion. (Chapter 66) The Joker could serve as a witness, and Black Heart couldn‘t lie at all, as he needed to keep his trust. Besides, it is possible that he must have noticed the disappearance of the Spring poem. Don’t forget that it had vanished in the inn, and Min was the last one seen with it. (Chapter 92). Their sudden meeting could be the reason why he disappeared. (Chapter 93) He didn’t wish to create a ruckus because of the painter, and Min had no interest to become involved so openly, as his image would have been ruined. The kisaeng could have caused a scandal. In my opinion, Yoon Seungho picked Heena there, and the man with the green hanbok didn‘t hinder him. Hence Heena was forced to follow the protagonist. So by going directly to the party, he put an end to the fire. The kisaeng couldn’t cause a ruckus or describe the main lead as a criminal or brutal murderer. Therefore there was no fire in the winter forest. If she had come close to her brother, she would have tried to make him feel dirty and have made him many reproaches. I have to admit that this episode was difficult to read, for they were a lot of blanks. We never saw what Yoon Seungho did, before he entered the room, just like there is a time jump between the moment the painter wants to leave the courtyard, and the moment he is sitting in the room. Furthermore, notice that the kisaeng with the green jacket disappeared as well. In fact, 2 noonas disappeared from 4! So where did they go?
What caught my attention is the contradiction between these two panels: (chapter 93) (chapter 93) Now, they know that the young painter lived with the scholar. How come? Baek Na-Kyum didn’t tell them, because the noona asked him this question. This means that she wanted a confirmation. And now, we have to question ourselves this: who told them about the painter’s past? One possibility is that it was Yoon Seungho, but I doubt it, for the noona didn’t recognize him outside. From my point of view, the noona had left her brother’s side. There was a time jump, because the kisaeng was now wearing a different skirt, khaki!! This means that now, she was acting on the order of someone. Like mentioned above, it could be Min via the other kisaeng. But there exists another eventuality: the Yoons! Don’t forget that khaki is the color of Yoon Chang-Hyeon. (Chapter 44) (chapter 57) Besides, just a few episodes ago, he had mentioned the scholar and the civil service examinations, and the story is following this rule: the next chapters will reflect the previous ones. Moreover, in season 2 and 3, the father was seen in the kisaeng house. Finally, in front of the learned sir‘s home, the manhwaworms could identify the guards from the patriarch. (Chapter 99) This scene outlined that Black Heart and Yoon Chang Hyeon were working together, and they had planned to blame the Lees. But the irony is that the father was doomed to fail, because he was using the noonas‘ goodness and innocence. So the scholar was mentioned for one reason. The kisaeng desired to push Baek Na-Kyum to question his sponsor about the learned sir‘s well-being and whereabouts. The purpose was to generate a quarrel. Note that the other helped her colleague. As you can see, the hat and the change of the color of the noona’s skirt was an indication that there was a time jump. Thus I am deducing that the kisaeng was not present the entire time. Remember that the magician Byeonduck is always creating a fake continuity.
First, the noona had the hat with the orange skirt: (chapter 93) When she mentioned the learned sir, Yoon Seungho entered the room. (Chapter 93) But observe that the woman had a green skirt with the hat. This means that in the meantime, she must have left the room!! Striking is that he only opened the door, when Jung In-Hun was mentioned. This was no coincidence! He was putting an end to the fire by replying this: (chapter 93) What could the noonas say to this answer? They couldn‘t call the main lead a liar! And note how he introduced himself: (chapter 93) This means that he had heard their conversation for quite some time. He also must have seen the kisaeng leaving and entering the room too. She was still wearing the green skirt with the hat! (Chapter 93) So here we had no time jump! And now, you comprehend why the author made us hear the conversation from the hallway. (Chapter 93) This corresponds to the main lead‘s arrival. In my eyes, from that moment on, he was spying on the family. But contrary to the past, he had no outburst of rage because of their badmouthing and lie. Why? It is because he had seen their genuine affection in the courtyard. The lord had witnessed the artist‘s happiness and joy! Thus I am deducing that Yoon Seungho had been manipulated in the past. Heena had provoked our beloved protagonist with a deception (Chapter 68) which I had already sensed in the past. This chapter reinforces my previous interpretation. But why did the noona change her skirt? It is because it was wet! I had observed that the lit of the well had been removed. (Chapter 93) (chapter 94) That‘s the reason why Yoon Seungho went to the well later. My explanation is that he had been suggested to go there by the noonas, while the latter had proposed a different idea to their brother: the walk to the pond. But why? In reality, the schemers envisioned that Yoon Seungho would behave like a hoodlum, he would kill the kisaeng Heena. Remember the threat expressed to the noona: (Chapter 69) But like I had explained, this menace was voiced by Kim, which was only validated by Yoon Seungho afterwards. And naturally, this threat had been revealed to the schemers: Min and the patriarch. They all imagined that the main lead would punish Heena for her accusations. Kim had experienced this scene in the courtyard (chapter 68) He had taken these words as face-value. But he never recognized that the main lead would never use violence against Baek Na-Kyum‘s family, and this was already perceptible in chapter 68. He never barged in the study, when the noona called him a bird of misfortune. (Chapter 68) He respected their privacy, the opposite of the butler. (Chapter 85) This explicates why the kisaengs blamed Heena for the rumors. (Chapter 93) They were trying to fuel resent towards their colleague. But for a benevolent listener, their words reflected a different reality: the kisaengs’ open-mindedness. They were perceiving the main lead in a better light. That’s the reason why their „smear campaign“ failed.
Hence I come to the following conclusion. During that night in the gibang, Min and Yoon Chang-Hyeon had expected that Yoon Seungho would kill the kisaeng. And her body would have been thrown into the well. That way, the elder master could have used his messenger‘s death as another evidence for the lord‘s criminal activity. And now, under this new light, I believe that the silence and resignation from the noona (chapter 93) in the kitchen created the illusion that the main lead had silenced her. Besides, observe that the light from the room had vanished. It is visible, if you contrast the last two panels. (Chapter 93) This gesture (blowing the candle) outlines that he was indeed trying to stop the fire, a symbol for hatred and fear, from spreading.
But let‘s return our attention to the conversation between the kisaengs and the couple. What caught my attention is that while the noble lost in his thoughts by recalling his conversation with Heena, he didn‘t realize that something had changed. (Chapter 93) This time, the noona had no longer the hat, but she was wearing the orange skirt again. The only explanation is that she had left the room. Since the kisaengs had no drop of sweat on their face, their admiration and surprise were genuine. But now take a look at this (chapter 93) We have the return of the hat! Moreover, another detail caught my attention: the paper is blank! Where are the calligraphes? One might argue that it was too difficult for the author to draw them, but I can only refute this point by using this scene. (Chapter 36) Here, the handwriting was even smaller compare to this calligraphy: (chapter 92) From my point of view, the Spring poem got switched and was returned to the schemers. Another evidence for this theory is the length of the piece of paper. (Chapter 93) It is much longer here, as the end disappears under the table. But not here: (chapter 93) This was the famous blank piece of paper, a new version of this scene: (chapter 65) First, the noona couldn‘t see her brother‘s painting, until Kim showed her the picture with Jung In-Hun which he had kept! (Chapter 65) Kim was embarrassed in that scene, like the drop of sweat indicates it.This was the negative version of chapter 93. Don’t forget that Heena had been manipulated by Kim, when she visited the lord’s mansion. The latter had shown her the painting from the painter and then he must have told about the flashback in the bedchamber and the second marathon session in the shed. (chapter 68)
For chapter 93 represents the positive reflection from the noona’s stay in the mansion, I think that first, the noonas saw the original Spring poem, then they gave it to someone else and the woman returned with a blank page. Like I had already explained, they needed to remove the evidence that Yoon Seungho was highly educated. (Chapter 93) Striking is that neither Baek Na-Kyum nor his lover had eyes in this panel, a sign that they were blind to the noona‘s tricks. Nonetheless, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in their mind that these women were just naive, and got manipulated too. They were definitely acting for their sibling’s best interests: Baek Na-Kyum. At the same time, we could say that this was Yoon Seungho’s karma! Don’t forget that he had stolen a poem from the painter too (chapter 4) and he had never returned it. He had replaced it with another sijo, according to me with the original sijo. (Chapter 7) It doesn‘t matter, if the scholar had deceived the painter. The latter viewed the paper as a treasure, a memory from his learned sir.
So during the family dinner, the noonas had an ambiguous attitude towards the main lead, which I explained with their social status. How could they disregard a noble, especially an elder! From my point of view, Yoon Chang-Hyeon must have listened to their conversation, for we have to remember that there is always a reflection within the same chapter. So imagine how the patriarch must have felt, when he heard the lord‘s rejection: (Chapter 93) The father was mocked for his dream!! He was portraying the elder master as a poor and weak noble! He was even compared to the learned sir. We have two proofs for this signification: (chapter 86) This was the father‘s karma. He had insulted his own son, made him feel little and even jealous (chapter 86) Remember that karma will always retaliate shortly, and the punishment will be even worse. The irony is that the lord was actually repeating the butler‘s words! (Chapter 93) This is what he had been told, when the lord had let transpire that he was thinking about taking the civil service examination. There’s no ambiguity that the noble was talked out of it, for if he went to the court, he would meet the pedophile and recognize the identity of his abuser.
What caught my notice is that here, the noona had no longer the hat again! (Chapter 93) This symbolizes that she was not acting here. The drop of sweat on their face showed their embarrassment. They could not deny his statement, for the learned sir was indeed poor and with no connection. They anticipated that the lord would boost about his talent, but no he was showing humbleness. On the other hand, he outlined his wealth and power, which the noonas couldn’t contradict. His words were indeed reflecting a certain reality. Another important detail is their reply to the lord‘s statement: the points of suspension which I connect to the butler. Since chapter 77, the latter had switched loyalty and was now serving the elder master Yoon.
But let’s return our attention to the noona who tried to divert attention from their shame and guilt: (chapter 93) “I heard” indicates that she wasn’t the entire time with Baek Na-Kyum. This proves my previous statement that the woman must have left the room leaving her siblings inside at some point. Secondly, the drop of sweat on the cheek is a signal for a lie. This means that the kisaeng was well aware of Heena’s arrest. She was actually covering up. It was, as if she was working for Yoon Seungho, while in reality she was acting on someone else’s behalf.
Heena was in the kisaeng house and there’s no ambiguity that she knew where her sister was. This means that she was deceiving her brother. This truly shows that she didn’t feel upset about the situation. I have the impression that the schemers must have discovered that Heena had kept hidden from her co-workers that she knew where her brother had been. They must have discovered her deception. For me, Heena was just receiving the punishment she had deserved. Don’t forget that she had barged in his mansion with guards (chapter 69), and back then the lord had showed leniency. However, Heena didn’t want to acknowledge his benevolence. Thus she sent letters to her brother, in which she called Yoon Seungho many names: a rake, a hoodlum, a bastard and finally a murderer… (chapter 93) One might bring up the freedom of speech, but there’s a reason why in Germany total freedom of expression is not allowed. During the Republic of Weimar, parties were authorized to announce their hatred for democracy and republic. The result was that right-extremist parties as such the NSDAP led by Hitler became more and more powerful. This is no coincidence that this republic vanished. The NSDAP could spread fear and hate against democrats, Jews and other minorities. Hate speech encourages hate crimes. Yes, this is the consequence of the butler’s philosophy: “don’t take it to heart”. This saying symbolizes indifference and as such passivity and silence which contributes to create the perfect climate for hatred and fear.
But let us return to the letters. From my point of view, Yoon Seungho never gave the order to hide the letters, but once he discovered their existence, he didn’t decide to ignore them. I have the impression that he read them, when the painter took a nap first. (chapter 91) They didn‘t go to the calligrapher right away. One week had passed, since the elder master Yoon had visited the mansion. This signifies that Heena is forced to face the consequences of her past actions. (chapter 88) This is no coincidence that she was sitting the same way in the “jail”, than when she discovered the blood. However, this time she was facing the door. (chapter 93) She was forced to face her isolation. One might say that these were just letters… The lord was just too harsh with her. But remember what I wrote above: calling names is the start of discrimination and terror. That‘s how the lord‘s downfall started too. People shouldn’t underestimate the power of words in the letters. Baek Na-Kyum already went through this terrible experience. Just because Yoon Seungho is used to this, he shouldn’t accept this. Besides, by acting so, she is tarnishing her brother’s honor. If the artist lives with him, he becomes guilty by association. Her goal is to make the painter leave the mansion. She could have confronted the main lead like in the past, but she didn‘t. She never went to the authorities either.
In addition, I would like to bring up the K-drama Bad and Crazy. In this story, teenagers got brainwashed by a so-called therapist who pushed them to commit crimes. He used their low self-esteem and lack of confidence to gaslight them. Striking is that in episode 9, the main lead Soo Yul discovered that a man got sentenced instead of the real culprit. However, when he met the convict, Soo Yul asked him why he didn’t ask for a retrial. The innocent man confessed his guilt immediately. He started explaining everything which confused Soo Yul. Until he saw this: (episode 9) The real culprit had sent him letters each day for years… The content of the correspondence was always the same: (episode 9) That’s how he got brainwashed and convinced that he had indeed committed a crime. In jail, he was isolated and due to the suffered injustice, the prisoner definitely suffered from an emotional and mental breakdown, explaining why he was receptive to manipulations. That’s why you see the mouth and the letter together. So imagine that Baek Na-Kyum had read all the letters and all of them were saying the same thing over and over again. Since the painter is someone with a low self-esteem, he would have started doubting his own judgement. This is gaslighting. Naturally, Kim never intended him to read them. The whole purpose was to create a quarrel in the couple. I am quite certain that Heena never asked about her brother’s well-being. She was already convinced that the lord was a rake and a bastard. Her letters were full of contempt and hatred, something Yoon Seungho could sense in the correspondence. The reflection of this scene. (chapter 87) But note that Yoon Seungho never used any violence at all. He just asked her to remain quiet and cause no trouble. (chapter 93) We could see that once rumors about Yoon Seungho started spreading in the kisaeng house, Heena didn’t stop them, she heard them, and believed in them. The start of the smear campaign began in the gibang: (Chapter 69) And who was there during that night? Black Heart. This is important, because in the first episode, the noona had badmouthed the main lead, but she was well aware of the truth. (Chapter 1) It was, as if the kisaeng was now paying for her past sin. She had become a victim of her own trick. (chapter 93) In her eyes, the main lead was just a man consumed by sex, hence he is a “rake” and a “pervert”.
But “rake,” when used in the context of a regency romance, has nothing to do with chores. A shortened version of the word “rakehell,” this category of carefree, libertine aristocratic men became popular in stage plays written during the Restoration period in 17th century England. […] He’s definitely someone who’s not interested in marriage. Celibacy is off the table. No serious relationships of any kind. Often, rakes really adore women of all shapes and sizes. They have an innate sense of how sexy they are, and how to use that sexiness to get what they want from anybody around them. Essentially, the rake is the bad boy with the heart of gold. quoted from https://www.oprahdaily.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a35034695/what-is-a-rake-person-romance-novels/
This means that her job was to deny the existence of the marriage between the painter and the noble (chapter 87), since the rumors of his union in town were already spreading. The purpose of this smear campaign was to portray the lord as someone who was not interested in monogamy and fidelity. And who had an interest to oppose this union? The father!! As you could detect, through these comparisons I could connect Yoon Chang-Hyeon, Kim, Heena and Black Heart together. In the end, this badmouthing couldn’t succeed, for her eonnies were different. They were more innocent and less selfish, they had been left in the dark concerning the lord’s past. They never admired the learned sir in detriment of Baek Na-Kyum. They certainly don’t reject sexuality and they have less prejudices. As you can see, I detected a war of rumors, reminding me of the war of the waves during World War II.
Here, I would like to bring up the manhwa Doctor Frost again. (chapter 175) Because of this comparison, I couldn’t help myself thinking of the water vapor as the grapevines in Painter Of The Night. They’re everywhere and no one can stop them. And now, you comprehend how the noble’s reputation got ruined. (chapter 175) That’s how hatred and contempt were spread. And Lee Jihwa listened to them, this is no coincidence why his mind and heart got poisoned. As long as he remained by Kim and Min’s side, his heart and mind would always be clouded. This means that Yoon Seungho was able to stop a fire, before it ruined the winter forest. People were upset, for he had such a cold gaze, when he remembered his interaction with Heena. (chapter 93) But he was just mirroring the schemers‘ thoughts and gaze. He had to remain cold. So what does Heena’s isolation mean? Yoon Seungho has no idea, but he is clearing her mind from the brainwashing. (Doctor Frost, chapter 183) There exists two methods. First, (Doctor Frost, chapter 183) And we could clearly detect this in the confrontation between Heena and Yoon Seungho: (chapter 93: In the Korean version: Your little brother will be with me now) For Heena, the painter should live with the scholar. This was her faith: (chapter 46), though I am quite sure that it was in truth her biggest wish. She was in love with the learned sir herself. By looking him in the eyes, she could detect the lord’s determination and frankness. This was his choice. The problem is with deprogramming is (Doctor Frost, chapter 183) That’s the reason why nowadays, psychologists prefer the other method (Doctor Frost, chapter 183) And now, you comprehend what happened. The deprogramming didn‘t work out, for Heena was approached by the schemers again. They used another noona to deceive the sibling, for they could no longer use the women close to Baek Na-Kyum. Thus Heena was still under the influence of the haters. (Chapter 98) Since she resents nobles, I deduce that the so-called witness was a commoner. In my eyes, it can only be Kim who justified his silence by saying that he could do nothing. He was the only one who knew, because the other had been already killed.
Since the other kisaengs were not involved in the lord’s suffering, they were more innocent. This is the reason why it was important for the main leads to have some good time with the noonas first. The latter could see with their own eyes that the couple was happy. (chapter 93). Hence their punishment for their deceptions couldn‘t be so harsh. (Chapter 99) The symbol of their dinner and reunion was pushed away. In my eyes, this ruckus put them in a bad light. However, I believe that these deceptions were necessary, for the bond between Heena and the other noonas (Chapter 99) was quite strong. In this scene, they had sided with the kisaeng again, hiding the fact that they had seen leaving Heena with Lee Jihwa. They knew that the kisaeng was running away from the gibang, for she was not dressed up. (Chapter 99) Hence the moment the kisaengs see how the brother was hurt by Min, they will realize the deception from Heena who abused their affection and loyalty. They will definitely blame themselves for their lies, and since I discovered connections between Yoon Chang-Hyeon and the noonas, I have the impression that Yoon Seungho will discover the backstabbing coming from his own father. According to me, the schemers had planned to frame the main lead for Heena‘s death (well), but the puppet masters‘ karma is to receive the sentence that they had planned for the main lead: accusation of violence and murder. The more I am analysing, the more I am sensing that Yoon Chang-Hyeon will be judged as an accomplice of Lee Jihwa’s crime in the nobles‘ bloodbath. He had helped Lee Jihwa and deceived Black Heart. And if the kisaeng is alive, the survivor will recognize the deception from the guards.
Besides, I would like to point out how gentle the lord was, when he forced Heena to look him in the eyes. (chapter 93) Don’t forget how he grabbed the servant’s face: (chapter 80) Heena could have pushed away his hand, her movements were not restrained contrary to the lord in the kisaeng house (chapter 86).
People have the impression that this reunion was too beautiful to be true, but the reality is that we are witnessing a war!! But each time, the main lead was able to defeat his opponent, for he was no longer avoiding the problems. He faced them head on. But he didn’t work alone. His wife assisted him. He already started by defending his husband’s honor. (chapter 93) Secondly, he introduced his partner to his family properly. (chapter 93) It is here necessary to contrast this introduction with this one: (chapter 01) In the beginning of the story, the protagonist was not presented as a lord, but as a master!! This means, he belonged to the Yoons. However, Baek Na-Kyum is now viewing the protagonist as the real lord of the mansion. He is independent, which means that the artist is not truly acknowledging Yoon Chang-Hyeon and Yoon Seung-Won as his family. And if you compare the first episode with chapter 93, you’ll realize the similarities. Back then, Heena had mentioned the main lead in order to scare the painter, she had used rumors… (chapter 01) But exactly like in episode 10, where the grapevine was created to target the painter and Jung In-Hun, the “rumor” in episode 1 never reached the noonas’ ears. They only heard about the black sheep of the family recently. (chapter 93) In the last panel, we can detect Heena’s hypocrisy. She got worried the moment she heard her brother was living with the main lead. I would even say that her mind was in peace until the scandal in town, this explicates why she could enjoy buying clothes. (chapter 64) But she started worrying for her brother, when she realized that he wasn’t living according to her belief: abstinence. And now, we have to question ourselves this: why did Yoon Seungho encourage his bride to sleep in the kisaeng house? (chapter 93) Naturally, he had many reasons to do so. First, he wished to keep his promise. Secondly, he had sensed the painter’s sadness. (Chapter 93) But Yoon Seungho never imagined that he was himself the cause for this heartache. The painter could detect the lord’s agony and low self-esteem. He knew how hurtful it is to be called names like rake or bastard or hoodlum. And the lord’s selflessness got rewarded: his biggest wish came true during that night. There was someone who loved him despite his flaws and wrongdoings. We could say that their stay was to confirm his marriage with the painter to the noonas. At the same time, season 3 exposed the slow transformation of Yoon Seungho. Little by little, he was showing an interest to his own past and no longer accepting the justification that he was just a bird of misfortune. Don’t forget the master’s previous statement: (chapter 86) He was already pondering on the question why the family name was sullied. This shows that Yoon Seungho is slowly uncovering the truth, and he is now using Kim’s MO: deliver the information in delay, feign ignorance and act, listening to conversations behind the doors. This is no coincidence that he is recovering his memories as well. This is important, because he is less manipulable and as such no longer weak to brainwashing.
And here I would like to thank my follower @Spppeedy who made me discover another aspect. Yoon Seungho’s real emancipation didn’t occur just with the hug, but also with the whisper: (chapter 88) When the lord got embraced, the painter whispered this to his ear:
“I like to hold you close.”
This explicates why he said this later (chapter 91) This represented Baek Na-Kyum’s first mini-love confession. His action was supported by his words. Therefore the lord could realize the honesty and genuineness of the painter. He could be embraced and as such accepted, he was no monster. Yes, it was the opposite of the love session in the physician’s office. Back then, the painter had remained silent. (chapter 62) And this made me realize the signification of whispers in the manhwa. They stand in opposition to the hate speech and brainwashing!! This is no coincidence that the noonas whispered, when they noticed that Yoon Seungho was totally different from the description which Heena was supposed to have spread. (chapter 93) The whispers symbolize secrets, trust and intimacy. They embody love, honesty and truth, though here they blamed their noona. This means that the louder a character in the manhwa is, the more dishonest and insensitive he or she is. (chapter 18) The whisper contrasts so much to the rumors, anonymity versus personal. Thus I conclude that the whisper represents a weapon against the brainwashing and terror. This is not something that a spy can hear from the window or the door! Hence you have Yoon Seungho whispering this to Lee Jihwa (chapter 18) or Yoon Seungho saying this to Heena: (chapter 93) Due to the closeness, the lord incited them to face reality. He confided to them his wish and goal, though after 6 months, the master’s dream changed. He views Baek Na-Kyum as his wife. That’s why I believe that the lord’s whisper (chapter 92) reflects the nature of their relationship: Love and closeness. Even outside and in front of the calligrapher, the lord felt the need to know his lover’s thoughts, the positive version of this rumor: An aficionado for the painter with no regard for time and place. 😉
So when you read this (doctor Frost, chapter 83), you should just replace the name Juhwan Park by Heena. She was just manipulated by the butler and Min’s trick. They used her strong belief and prejudices. However, I had the feeling that Heena could come to her senses, because she remained silent and her gaze was different. (chapter 83) Besides, what caught my attention is that she never replied to Yoon Seungho. She never fought back like in episode 65: Why was she so passive? It is because the exclusion from the reunion represented the biggest punishment for Heena. She has always seen herself as a knight in shining armor. Imagine all the noonas could see the little brother and enjoy his company, while she couldn’t. I was hoping that she would start regretting her actions. As you can see, I really viewed Heena more as a victim, blinded by her faith and her own suffering than as a big perpetrator. There’s no doubt that she rejects sex because of a traumatic experience. Yet, due to her blindness and selfishness, she was an accomplice to her brother‘s suffering in the past, and unfortunately, she made the same decision. (Chapter 97) Seeing the corpse in the well was the trigger for her to believe everything she saw and heard without questioning the coincidences and appearances. She didn‘t doubt the testimony of the so-called witness. (Chapter 98) This image illustrates perfectly her fanaticism, her vision full of prejudices, for the author drew her without eyes. She shares some common denominators with the persons in this picture: (Dr. Frost, chapter 180) Fear, rage and the absence of eyes!! She chose the scholar over her brother.
And now, you comprehend why Byeonduck decided to let this season take place before the spring. The lord and painter needed to put an end to the terror and terrible rumors circulating about Yoon Seungho. They had to find and remove the source of the hatred and fear leading to violence. Once the winter ends, the climate of hatred and terror will vanish. The forest will come to life again… just like Yoon Seungho’s new home and family. Thus I am expecting that the noonas will come to accept the aristocrat. Hence the marriage takes place in the gibang replacing these three fake feasts: (chapter 87) (chapter 93) (chapter 99) No scandal in the past and in chapter 93, but now it can no longer be contained!! (Chapter 99) On the other hand, the resent for Heena didn‘t turn Yoon Seungho into a fool or a person full of prejudices! He still trusted the noonas, as he believed in his lover‘s heart and his genuine confession! The fire couldn‘t spread in the gibang! The lord showed mercy towards the kisaengs and the domestic Seok-Dae! Hence no one will ever come to believe that Yoon Seungho is a murderer. In their eyes, he makes nothing but hot air!! 😉
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