Painter Of The Night: Silent light 🕯 and noisy darkness (second version)

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As you can see, this new analysis is quite similar to the last two, as I am paying attention to sound and silence again. Nevertheless, there exists one huge difference to the previous essays. I am combining these elements to the darkness and the light. I had already pointed out the contrast between the noble and the painter‘s nightmare. While Yoon Seungho‘s bad vision starts with the appearance of the light (chapter 74), it is the opposite with the painter. (chapter 98) Furthermore, the silence in the noble’s nightmare took over the moment the candle was switched on. That’s how I recognize a new pattern. The combination between silence and light plays a huge role in the story, for it helps to unmask the traitors. Under this new observation, I decided to revisit certain chapters.

1. Lord Song‘s letter

As you can see, I am reexamining chapter 56, and more precisely the scene in the bedchamber. What caught my attention is that contrary to the other chapters, Byeonduck didn’t choose to repeat the ending of episode 55. (chapter 55) The chapter begins in medias res (chapter 56), which means that there’s no introduction, the story starts in the middle of the action. And now, it is important to question ourselves about the intention of the author. Why did she change her MO? I found the answer the instant I realized the importance of the two following aspects. The light… and the sound, in this case: HAA… (chapter 56) In the past I used to think that this scene had occurred early in the morning. But now, I am thinking otherwise. In truth, right after receiving the letter, the butler went to the bedchamber directly and woke up his master!! This signifies that this scene took place during the night. But how did he do it? He just needed to remove the light from the bed and lit other candles. That’s the reason why the candles are positioned like during the night of the brother’s visit. (chapter 56) Besides, the manhwaphiles should remember the way the room was enlightened, when Baek Na-Kyum was keeping company to his lover. (chapter 55) It was quite dark. (chapter 55) And strangely, the main lead could sleep comfortably. He was not plagued by a nightmare. (chapter 55) He could even sense the artist’s presence unconsciously, therefore he confirmed his affection for the painter. And now, you can imagine what happened. Once the valet received the letter, he went to the bedchamber directly and sent Baek Na-Kyum back to his bedroom under the pretense that he would take care of his master himself. However, the moment Baek Na-Kyum had left his side, the valet lit more candles (chapter 74) and positioned them far away, which triggered the lord’s nightmare. But why? It is because the light creates shadows like this one. (chapter special episode 3) Note that there’s no candle placed next to the entrance of the lord’s bedchamber for that reason. The noble only feels comfortable, if the light is situated close to his face, because that way he won’t see any shadow. Thus we have such a scene in the first season. (chapter 35) The candles are always placed next to his bed. And now you comprehend why the lord moved to the patio during their first night together. (chapter 38) He didn’t want to disturb the painter in his sleep, for he needs light during the night, but only next to him. This explicates why Yoon Seungho woke up from his nightmare right away, when the bougie had been blown out. (chapter 74) But how did it happen? Was it the work from the wind or the candle was extinguished by the protagonist’s heavy breath or was Kim behind this? Because I had no answer before, I had not mentioned this observation. Fortunately, my friend Luzyla came to my rescue and gave me the answer which I totally support. Kim must have intervened during that night, because for the first time, the nightmare was becoming more precise. But how did she confirm my suspicion? It is because the butler had this image, when he tried to convince the painter that nothing would change. This panel (chapter 87) represented the butler’s memory. This means that the butler must have seen him from the outside. He didn’t want the painter to discover the lord’s suffering. And it worked, for the lord never let this transpire to the painter after that night. And now, you comprehend why the butler had to make sure that the couple would no longer sleep together at the end of the second season. But let’s return our attention to episode 56.

So when the butler placed the candlestick on the commode, he caused a flashback to the main lead. But the valet knew about this. However, he chose to feign ignorance and must have said something similar: (chapter 34) The entire time he acted, as if Yoon Seungho was fine, for he was conscious. Then he gave the letter to his master and knelt far away from him while looking down. (chapter 56) On the surface, it looked like Kim was showing great respect to his lord. Yet the reality was totally different. He was avoiding his gaze and didn’t want to be near him. The butler’s attitude explicates why in chapter 86, the lord pushed the artist away. (chapter 86) The former has long internalized that he is scary and dirty. Yet the truth is that the butler’s gaze reflects his hatred, for he considers him as responsible for his own misery. Don’t forget that he is tormented in the presence of Yoon Seungho. The latter is a reminder of his own sins. To sum up, for Kim, the reason for his distance and avoidance is simple. He doesn’t want to be confronted with Yoon Seungho’s suffering, for he is refusing to admit his own guilt. The protagonist already knows about this unconsciously. Thus he hid his gaze the entire time. (chapter 56) The first “HAA” weren’t laughs, but the sign of a panic attack. Yes, for the first time the manhwaphiles discovered the lord’s health issue (flashback), but no one truly grasped, not even me. I had imagined that his heavy breathing was related more to pain and his illness. I only recognized the existence of the panic disorder in episode 66, though I was already aware of his PTSD.

In the scene from chapter 56, the valet was following his own philosophy: (chapter 86) He pretended he saw and heard nothing. But how can I be so sure that it was the night? Simply because all the windows were all closed. Thus Byeonduck drew such an image: (chapter 56) Besides, observe that there is more light in the bedchamber, when the butler entered the room later: (chapter 56)

Another important detail is this. Kim was supposed to fetch the medicine for his master, yet when he was kneeling in front of the lord, the manhwalovers can detect the absence of water or teas. (chapter 56) So where is the medicine? But this question only came to my mind, as soon as I realized that this conversation took place during the night.

And now, it is important to determine the purpose of his intervention. Why would he lit the bougies and awaken Yoon Seungho, fully aware that this would trigger a panic attack? Simply because of the letter from lord Song. (chapter 56) He wanted to wash off his hands on this. The moment he conveyed the message to the master, it was no longer his responsibility. If lord Song had truly sent the missive, then Kim could say that this had been his master’s decision to refuse to follow the request, if they were confronted for their disobedience. This means that Kim was lying, when he said, “I am sure lord Song will understand”. He was just expressing an expectation, but there was no guarantee that the mysterious man would be very understanding. In addition, one idiom caught my attention: “If” This was a condition and not a real statement. Kim never said that since Yoon Seungho was ill, he could refuse the invitation. This signifies that the valet refused to confirm the noble’s illness. It was Yoon Seungho’s choice to say if he was feeling ill or not. To conclude, he refused to assume any responsibility. And now, you comprehend why Byeonduck added a drop of sweat on the butler’s face. This was showing his discomfort and deceptions. The man didn’t want to be associated to the noble and become responsible for him.

That’s how I realized another aspect: Kim has always been acting, as if he was helpless. “He couldn’t do anything!” However, this scene exposed his huge hypocrisy. He could have comforted his master with words here and offer real support. He was totally silent in that matter. He chose to occult the flashback. On the other hand, he was definitely good at lip service, for many readers saw his words as genuine concern. People had even the impression that Kim was oozing responsibility, calmness and rationality. But this was not the case, deep down he was so scared, thus the moment the name was spoken, he had some difficulties to swallow his saliva. (chapter 56)

This explicates why at no moment, Kim was willing to protect Yoon Seungho. (chapter 56) The former would give him suggestions, but Kim never made a promise that he would help him as a witness. Note the absence of the personal pronoun “I”, whereas “you” is constantly used. The only time he employs “I” is concerning belief and expectation. But his cowardice doesn’t end here. Once he was asked about the artist’s whereabouts, (chapter 56) he proposed to fetch the boy. Why? It is because the butler didn’t want to be confronted any longer with the lord’s panic attack, though he had been the one to trigger it! But he didn’t care, for his true goal was to save his own skin. Should lord Song get angry, Kim could definitely use the truth to his advantage. He had delivered the letter right away, and the noble had been well enough, since he woke up and read him the content. (chapter 56) 🙄 Under this new light, I couldn’t help myself shaking my head, when I read this from the butler. (chapter 56) His words implied that the lord had woken up on his own, whereas in reality the butler was the cause for this. Kim knew that his master would never go back to sleep after their conversation. This explicates why the candlestick was placed again at the head of the bed. (chapter 56) I can envision that the valet had left his lord behind under the pretense that he should go back to sleep, for he was still sick.

Then I wondered myself why Yoon Seungho would read the missive loud. It is because he believes that the butler can not read. However, what he doesn’t know is that the man can read calligraphes. This explicates why he handed over the letter immediately. He couldn’t keep it, for if the invitation was true, he could have been blamed. And this is important, because in the third season, we have the reverse situation. Kim let the maids deal with the kisaeng’s letters so that if anyone had to become responsible for them, it would be the maids and the lord, but not him. However, as you can envision, Kim must have talked to the maid similarly: “I am sure lord Seungho will understand.” And since the butler got away with it in the second season, it was the same for the maids. Why? It is because it creates the illusion that the maids were taking the lord’s best interests into consideration. However, they had become the painter‘s companions. This means that they had betrayed him. It was not their position to act on their own. As you can see, the maids had a similar behavior than the butler‘s. What caught my attention is that the aristocrat was viewing Kim as accountable for the actions of the staff. Yes, this was the result of Baek Na-Kyum’s desertion and abduction. The moment he used the painter as shield for his own safety and to cover up his disobedience (chapter 68), his fate was strongly intertwined with the artist’s. But it changed, when the lord heard that Baek Na-Kyum was blamed for his insomnia and he hadn’t been able to meet the artist during broad light (chapter 79), he punished Kim. It was, as if the butler had failed to protect the artist. And because the painter‘s visit to his bedchamber had taken place during the day, it revealed his loneliness. That‘s the reason why I believe that this conversation pushed the lord to give the maids to the artist. They should become his ladies-in-waiting so that he had someone he could talk to. However, Yoon Seungho never let the butler know about the true reason for his punishment. He used the father as subterfuge. Finally, we shouldn’t overlook the valet’s pledge: he swore that he would serve the lord. (chapter 77) This means that he was now judged as accountable for his actions in front of Yoon Seungho. However, Yoon Seungho made a huge mistake, because the moment he brought up the father, he was acting as if Yoon Chang-Hyeon was the owner of the mansion. He was now Young master and not Lord Yoon. Yet, his duty was to be a loyal domestic to the protagonist. And now, you comprehend why Kim was reminded of the past, it is because he was put in the same situation than in the past. And what did he do? He made the exact same decision. He sided with Yoon Chang-HYeon, but there existed two divergences from the past. The first difference is that the elder master would listen to his words, and the second is that he lied to his master. (Chapter 77) Here, he was pledging loyalty to Yoon Seungho. Moreover, he is viewed as the eldest servant in the mansion, this means that he is accountable for the staff’s words and actions. However, Kim is making a terrible mistake, for in his mind, past, present and future are the same. (chapter 87) But this is totally incorrect, for the lord is now an adult. Thanks to the painter, Yoon Seungho is on the verge of entering adulthood. Observe that the butler vowed his loyalty to young master Seungho. By calling him “young master”, he treated the protagonist as an infant, but this is no longer possible. This was perceptible, when the main lead met his father. (Chapter 86) He refused to acknowledge him as the owner of the mansion. He took the seat in front of his father. He was now acting as the lord Yoon.

2. Quarrel and darkness

SLAM! What is this sound? I am quite sure that you can recognize it immediately. A door has been opened quite violently. (chapter 85) Strangely is that in that scene, we never heard any STEP, STEP, STEP like here: (chapter 97) There was no sound, therefore I deduced that Kim didn’t run to the study. However, observe that the butler is breathing heavily. It was, as if he was out of breath: HUFF HUFF. (chapter 85) So why would he fake his breathlessness? I am quite certain that you already have the answer. He was hiding the fact that he had been spying on their conversation, which I had mentioned in one of my previous analyses. However, there’s more to it. The other and major intention is to give the impression that he did everything he could for his master. In other words, he is creating the illusion that he could do nothing against the father!! (chapter 87) Yes, that’s his other principle to justify his cowardice, his fear of responsibility. He implied that he had rushed to his master’s side right away to alert him. If asked, he could legitimate his passivity by saying that the father had barged accompanied with 2 guards. But why didn’t he get caught by the protagonists? Simply because he is no longer caring a light contrary to the first season. (chapter 20) (chapter 25) (chapter 36) The night had already fallen, when Yoon Chang Hyeon was present in the mansion. If the butler had carried a chandelier, the painter or the noble would have sensed his presence. Thus I deduce that the butler’s function in the protagonist’s suffering was to lit the room, the moment the pedophile and other sexual abusers approached his prey. That’s the reason why his nightmares are triggered by the sound of a lit bougie and the light accompanied with shadows.

However, this is just an illusion to think that Kim is always carrying a torch. I believe that the butler has more often moved around without light than with. Why? That way his spying activities could not be detected. In truth, he used the light to fake his loyalty and obedience. Even in the first season, he walked in the propriety properly without any candle: (chapter 26) This scene took place in the courtyard. This is the bathroom for the staff which you can see in the background (chapter 30), the grey building with grey bricks. And it happened again in episode 32, in episode 55 and chapter 64: And now look what we have in the third season: (chapter 77) (chapter 82), (chapter 94) and (chapter 98) He is no longer carrying any light, not even for his master. Why? It is because he can spy without being detected. Thus he approached the messenger only after the main lead had left the study. Don’t you find it weird that he acts as if he knew nothing (chapter 82), while he presents himself as the senior domestic in the mansion? (chapter 82) This represents a contradiction. If so, he should have been informed immediately. Thus I come to the conclusion that this scene reveals his incompetence and betrayal. Did he aid the messenger, when the latter got beaten? No, he only made his appearance, after the incident had occurred. And this is not surprising that the other domestic looked down on the butler. (chapter 82) He already knew that he had betrayed his own master through the letters. So I doubt that he viewed Kim as trustworthy. Another important element is that when the butler is seen in connection with the light, he speaks much more, while in the darkness, he remains silent. This is naturally connected to his spying activities. Simultaneously, the words coming from the butler often appear as empty. They remain quite superficial, for the butler is always putting conditions. “If there is anything I can do…”. That’s the reason why the butler doesn’t feel any real concern for the main leads in the end. This is not his business. And now, you are probably wondering why I used “quarrel” in the heading. It is because in episode 85, the butler had heard the argument between the couple. This is relevant, because the butler chose to recreate the same situation in episode 98!! 😲

(chapter 98) In this image, Byeonduck portrayed the servants arguing. They are stressed and screaming at each other: “I told you”. They give the impression that they are trying to do anything for their master. Nevertheless pay attention to the previous image: (chapter 98) The light is coming from the butler’s back. How is it possible, since there is no torch next to the gate? (chapter 98) Besides, you can see their shadows in the ground. And there is no street light either. (chapter 98) In reality, the light comes from the mansion. The domestics are carrying torches behind the door. Thus you can perceive some light coming from the top of the gate. But wait…. (chapter 98) Where is the sound in this panel? There’s only silence except the butler’s voice: “Young master”. If the domestics were so worked up looking for the whereabouts of the painter, then their voices would have been visible in this image. But no… there’s nothing. And this observation leads me to the following conclusion. The butler is trying to fool his master by repeating the prank in front of the study. The servants are supposed to fake their dutifulness. Yes, they are all acting, when the door opened abruptly. (chapter 98) But what are they staging? A fake research, but more they are acting, as if they would do anything for their master and as such as if the painter’s desertion was something they couldn’t stop. YES, the staff is following the butler’s principles. They act, as if they were powerless, there’s nothing they could do. (chapter 87) The painter deserted on his own. And now, you comprehend why the revelation occurs at the door. The gate symbolizes the butler’s deception and hypocrisy.

And observe that the gate could have been opened much sooner. The servants were all waiting for the lord’s return so that they staged this fake search. It was, as if the butler had given the signal by saying “Young master”. (chapter 98)

However, Kim never expected that his students would listen to him too well. 😉They even copied his words. (chapter 98) By using the idiom “damn brat”, the servant reveals that he looks down on the painter. This can give the impression that the latter has been bullied, which is not wrong either. All the servants, including the maids, pushed the artist to leave the mansion. They also abandoned him in the bedchamber, which is something similar to episode 56!! (chapter 98) The women knew that the artist wasn’t feeling well. But they never sent for the doctor and gave him any true comfort. They kept criticizing him. Yes, all the servants bullied the artist. The butler never realized that through his badmouthing, the staff would imitate him. They would chatter idly and fake concern, yet Kim is actually silent in front of his master. He just says the minimum, for the most part, he has to feign ignorance. He acts, as if he was blind and deaf, but in front of the staff he behaves the exact opposite. And this huge gap makes it possible to perceive his conniving personality. However, the main lead didn’t pay attention to the insult („damn brat“), as they had faked their concern. The lord had the impression that they had indeed done their best, hence the main lead felt the need that he had to do the research on his own. (Chapter 99) He believed them.

But why did Kim play such a prank? It is because he had succeeded once. (chapter 85) First, his tricks had not been perceived. Secondly, he had not been punished, though he had disobeyed the lord’s order. (chapter 86) So the valet had the feeling that nothing had changed. However, like I mentioned it above, he never realized that his fate was now linked to the painter’s and as such he was responsible for his well-being. Thus he got surprised with this new kind of order. For the first time, the valet was tasked to investigate outside the propriety. (chapter 98) In town, he can not really fake his obedience and honesty, for his lies can be perceived more easily. He has no control over the town folks. If the lord were to ask the tailor, the latter would definitely reveal that the body was not found in a well in town.

The domestics had to blame someone… and it can only be the kisaeng Heena. The latter is an outsider, she is not part of their “community”. Exactly like the butler had blamed Yoon Chang-Hyeon for his powerlessness.

How did I come to this interpretation? It is because of this scene. (chapter 98) Many readers, including myself, were quite confused first. However, note that there’s light coming from the building. From my point of view, this is the gate. However, this scene took place before the arrival to the mansion. I believe that this scene represents the moment, when the lord left the office of the investigator. But I can not be 100% sure. However, one thing is sure. Byeonduck wanted us to notice the importance of the light and the silence. The lord was pondering deeply, thus he didn’t pay attention to Kim. But now, the noisy domestics brought the main lead back to reality. (chapter 98) The death of the servant does concern him, for it affected the artist. I view this scene as a reflection from the previous chapter, where the gates were left wide opened. (chapter 97) The painter didn’t run away immediately. He remained quite some time in the domain, therefore after the last tragedy, the lord will have the time to ponder about the painter’s question. (Chapter 102) Yoon Seungho was separated from his lover for so long, because he had been deceived. It is only a matter of time, until he realizes that he had been deceived by his own staff. At some point, he will view the staff accountable for their misdeeds.

3. The painter and the darkness

Since I had detected a connection between the darkness and the painter’s nightmare, I realized that the artist must fear the darkness. This is perceptible, when you realize that the painter had problems to fall asleep (chapter 38) and he woke up in the middle of the night. (chapter 84) However, the lord got the opposite impression, for when he entered the study, the painter was sleeping on the floor in the dark. (chapter 02) This explicates why he would always extinguish the candles. (chapter 97) However, he never realized that the painter could only fall asleep in the dark, because he always sensed his lover’s presence. This means that when he reached the aristocrat’s hand, it also gave him some comfort. (chapter 97) Because the artist’s fate is similar to the noble’s, I deduced that this fear is connected to the artist’s past. Why does he fear darkness? It is linked to the vanishing of the candle light!

What caught my attention is that the painter’s dreams are all connected to light. (chapter 6) (chapter 34) (chapter 87) Thus in episode 56, Baek Na-Kyum had this vision too. (chapter 56) In the past, the painter used to sleep with the candle night on. For him, the light gave a sense of safety. There’s no ambiguity that he wouldn’t sleep alone, though we have to imagine that the noonas would leave him behind at some point, if they had to work. Thus I came to the deduction that the candlelight was to create the illusion that he was not alone.

However, observe that in the latest nightmare, the darkness appeared with the entrance of the scholar. (chapter 98) And it was the same in the nightmare of the first season, though it was a little changed. The darkness appeared, for the ghost Yoon Seungho was confronting the painter with the truth. He liked painting erotic pictures of sodomy, which contradicted the scholar’s preaching. (chapter 34) Finally, since the butler is a reflection from the learned sir, this signifies that he is also connected to light.

That’s how I came to develop this theory which is connected to the painter’s past. Why did Baek Na-Kyum appear in this scene? (chapter 68) What made him looking for his noona? What if the bougie was blown out during his sleep and Jung In-Hun was behind this? Byeonduck said that the scholar’s attachment to the boy was genuine, nevertheless there is no doubt that the learned sir was a greedy person. Maybe he woke up, because he detected the absence of warmth, as the noonas had left his side. Hence the painter sensed the abandonment in his sleep, which made him wake up. Consequently, he started searching for his noonas and he opened the door. No one would suspect a young child opening the doors in the kisaeng house. But by opening the door, the artist caused a ruckus, people could hear a protesting child in a room. And during that scene, the artist met Yoon Seungho who was captured by the guard!! This memory represents the night of the sexual lesson. Observe that the color of the hanbok corresponds to the one lying on the floor. (chapter 86) This means that the one trapping Yoon Seungho was not Yoon Chang-Hyeon, for the latter had a green hanbok. Besides, I started wondering why Jung In-Hun carried away Baek Na-Kyum and left the gibang with him. (Chapter 70) Why would he do that? He could have bring him back to his chamber!! Why walk through the countryside and for a long time? It is because he was not allowed to be in the gibang. Remember that he used to sleep in the annex. (chapter 87) From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum would have heard Yoon Seungho‘s struggling. Besides, we need to question ourselves this: Why is the annex empty?

To sum up my theory again. Jung blew out the candle during the night, the artist woke up and went looking for his noona. He opened the door, when the young master Seungho was protesting. Thus, as soon as they left the gibang, the young noble got tied up, and the „sexual lesson“ was supposed to take place. They used the incident to use violence on the main lead. There’s no doubt that Yoon Chang-Hyeon must have feared for a scandal. Then the father left the building and returned home. (chapter 87) He entrusted Yoon Seungho to Kim. But in my opinion, during the same night, the young noble was dragged to the annex, where the pedophile was waiting for him with probably other guests. That‘s the reason why Jung had to spend a long time outside the gibang. Maybe that‘s how he received his position as teacher. Remember the commoner’s remark: (chapter 29) People believed that he had already passed the exam, while it was not the case. Then I started wondering this. Why does the painter associate the learned sir to the moon? It is because the learned sir would visit him during the night. (chapter 94) The light from the moon comforted the artist, it became his companion, for the artist still feared the darkness. However, since the painter described that he would always cry because of his noonas, I am sensing that the scholar must have dragged the artist quite often outside the gibang. And this could coincide to the sexual abuse Yoon Seungho was exposed to. Kim said that the sexual abuse took place in the bedchamber. (chapter 87) But is it true? I have my doubts about it. By making such a statement, he is putting the blame on Yoon Chang-Hyeon. Note that the start of the sexual abuse began in the kisaeng house. The more I am analyzing, the more I am sensing that the elder master was just a stupid, selfish and violent father. However, if this had happened in the gibang, then he was as guilty as the kisaeng and the other helping hands.

As a conclusion, the painter came to fall asleep in the dark thanks to the lord’s presence. Thus we had this scene: (chapter 50) Both give each other comfort and warmth so that they feel safe. Maybe the FWOP; FWOP sounded like a lullaby to the artist’s ears. (chapter 49) 😂

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.

Painter Of The Night: Tears 😥 and characters – part 1 (Version with only 10 pictures)

This is where you can read the manhwa. 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:

I mostly used the following website as a source of inspiration:

What caught my attention in chapter 76 was Min’s tear combined with the laugh  (chapter 76) which was totally new in the manhwa. We never saw such a combination: a single tear with a laugh. Moreover, for the first time, The Joker had shed a tear. The manhwalovers will certainly recall that so far, we had tears of happiness (chapter 21) and sadness , (chapter 59) but never tears out of laughing.😂🤣 Therefore I came to recognize the significance of this scene. First, it divulged a lot about Black Heart’s personality, and announced a turning point in his life. At the same time, this observation gave me a new idea, which I will elaborate in the second part. Striking is that until now, I had examined the painter and Jihwa’s tears, yet I had never focused on this topic itself. Hence in this analysis, I would like to study not only the weeping of the characters, but also the absence of their tears.

But before beginning with the real topic, it is necessary to define tears and their origins. There exist three types of tears:

  1. Basal tears: This is a normal and vital function in order to keep our eye moist.
  2. Reflex tears: They are triggered, when you get something in the eye, or when you cut an onion.
  3. Emotional tears: These are the tears, when one is overcome with emotions (sadness, joy, eg.) Striking is that these tears are richer than the two others. They contain proteins and hormones like endorphin. The latter serves to relieve stress. The fact that these tears are richer is important, because like I had mentioned in my analysis about Jihwa (Water and fire -part 1), the red-haired aristocrat’s tears are a signal of the revival of his eyes. From that moment on, he is less blind. That’s why I associated tears to life, especially if you combine it to water. Without water, there’s no life.

1. Tears and pride

The connection between tears and life is relevant, because it explains why Jung In-Hun is never seen crying. He has a heart of stone. Consequently, Byeonduck drew the learned sir next to a rock in two occasions: (chapter 6) and  (chapter 22). The rock is a metaphor of his heart: he will remain cold-hearted. Striking is that even after the humiliation during the hunt, he never shed a tear. He was only frustrated and angry at his opponent and sponsor. His huge ego had been hurt by the main lead’s mockery, but despite his wound, he chose to look up to the sky, apparently waiting that fate/karma would punish the wealthy noble for his wrongdoing. This outlines that the learned sir still believed in his superiority. In other words, Yoon Seungho had not reduced the scholar to tears with his words, which stands in opposition to the second lead’s reactions.

“To reduce someone to tears”: to cause a person to cry through insults, frustration and belittling” quoted from

In chapter 18, the main lead had reduced Lee Jihwa to cry through his reproaches and belittling. (chapter 18)

This huge difference between the two figures (Lee Jihwa and Jung In-Hun) shows that the childhood friend is still a human despite his egoistic and prideful attitude. He was overcome with negative emotions (pain, sadness, frustration and anger), while the other only feels resent and anger. Hence through this expression (“reduce to tears”), the manhwalovers can recognize the connection between pride and tears. And if you compare both situations, you’ll notice that during their argument, the main lead lowered himself and faced his childhood friend.

 This reveals that the true intention of Yoon Seungho was not to humiliate his ex-lover per se. He didn’t desire to show his superiority to him. He had acted in the moment after witnessing Jihwa’s outburst. The former felt betrayed, as the second lead had acted behind his acts on different occasions (the spy, the slapping of Baek Na-Kyum, the ruined painting). Yoon Seungho still showed a certain respect towards his ex-partner by sending him away accompanied with a servant. Note that in the woods, he left the low noble on his knees without looking back. In other words, he showed no remorse towards Jung In-Hun, while it was not the case with Jihwa. There’s no doubt that the noble was indeed moved by Jihwa’s tears. However, it wasn’t obvious, because he didn’t touch his face and wipe his tears. The readers can only grasp it, when they compare both scenes (18-22). Through this comparison, I recognized that Jihwa’s tears were connected to his wounded pride. It becomes even more evident in chapter 21. It was, as if the red-haired second lead had an outburst. We have to envision that he literary burst into tears. 

“Burst into tears: to begin suddenly to cry” quoted from

This explosion of emotions is visible, as the lord ruined his room. He broke out to tears. And note that in that moment he was standing with a sword in his hand, another evidence that his tears were triggered by his frustration and bruised ego mixed with sadness and anger. And now, you comprehend why he represent a negative reflection of Baek Na-Kyum, the latter embodying humbleness and modesty. However, unlike the scholar, Jihwa was slowly learning his lesson and as such changing. Since the low noble’s heart is made of stone, he will never change in my opinion.

Jihwa reached the bottom, when he got confronted by Yoon Seungho at the tavern in chapter 57. He was not only pushed to the ground, but the latter was never able to stand up in front of his friend again, contrary to chapter 18. At the end, the second lead gathered his courage and confessed his love on his knees in front of commoners. And this truly outlines that Jihwa had finally realized that his bond with his childhood friend mattered more than his pride. He had to make a choice and selected affection over his ego.  (chapter 57)

In addition, by comparing it with the episode 18, the manhwaworms can notice a divergence in the main lead’s attitude. Contrary to before, he no longer showed any respect towards his friend. He never lowered himself, but he was forced to sit down by valet Kim. For me, this is no coincidence, the sickness was a good excuse for the butler. If his master sat down, then the public humiliation would be lessened and as such, this would cause less ruckus. Important is that after his answer, Yoon Seungho left Lee Jihwa behind without paying attention to him. He never asked Kim to take care of his former lover. This displays that the gap between them had so much increased that their relationship would never be like before. This was even reinforced by the lord’s words: “Do not harbor any longing for me. There is not the slightest chance of my ever returning such sentiments.” (chapter 59)

Striking is that in the second season, Yoon Seungho was taught the same lesson by the painter. The former had to give up on his title and devalue himself in order to remain by Baek Na-Kyum’s side. That’s why in chapter 71, he called his lover Lord Na-Kyum and treated him as a master after that. But pay attention that the main lead never shed a tears due to his wounded ego. Yet this doesn’t mean that he is similar to the learned sir. In fact, the main character felt more like crying, when he was reminded of his past.  (chapter 56). This signifies that his tears are not related to pride, but to his traumas. The lord can no longer weep due to the constant exposure to physical, mental and emotional pain. However, since he has been taught not cry in the presence of the butler, in chapter 56 it was, as if he was blinking back tears.

“to blink back tears: to try to stop oneself from crying” quoted from

How do I come to this conclusion? It’s because the butler avoided his master’s gaze, when the latter threw the letter (chapter 56) He acted, as if nothing was happening. Furthermore, it was the butler who asked the painter to stop crying after the rape: “Would you stop crying? Your eyes will be sore later”.(chapter 26) And since the painter’s fate is to go through the same suffering than the rich noble, it signifies that the butler must have said the same thing to his master in the past. There’s no ambiguity that father Yoon must have a similar mind-set too.

2. Tears, pain and emotions

As you can see, Yoon Seungho isn’t still capable to cry, as he has long internalized that he is not allowed to show such emotions. In his past, he was coerced to repress his tears. He was forbidden to show any emotion and pain, though he was repeatedly confronted with terrible events (rape, physical and mental abuse, gangrape, drugs, brainwashing, betrayal). This explicates why the lord chose to live as a ghost. If he was a spirit, he could no longer feel emotions and as such pain. I would like to point out the strong connection between emotion and hurt, though the latter is no emotion. It is an emotional experience. However, the chapter 56 indicates a slow transformation, as the lord feels the need to hide his gaze behind his hand and even turn away his head from Kim, like you can observe at the top of the composition. In my perspective, the lord must have sensed something in his eyes, but out of fear and habit, he preferred masking his wound.

2. 1. Baek Na-Kyum the role model

There’s a reason for Yoon Seungho’s gradual metamorphosis. Baek Na-Kyum cried, when he was physically (chapter 11, 25) and emotionally wounded (chapter 11, 41, 42)

Besides, right from the start the noble was moved by the painter’s tears, hence he felt the need to touch his face and wipe his tears.  (chapter 2) And now, you can imagine which idiom I am about to bring up:

“Moved to tears”: to elicit such a strong reaction or overwhelming reaction in one that it causes one to cry. Quoted from

2. 2. The painter as the trigger of emotions

Since the noble was forced to repress his emotions and as such tears, it is normal that in chapter 1, he wasn’t moved to tears. Furthermore, living without any emotion, it signifies that he couldn’t detect and recognize them in chapter 1. He never realized that he was actually showing happiness first and later a certain sadness, when he killed the servant. However, the tears from the painter (episode 1) triggered something in his heart.

 He sensed a slight pain, that’s why he asked him to stop crying. Let’s not forget that right before the artist started shedding tears, the noble reminded him of the death of the servant. He put the whole blame on the low-born, as the latter had lied to him. According to the main lead, the painter was responsible for the domestic’s death. After hearing this, Baek Na-Kyum was moved to tears. This incident is important for two reasons:

  • The tears are connected to empathy. He feels pity and sorry for the deceased man.
  • At the same time, they also express the artist’s guilt. Note that in the shed, the low-born never denied the lord’s statement.

And now, if the manhwaphiles look at the panel again,  they will notice that the noble’s behavior displays remorse and compassion. Hence he asks him to stop crying, while wiping his tears. Consequently, during the night of the rape, we have a repetition of this scene: the lord feels uncomfortable in the presence of the tears (remorse), but also a certain compassion towards the painter. However, when his hand is rejected, the main lead tries to blame the artist for the situation. But this time, Baek Na-Kyum doesn’t accept the criticism and defends his position. Furthermore, he expresses a death wish: “I hate you so much I could die, sir”. (chapter 26) Only now, I truly realize the significance of this scenes. These words pained Yoon Seungho so much that it triggered emotions, which had been buried for a long time. That’s why we witnessed an outburst: “But if I am to be hated, I might as well be hated properly. Don’t you agree?” (chapter 26) But since he had forgotten how to cry, he could only show strong emotions like pain, rage and jealousy through violence.

However, we shouldn’t overlook that the painter had mentioned his death. In my eyes, it truly exposed the lord’s fear. He couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from the painter. If the lord had been able to cry, he would have. But he could only explode and in my opinion, in that scene he hadn’t just murderous, but also suicidal thoughts. This was the first version of this panel, though the lord never expressed it: “If I killed them all, and myself, would it be easier…”  (chapter 55).

By killing the learned sir, he would push the painter to kill himself and the noble would have definitely followed him in his death. And now, you comprehend why in the hallway, the lord wondered about his own reaction. This was totally new to him, he had never felt anything like that before. Simultaneously, the manhwalovers can grasp why we haven’t witnessed the lord’s weeping yet. He needed to feel pain and emotions first. As a conclusion, during that night, the lord felt guilty, empathy, envy, rage and jealousy. Therefore I interpret that by witnessing the painter’s tears, the lord was taught to feel pain and emotions. Hence he stands in opposition to the scholar who chose to vent his anger and jealousy onto the painter, each time he felt humiliated.  (chapter 75) This truly exposes the teacher’s cruelty and ruthlessness. We could say that the painter reinforced his admired sir’s cold-heartedness. Therefore I come to the following conclusion: Jung In-Hun will never feel remorse or empathy. He is destined to become a monster, as his wounded pride will just arouse brutality, resent and thirst for revenge.

3. Tears and indifference

Because of the strong connection between tears and emotions, I realized that the absence of tears isn’t just a sign of heartlessness, but also of indifference. There’s another person who never sheds a tear. It is the butler Kim. When in the pavilion he saw the painter lying on the ground, he was not moved to tears. The only comment he made was: “And here I was wondering why he lent me a horse…”  (chapter 25) This means that he felt no empathy for the painter. However, he is different from the teacher. How? While Jung In-Hun senses no sympathy, the other tries to feel nothing. That’s why he gave his master the following advice: “Perhaps it would be best, if you did not take it to heart…” (chapter 50) In other words, Yoon Seungho should act, as if he had no heart. This explicates why he is annoyed, when he is facing someone in tears. He feels uncomfortable, especially if he is responsible for the incident. From my point of view, after Yoon Seungho got raped, the domestic made sure that the young lord would stop crying by making feel guilty and dirty. “Please!! No… It’s not…!” (chapter 65) Besides, I have the impression that he was turning his back on Yoon Seungho, when the teenager grabbed his shirt. Like I had pointed out above, tears are linked to a guilty conscience. And now, you comprehend, why Kim never cries. He is indifferent, because he doesn’t want to feel any pain and remorse. What is funny is that there exists a slang expression which connects tears to insensitivity:

“Two tears in a bucket” (rude slang): doesn’t matter, who cares. Said to express acceptance of or unconcern for the consequences of something.

And look at this: we always see the butler carrying a bucket around.  (chapter 56) I couldn’t help myself laughing, when I discovered it. I have no idea, if there’s such an expression in Korean. This slang expression comes from “to cry buckets”, which signifies that the person is like a cry baby. This new discovery made me realize that Yoon Seungho played a similar role to his admired valet than Baek Na-Kyum to his learned sir. Since the main lead was constantly facing terrible experiences, due to his cowardice and powerlessness the domestic chose not to take to heart. The more he witnessed, the more unconcerned he became. Therefore I deduce that Kim will never change his mind-set. He will prefer detachment, cowardice and blindness, because that way he is not suffering: neither regret nor heartache.

While Baek Na-Kyum contrasts so much to the valet, it means that Lee Jihwa stands between them. He is a mixture of indifference and empathy. This is particularly palpable in chapter 36. At the tavern, he cries out of frustration and anger, thereby he calls Yoon Seungho an “asshole” due to his wounded pride. Yet at the same time he feels a certain empathy for his childhood friend: “But I… know him best of all… I can… I can understand it all. Everything…” (Jihwa, chapter 36) He knows that he suffered a lot in the past. However, his compassion is quite superficial, because his bruised ego and pain are more important than his ex-lover’s traumatic past. As you can imagine, I am predicting that Jihwa will change in that aspect again. As time passes on, he will show more caring and respect towards others. However, as the readers can anticipate it, Nameless will serve him as role model. Besides, he has already triggered in him the right emotions:

  • regret: “I have ruined it all myself”  (Jihwa, chapter 61)
  • empathy: “…I do. I pity you.” (Nameless, chapter 61)

On the other hand, the noble brings the goodness which was buried in the criminal’s heart to the surface. That’s why I come to the following deduction. Nameless might have not shed a tear until now, but he wasn’t indifferent. Contrary to the butler, he had a job, where he was forced to bury his compassion. In my opinion, he was confronted in a similar situation than Yoon Seungho. The only difference is that Nameless had to witness many wrongdoings committed on people close to him that at some point he chose to stop crying. In other words, Jihwa will teach the commoner to feel emotions (pity, caring, admiration, eg.) again so that at some point, we should expect Nameless to have tears in his eyes. Though he is not crying like the low noble and the domestic, he is not truly devoid of emotions. So far, he used his mask to protect his heart.

4. Tears and diligence

I am quite sure that you are surprised with such a heading. Nonetheless, there’s a reason for this selection. You all know the saying

“blood, sweat and tears”: a huge amount of effort, dedication and hard work. quoted from

What caught my attention is that neither Jung In-Hun nor Kim are seen hard-working. I had already demonstrated in the essay entitled “Jung In-Hun’s worries and problems” that the scholar was more and more stressed, when he realized that he needed to pass the exam in order to get the high position as official. Before he envisioned that the powerful noble would give him a high position without putting any effort. As for the butler, he is only forced to work hard (chapter 12, 25, 33, 56), when he has to take care of the painter. However, if you pay attention to his action, you will notice that he doesn’t work like a real intendant. That’s why I am stating that he is not diligent. He shows no real authority around the staff. He lets them eat the painter’s dishes (chapter 17) or leave the mansion without any permission (chapter 12, chapter 51). Furthermore, Deok-Jae attempted to sell the stolen red dresser. That’s why the worker in episode 29 described the household as hush-hush. There was no real control over the domestics. In my opinion, Kim is not a true hard worker, as he is not taking any responsibility in the mansion. He prefers simple tasks, like sweeping (chapter 65), bringing lunches or announcing the arrival of a guest. And this observation made me realize that the lord started working hard, the moment he desired to woo Baek Na-Kyum. He dressed up, ordered some medicine for excessive drinking, organized two hunts, started strolling through downtown. Yet, this is no real work. And note that Jihwa behaved in a similar way, when he sensed danger from the painter. He also dressed up, had to plant a spy and trespass the mansion on different occasions. From my perspective, Yoon Seungho will start working the moment he behaves like a master. He needs more than just give orders to his staff. He has to control them and pay attention to finances. From my point of view, it is also his duty to take care of them as well, as the head of the mansion. To sum up, he has to learn how to manage the mansion. That’s why I believe that the lord’s tears will only return, the moment all the conditions are met:

  1. hard working
  2. deep emotions which he can not control and repress
  3. emotional pain linked to his traumas
  4. he drops the habit to hide his face, when he is wounded. Like I mentioned above, he still hides his pain and emotions in front of his so-called loyal servant Kim.

That’s why after comparing these 5 characters concerning their “tears”, I realized Jihwa’s true position and Nameless’ role. The second lead is not truly the painter’s negative reflection. Therefore I created a table to summarize my interpretations.

PrideJung In-HunLee Jihwa / Yoon SeunghoBaek Na-KyumNameless
EmpathyValet KimLee Jihwa / Yoon SeunghoBaek Na-Kyum / Nameless
Diligence / hard workJung In-Hun / Valet KimLee Jihwa / Yoon SeunghoBaek Na-Kyum / Nameless

As you can imagine, the persons in the middle were in the beginning of Painter Of The Night selfish, lazy and quite superficial. But as time passed on, they were affected by the painter. The latter with his tears moved the lord’s heart which created a riff between the protagonist and his lover. The latter was forced to cry and as such to change.

And now, you are wondering when I will talk about Min and his tear! As you can anticipate, I can only examine him in the second part. This essay already has more than 3700 words! Furthermore, I haven’t mentioned Heena noona and Yoon Seung-Won yet. As a conclusion, there’s so much to say about the tears, which is no surprise, because many manhwaphiles call this work “PAIN”ter of the night. Many readers are crying buckets while reading this story. 

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 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.