Painter Of The Night: The shadowy plot(s) 👀 from the past 🙊

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents:  https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night

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There is a reason why I selected the illustration of season 4 for this essay, though my focus is the past, and more precisely Yoon Seungho’s suffering. It is because the darkness surrounding the protagonist not only refers to his tragic youth, but also it reflects the situation of the manhwalovers. The latter are still in the dark concerning his torment. His terrible secrets have not been totally unveiled. So far, the author allowed the readers to see glimpses of his past, like f. ex. the gangrape or the suicide of his mother. But these were just small pieces of the puzzle, thus it is still impossible to have a complete picture of his martyrdom. There are many reasons for this. The main victim never testified about his suffering, he refused to open up to Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 84) Then many witnesses vanished (chapter 86) or the ones alive preferred telling lies in order to hide their own wrongdoings or are simply in denial about their own culpability. Finally, the victim, the perpetrators and accomplices had no idea about the whole truth. They only know or knew certain facts, because many of them were deceived as well. What exactly happened to Yoon Seungho? How could this take place, though he belonged to one of the most powerful noble families? Now, you are probably expecting that I will give you answers to all these questions, and recreate the past. But I have to admit that it is not possible, for I don’t know the whole chronology. Consequently, I added “shadowy” in the title. To conclude, my real intention is more to offer new pieces from the riddle than create a whole new “story”. The main source for this new insight is the painter’s fate which is a reflection from the noble’s past and torment. This means that Byeonduck left traces in season 1, 2 and 3! That’s how I discovered that he had been abandoned and betrayed by everyone, kidnapped, treated as a male kisaeng, robbed, abused, raped and even gangraped at least twice, tortured and finally drugged! But like mentioned above, it is difficult to give the proper order and the persons truly involved in the crimes. On the other hand, what I can guarantee is that Yoon Seungho’s nightmare is linked to conspiracies. I came to this conclusion, because if you compare all the seasons, you will detect the presence of plots. There exists at least 3 main plots in each season, though there definitely exist more. The conspiracies are all connected to incidents.

1. The conspiracies

To validate my theory, I will use the first season as an example. The incident with the ruined drawing was actually initiated by Min and his friend with the mole. Black Heart had slapped his friend (chapter 9), so that the latter visited Lee Jihwa to arouse his jealousy. It was to push him to commit a crime so that Baek Na-Kyum would be removed from the main lead’s side. As you can see, there were 3 people involved, though the readers only saw the result. (chapter 12) They had the impression that the red-haired master had acted on his own. However, he had been manipulated, incited to commit a crime. But my point is not to diminish his wrongdoing, rather to expose the involvement of the schemers. Hence at the end of season 1, the author unveiled their true role and as such their identities. (chapter 43) However, observe that when Lee Jihwa went to the pavilion, the noble with the mole had other guests. 2 nobles left the place, as they refused to participate in a murder. (chapter 43) Funny is that they are now witnesses of Min’s crime. This can have repercussions in season 4. Black Heart had been the one who had suggested the assassination to Lee Jihwa. And the aristocrats were still there, when he had made this proposition. (chapter 43) But the two empty seats also serve as a metaphor for the existence of other helping hands: Kim and No-Name! The latter was about to get hired by the young master. Hence I deduce that this scene was to display the existence of accomplices who had always been acting in the shadow. Or we could say that the number of conspirators increased! However, I would like to point out the existence of a second conspiracy: the stolen wine. (chapter 19) And this is related to Kim and the gibang. Yet, the butler ruined Black Heart’s plan. To conclude, we have two main plotters in season 1, but the butler’s bad intentions were not detected, for Yoon Seungho’s bad actions were more eye-catching. People had the impression that the valet was defending the artist’s best interest. From my point of view, the number of persons involved in the plot kept increasing, as they needed more and more accomplices. The reason is that their plans didn’t work out like expected. At the end of season 3, Min involved the kisaengs in the gibang, while Kim asked the assistance of the staff, the maids (chapter 91) and the servants (chapter 97). Thus I deduce that in the past, the same must have happened. Many people were involved in the downfall of Yoon Seungho and his family. But who was the real target in the end? It is difficult to say with 100% certainty.

While Min serves as a reflection from the main mastermind in the past, his actions are not entirely clear. Note that he kept changing his mind and heart. On the one hand, he wished to have the painter killed, then later to have the young artist by his side as a source of entertainment. Yet, there is no doubt that he wished to have sex with Baek Na-Kyum right from the start. (chapter 8) Thus in season 2, he came to this resolution: (chapter 56) He had planned to rape him before having him eliminated. This shows his inner conflict. From my point of view, the painter’s death is connected to the incident in the gibang. (chapter 1) Baek Na-Kyum was a witness of Min’s wrongdoing, just like the painter was a witness and victim of his crimes in the shrine. (chapter 99) One thing is sure: Min was full of greed and jealousy. He was determined to harm and ruin Yoon Seungho. Hence I come to the deduction that the real target of the conspiracy in the past was Yoon Chang-Hyeon. And his son was used against him.

Interesting is that in the first season, the plots were not obvious, except one: the painter’s murder! The conspiracies only came to light, when the readers paid attention to details. The best example is the incident with the open door: (chapter 16) This doesn’t look like a crime. However, it is one! It was done on purpose, to separate the couple. Someone had intervened in order to interrupt this session, and as such someone had been spying on them. Deok-Jae only revealed his spying activity from chapter 16 in season 2: (chapter 53) Yet, the one opening the door had been Kim. This gesture can be considered as trespassing and invasion of privacy, the new version of this scene. (chapter 16) But instead of revealing the truth, the butler sided with Lee Jihwa, and allowed him to trespass the propriety again. In my eyes, the butler thought (chapter 17) that Yoon Seungho would come to perceive the painter as a man consumed by lust. He imagined that he would caught them fooling around. As you can see, this ruckus was also a plot, though it doesn’t look like one. Why would the maids gossip in the courtyard? (chapter 18) From my point of view, the valet expected that the lord would fear people’s gaze and a scandal. Thus he would send away the painter to protect his “reputation”, but the opposite happened. Under this perspective, the manhwalovers can grasp why it is difficult to calculate accurately the number of plots and accomplices. Besides, some were naïve pawns, others not. And since I examined the first season more closely, it is necessary to analyze the vanishing of Jung In-Hun. His disappearance is strongly intertwined with Yoon Seungho’s secret. How so? The learned sir was determined to find the lord’s vulnerability and as such secret.

2. The scholar’s disappearance

Many readers have the impression that the learned sir is still alive, for they never saw his corpse or his execution. Since they had somehow witnessed Jung In-Hun’s departure, they knew that the learned sir could not have been killed in his humble home. I had already detected very early on, like other manhwaphiles, that the murder scene had been staged. (chapter 88) Thus many readers jumped to the conclusion that the learned sir had already switched sides and was plotting against the main lead. They had his following words in their mind: (chapter 29) Thus many concluded that he had participated in the prank, faking his death. On the other hand, the manhwalovers believed to have seen Heena’s death! (chapter 99) However, observe that we never saw her corpse. She was still alive in this panel. I had already pointed out that her murder was actually faked. Her mouth was not covered, hence she could have screamed, but she remained silent (blank speech bubble). Secondly, she never moved her legs… contrary to Yoon Seungho’s behavior in the gibang. (chapter 68) That’s the reason why I came to the conclusion that Heena’s curtains didn’t take place. Hence I deduced that in the past, someone’s death must have been “faked” too and this vanishing must have affected the main lead’s fate. The other deduction is that the learned sir must be “dead”, as the author is working with positive and negative reflections. I had already presented this theory in two different compositions (“That day” and “The secret behind the library“) However, for each murder, the culprit must have a strong motive. For me, the mastermind behind his death is the pedophile himself. This man, (chapter 37) who is the king in my eyes. [For more read the essay “The face of lord Song“]

3. The reasons for the assassination

Why would he eliminate the learned sir? In the past, I had said that he had ordered it out of jealousy. He believed that Jung In-Hun had become Yoon Seungho’s lover, for his brother had mistaken his identity. (chapter 37) Since Baek Na-Kyum was wearing a hanbok, Yoon Seung-Won thought that the person hidden under the hanbok was no commoner! Thus he called him a fellow. However, this motive is quite thin! Yet, two new details caught my attention. His visit to the “fake shaman” and his request. Notice what he told the man:(chapter 29) He was announcing to the dark haired man his true intention. He desired to abandon and betray Yoon Seungho the moment he reached the first place in the civil service examination. He saw him as a burden. This is important, because his words represent a confession of his “sin”!! The scholar was admitting to the commoner that once he reached the first place, he would cut off his ties with the protagonist. But actually, the latter is connected to the pedophile. It was, as if he was saying that he would betray the king, for the young main lead is close to the king. On the other hand, he needed to reach the first place for this. And now, you have the explanation why he got killed. He needed to vanish, before he participated in the next round! The mysterious lord Song needed to remove him, before Jung reached the first place and betrayed his “lover”. In a certain way, the man could justify his action that he has been protecting Yoon Seungho from a future betrayal. However, there is no ambiguity that the true motive was jealousy. But he had naturally another motivation. It was important that the lord’s past never came to light either, as his secret was strongly intertwined with the ruler’s past actions. To conclude, the pedophile had every reason to order his assassination. But he was not the only one behind his death. Other people had an interest in this crime as well.

Jung In-Hun’s ”dream” stands in opposition to Yoon Seungwon‘s statement who somehow promised his father that he would reach first place. That’s the reason why the father boasted in the bedchamber. (chapter 86) However, in reality, he was relying on the king’s help and intervention. And this confession to the “fake shaman” represents the learned sir’s karma. He had asked the painter to act like a spy (chapter 24), not realizing that he could be spied himself! He didn’t grasp that he exposed his weakness to the commoner: the civil service examination. Thus the man had constantly drops of sweat on his face and interrogated Jung In-Hun. (chapter 29) The girl was there to create a certain closeness. He was acting like Kim, asking why! But the stupid and arrogant learned sir thought that because the man was a commoner, he was ignorant and could be manipulated like the painter! (chapter 29) He thought that the low-born would buy his lie here… but in my eyes, it was the opposite. He had already perceived the learned sir’s true nature. But he acted, as if he was agreeing. In other words, the scholar fell into his own trap. He envisioned that the man was “powerless”, but he overlooked his connections. The manhwalovers can see the contradiction, for he had approached the man due to his connections! .As you can see, I am more than ever convinced that the scholar has long been murdered. He was betrayed, exactly like he had planned to abandon Yoon Seungho! The pedophile must have heard from the servant about Jung’s plan, as he had confided it to the worker!!

Thus the man decided to meet Jung In-Hun himself, and give him a warning. He described the Yoons as powerless due to the purge. (chapter 37) But this doesn’t end here. (chapter 37) Yoon Chang-Hyeon was portrayed as a traitor! The “fake servant” implied with his statement that there was a conspiracy, and the patriarch was involved. But in exchange to save his own skin, he had tattled on the others! He was trying to insinuate that if Jung In-Hun interacted more with the Yoons, his reputation could get tainted. He could get suspected of “treason” too, or he could get betrayed too. While the man met the learned sir during the day, the brother went to the villa in a hurry during the night. (chapter 37) So it looked like the “scholar” had not grasped the warning. And if Yoon Seungwon had been informed about the content of the conversation between the learned sir and the “fake shaman”, it is not surprising that he rushed to his brother’s side. He could use this opportunity to warn him about a betrayal. However, he couldn’t do it so, because he imagined that the learned sir was present. This would explain this image: (chapter 36) Hence he chose a different approach: filial duty. And the brother’s observation could only corroborate the pedophile’s perception. The scholar was Yoon Seungho’s lover, but he was also a backstabber. But let’s return our attention to the “mysterious lord Song”‘s statement: Yoon Chang-Hyeon is a denunciator, not a man of honor. (chapter 37) Due to his denunciation and crime, he had to leave the mansion so suddenly leaving the protagonist behind. That’s what the old bearded man implied here. However, I believe that this declaration is a mixture of truth and lie! That’s how I could make the sudden connection: (Chapter 67) Lee Jihwa had not only been denunciated, but he had been confronted by his friend! And the traitor was right by his side. As you can see, chapter 67 was a reflection from episode 37!! These two episodes have another common denominator: the betrayer had made the following suggestion. (chapter 67) In exchange for his “survival”, he should help Black Heart and allow him to act on his behalf. This was the new plan. That’s how he started impersonating Lee Jihwa. That’s the reason why I come to the conclusion that in the past, the impersonation must have happened, but it took place in the beginning. Secondly, I am assuming that a traitor must have suggested to Yoon Chang-Hyeon to leave the mansion and abandon his son behind! (chapter 27) And who is it? For me, it is Kim acting on the pedophile’s behalf. Striking is that in episode 27, the learned sir escaped death thanks to the intervention of the old bearded domestic and Baek Na-Kyum. Thus it came to my mind that the pedophile could even claim that he had eliminated the learned sir, because Yoon Seungho had attempted himself to kill him in the past. He had acted on his behalf. And what do have all these chapters have in common? SPYING and tattling! In episode 27, the servant unveiled a part of the past, (chapter 27) Someone had tattled on the Yoons in the past, but the patriarch was turned into the traitor himself which the young main lead came to believe. Thus Yoon Seungho could say this to his father: (chapter 86) However, I am suspecting that this is not true, someone else tattled on the powerful family and made a false accusation! As you can imagine, I am inclined to think that father Lee must have been behind this! Why? It is because he can no longer do it! Thus in season 3, he approached the patriarch Yoon. (chapter 82) If the lord Seungho had truly committed a crime, he should have reported it to the authorities. The stupid Yoon Chang-Hyeon never wondered why the elder Lee visited him during the night and asked for his assistance. Furthermore, the elder Lee had been allowed to enter the bedchamber and see the huge drawing which could have been perceived as a sign of treason. He was eyeing at the throne. (chapter 82) Note that the aristocrat mentioned “punishment” in this context. So maybe, he denunciated the patriarch so that the whole family would get punished. Father Lee was definitely played in this scene, hence I believe that someone had already anticipated his reactions. He would seek revenge. But this doesn’t end here. I had connected “rash departure” to “treason and spying”. And now, observe what Yoon Seungho said to his butler (chapter 50) He had sent Jung In-Hun away in order to get rid of him! However, because of the expression “I thought”, I am quite certain that this idea had been suggested to him by the valet! I would like to underline that in this episode, the valet was acting as a tattler! (chapter 50) But in order to hide his own crime, he portrayed it as a rumor (It may not be accurate”). This truly underlines the butler’s MO. He used information and turned it as gossips to hide his spying activities. The shadow… Simultaneously, he turned gossips into a verity!! This is no coincidence that in season 3, the same method was employed. Yoon Seungho was supposed to have murdered the scholar and Deok-Jae! My avid readers can sense the leitmotiv in all these episodes. RUMORS are turned into a reality, and as such a CRIME! Even here… (chapter 37) (chapter 37) But Kim is not the only spy and traitor! The younger brother Seungwon is also one! Thus he was introduced in the same chapter. And I have an irrefutable evidence that the old bearded man was in contact with the younger master. Only recently, I realized that the man never mentioned the protagonist’s name, he just said “this one”. This idiom implies that there is another one!!! This is the evidence that he was in contact with Yoon Seungwon. Finally, why would the man talk about the elder master Yoon the entire time? It is, because technically Yoon Seungho is just the elder son. This means that the pedophile never officially gave the title to the protagonist. These were empty words. (chapter 86) But since our beloved man started living in the bedchamber, this became a reality. That’s the other reason why Yoon Seungho was encouraged to live in debauchery and not to take the civil service examination. But this only occurred, the moment the lord returned living in the mansion and not before!! Secondly, I realized that this statement about Yoon Chang-Hyeon will become a reality for the “fake servant” himself. (chapter 37) Not only he justified his return to the familial domain with the main lead’s lunacy (“under the pretense of some problem with this one”), but also he accused his own son of a crime. (chapter 94) This means that he acted as a traitor, tattling on his own relative. Finally, observe that once confronted with brutal reality, the father did run away. (chapter 87) The white bearded man’s words became a reality. However, since the fake servant, the mysterious lord Song, judges the elder master Yoon as a troublemaker and hypocrite, there is no ambiguity that the elder master Yoon will get into trouble. Since he did it in the past, he can only get suspected in the present.

Besides, because the scholar is now dead, the pedophile can only put the whole blame on someone else refusing to become responsible for this. He has always acted in the shadow. We have three possibilities: he puts the blame on Yoon Seungwon, and say that he had done it out of jealousy. Or Yoon Chang-Hyeon had intervened, because Jung represented an hindrance to the Yoons’ dream. Besides, he was supposed to stay in the mansion in Hanyang, and that’s where the rest of the family is living. (chapter 86) But the worst would be that the painter is blamed for his assassination. He did it out of resent! But this would expose the true thoughts of the schemers, the pedophile and Kim. That’s how they act, when they feel offended and bothered.

Striking is that the protagonist has no idea, that the banishment was staged, for he was told the same lie. In his mind, the father lives in exile.: (chapter 37) One thing is sure: the father’s dream will turn out to be an illusion. For me, the younger brother’s biggest wrongdoings are spying, tattling and badmouthing. And the best evidence for this interpretation is this situation: (chapter 44) He had given the ruined painting to his father, putting the blame on his brother, well aware that the latter would get angry. He was observing his father’s reaction. (chapter 44) Yet, there is a difference to the past. Here, he had been fooled! He truly believed that this was his brother’s doing, whereas in truth the butler had been the one who had fooled him. (chapter 38) And this is important, because when the letter was given to the brother, Jung In-Hun witnessed the wrongdoing from the butler!! (chapter 38) And now, you know why the learned sir had to die!! He had caught the valet in the act. He had betrayed Yoon Seungho, though he didn’t realize it. The learned sir tried to discover the content of the letter, and as such was prying on his sponsor’s weakness.(chapter 38) Hence I come to the conclusion that KIM played a huge role in the learned sir’s death as well. I would even say that he was the one who pushed the others to have the scholar and the painter killed. Both knew about the butler’s tricks without realizing his significance. (chapter 37) Hence I deduce that as the story progressed, the role of the butler started changing. Now, I see him as a the main plotter, while all the others are now his pawns. We could say that the valet has gradually followed the pedophile’s path. However, there is no ambiguity that it was not the same in the past!

4. A new plot

I am quite certain that many manhwalovers are doubting my theory that the fake servant is the king and the main culprit in Yoon Seungho’s nightmare. Why? It is because in chapter 83, we saw a dark haired man, and according to Lee Jihwa, this was the mysterious lord Song. (chapter 83) How can he be the same than the one from episode 37? The change of his hair color could be explained by a huge shock. But this is rather thin as a justification. Besides, now I am more inclined to think that these are two different persons, and that the main culprit is the one from episode 37. Why? It is because he smoked and utilized the same expression: “strange”. (chapter 37) An idiom that Yoon Seungho constantly utilized: chapter 16, chapter 21, chapter 50, chapter 71 (chapter 71). This means that he couldn’t understand, for he has a different way of thinking. This outlines his narrow-mindedness and his tendency to plan everything. He doesn’t like surprises.

Since the readers saw the hanbok and the beard, they imagine that he is the main culprit. But I would like the readers to keep in mind that Baek Na-Kyum’s fate is the clue about the main lead’s suffering. And how many people desired to have him by their side? TWO! Yoon Seungho and Min…. and we could say that both kidnapped the artist! The main lead did it in episode 1, and the other in episode 99! This means that Yoon Seungho should have two main sexual abusers in the past! However, in difference to the young lord, the painter only had sex with the main lead. Min always failed to taste him! That’s the reason why I am suspecting that the man from chapter 83 could represent the “first sexual abuser”. Besides, observe that he is not smoking! (chapter 83)

Because we saw the purple hanbok, we all imagined that he was representing the king or was connected to the palace. But is it true? Notice that one of the guests only has a moustache beard (chapter 83) which is actually connected to commoners. [For more read the essay “Painful departures“] Remember that Min tried to deceive people by wearing a similar hanbok which Lee Jihwa would often wear. (chapter 69) Hence I started wondering if the mysterious man with the beard was not impersonating someone, for example “lord Song” and in reality he was just a merchant. Why merchant? It is related to the shungas and the hanboks. The king can not be involved in trading directly. However, this is what Yoon Seungho told to the learned sir: (chapter 22) Nevertheless, the main lead could have never been involved in commerce, for he lived as a prisoner for many years. And this is what was said about the ruler: (chapter 76) He is not so wealthy. How come? Yoon Seungho’s fortune must have a different origin.

Besides, I would like to outline that when Min was facing the ghost Yoon Seungho, he denied his responsibility by putting the blame on the childhood friend: (chapter 102) Min had never predicted that the young master would run to his friend and denunciate him to Yoon Seungho. However, since Black Heart had employed the assistance of servants (chapter 101) , the kisaengs (chapter 95) (chapter 96), the officer (chapter 98), No-Name, the doctor with the drugs and butler Kim, this signifies that behind the name Lee Jihwa stand many people! As you can see, the name “lord Song” doesn’t refer to one person, but many… My theory is that No-Name is the true owner of the title, but that’s how he ended up losing his home and his name! That’s the reason why I believe that in this image (chapter 83), we only see one of many persons hiding behind the name “lord Song”. To conclude, I came to the theory that the men from chapter 37 and 83 are both “lord Song”, though the one from episode 37 can only be the king. But if the man in episode 83 was impersonating lord Song, and as such was dressed up as a royal, he was actually violating laws.

I would like to point out that Min had three goals, not only to ruin Yoon Seungho, but also to get rid of Baek Na-Kyum and Lee Jihwa. Why? It is because he had framed them for the incident in the gibang. (chapter 1) Furthermore, Lee Jihwa could testify that Black Heart was the mastermind of the murder. Thus I deduce that in the past, the mastermind must have had three intentions as well:

  • remove Yoon Chang-Hyeon from his son’s side. That way, he could outlive his sexual fantasies. (chapter 50)
  • ruin the Yoons which represented a thorn to his power, hence the young man was incited to hate and blame his father.
  • get rid of all the potential witnesses and accomplices.

We shouldn’t overlook that Min used to be the main lead’s sexual partner too. Hence we could say that he was trying to get rid of a former lover and potential rival! That’s why I can’t help myself thinking that the man in purple could have been fooled himself. (chapter 83) Here, he was smiling… but don’t forget that in this story, karma always retaliates immediately! The best example is the scholar who wished to discover the noble’s secret, but didn’t realize that his vulnerability and intentions were revealed. In episode 83, this smiling man tried to drive an edge between the two childhood friends, and he could definitely witness how the two sons entered the room before the arrival of the elders! Therefore his punishment should have been separation as well. (chapter 83) The main lead was slapped and called animal, hence there is no ambiguity that at some point, the man must have suffered as well, unless he let others take the fall for him. We know for sure that the main lead was tortured, and as such arrested for a crime he didn’t commit! Besides, I would like the manhwaworms to keep in mind the importance of cosplay and “coup de théâtre”. We had the perfect illustration in chapter 37, (chapter 71) chapter 87) and episode 92. The schemers in the past had definitely played with illusions and tricks. Thus I am expecting that it is now the pedophile’s turn to get fooled.

One possibility is that father Lee denunciated the Yoons saying that they were planning a coup d’Etat, and had already selected a new king. And don’t forget that he was wearing clothes that was indicating that he belonged to the royal family!! Thus his identity could have been mistaken. To conclude, for me, the man with the purple hanbok represents the reason why Yoon Seungho suffered. This led to the purge of the noble families close to the Yoons. But since the real “lord Song” had allowed people to use his name, he became the culprit for all the wrongdoings committed by others. Hence he lost everything. (chapter 82)

5. The poisoning

Another possibility is that the man with the purple hanbok got poisoned, and Yoon Seungho was framed for the man’s death or injury. I am suspecting a poisoning incident in the past. If it didn’t take place during that fateful night/day (chapter 83), then it definitely must have taken place before. But how did I come to this conclusion? According to my observations, karma always retaliates right away, though the “wrongdoer” has no idea, as the person doesn’t see the connection between the “punishment” and the sin. But I would like to point out that in each season, we had poisoning. (chapter 36) Here, the painter was forced to take an aphrodisiac under the pretense of his health. This action was repeated in season 2 (chapter 54) and 3. (chapter 100) The nobles made him smoke opium or drink the aphrodisiac. The purpose of such drugs is to obtain the painter’s submission and control his mind and reactions. Striking is that each time, the perpetrators were “punished”. Kim was insulted and his plan didn’t work out. (chapter 37) As for the young lords, they were evicted like commoners and later the others were even killed. As you can see, each time the poison was employed, there was a retaliation.

But note that in season 2, Deok-Jae had put stones in the painter’s rice. (chapter 47) (chapter 47) If the painter had not eaten with the lord, the latter would have never noticed the incident. However, he believed the maids’ words. (chapter 47) Hence he never investigated the matter. But this prank represented a serious issue. This could have been judged as an attempt against the owner of the mansion. (chapter 47) And now look at this panel: (chapter 83) Yoon Seungho had refused to take the drug! The bowl reminded me of the one from chapter 47! Finally, the butler had tried to give his master the drug in season 3 (chapter 77), but the latter had again rejected it and this twice. (chapter 77) Kim calls the drug “medicinal tea”, truly an euphemism. It is also possible that the real target of the poisoning was Yoon Seungho, but since he was protected by the gods, someone ended up taking the “drug”. Because he was wearing a purple hanbok, the investigator mistook his identity, a royal member. Hence the Yoons were suspected of treason. Don’t forget that during this party, there was a kisaeng by their side. (chapter 83) And the latter are trained to cook dishes for the clients. My avid readers are certainly recalling that since season 2, I have been waiting for a poisoning incident which became a reality at the end of season 3. Thus I come to the conclusion, that such an incident should be shown in season 4, one in the past and the other in the present.

To conclusion, since many people were hiding behind the name “lord Song”, it became a taboo. However, as the king had achieved all his goals thanks to this name, (chapter 56), he came to adopt this title in order to hide his identity and actions. Byeonduck explained in her notes that Baek Na-Kyum had no idea about Min’s name. And this is the same for Yoon Seungho. The pedophile could continue hiding behind “lord Song”, as the latter was blamed for everything. The pedophile could divert attention from his own tricks. That’s the reason why he would never write any letter to Yoon Seungho under this name. This means that at the end, the main culprit, the king, will be perceived as the main responsible for Yoon Seungho’s torment, similar to Min’s situation, just before got killed. Though many other people were involved, Yoon Seungho was able to judge the joker’s actions correctly, he was the main mastermind behind the plots. This explicates why the gods made Yoon Seungho forget the old bearded men’s face. (chapter 44) This was a blessing in disguise. The moment the main lead faces the king, Yoon Seungho will be able perceive the truth. The king was behind his torment, and the butler had been his helping hand all along, the professional spy planted in his family. However, I don’t think that the monarch will admit his crimes and apologize for his wrongdoings. He will need a scapegoat, and this can only be the butler, the only one who knows the truth!

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: The riddle of the enigmatic covers🔍🕵️‍♂️ (second version)

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

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.

The purpose of this essay is not just to interpret the illustrations for each season, but also to anticipate the future illustration of season 4. However, before revealing my new knowledge, it is important to explain how I came to develop these significations. This means that I will present new pieces of the puzzle “Painter Of The Night”. Everything started with this panel. (chapter 9)

1. The slap and hands

The noble with the mole had a red cheek and a bruised lip indicating that he had been slapped. Yet contrary to the painter, he had wounded on his right side. (chapter 1) This means that no one had witnessed the wrongdoing committed on the anonymous lord. However, it is important, because it exposes how a person committing a wrongdoing could escape scolding and punishment, even from the readers. There was no witness! Only an attentive reader could detect this. Hence you have the explanation why Yoon Seungho suffered for so long. There was either no witness or the persons chose to close an eye and remained silent. Since it was the negative reflection from Baek Na-Kyum’s slap and the main lead had used his right hand (chapter 11), I deduced that the culprit was left-handed. That’s how I could identify the culprit, lord Min. The lord was in reality left-handed. We could observe this in chapter 8 , episode 19 , chapter 33 and episode 43, but also in episode 76 , in chapter 96 , in episode 100 and finally in chapter 102 ! Yet, in other occasions like in episode 33 or 43, or 52 , he used his right hand! Thus one might argue that Min was simply ambidextrous. However, I can prove 100% that Black Heart is left-handed!😮 The evidence is the usage of the bow. (chapter 22) This is how a right-handed man shoots an arrow. On the other hand, we never saw Min using the bow. The bird was already wounded by the arrows, when the scene of the second hunt took place. (chapter 41) However, the manhwaphiles can discover the verity thanks to one detail: the bag of arrows. (chapter 22) As you can see, the bag is carried on the right side, but the arrows are almost touching the left shoulder. They need to be on the other side, since the scholar needs his right hand to grab the item. And now compare the position of Min’s bag. It is inclined in the opposite direction, hence the arrows are visible on his right side! (chapter 41) Thus the noble is carrying the bag (chapter 41) differently from the painter too. (chapter 22) Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Byeonduck never showed the Joker’s hunting skills. People would have noticed that he is left-handed immediately. She made sure to hide this important fact, thus within the same chapter Min was often portraying as using both hands. In episode 43, he employed his left hand to pour the alcohol in the glass, but then he switched the hand(chapter 43), when he gave the drink to Lee Jihwa.

This raised the following question. Why is he ambidextrous, though he prefers his left hand? It is because he has been conditioned to use his right hand. In Latin, sinister means left. This explicates why left is associated to sinister, dark and bad omen. Thus there exists this superstition that being left-handed is evil or a bad sign!! Till the end of the 20th Century, people in Europe were encouraged to write with their right hand. And now, if you compare all the scenes, where he employed his left-hand, you will detect that he was acting under the influence of his subconscious. In chapter 8, he was lusting after the painter; explicating why he got mad at his friend. Because of his nagging, Min could no longer ask his host to let the painter join the sex party. Therefore it is no coincidence that he slapped his friend with his left hand. Finally, we never saw his departure from the bedchamber! (chapter 9) Here, he was still present, but even before the end of the sex session, he had already vanished. (chapter 9) Finally, when the noble with the mole visited Lee Jihwa, the latter claimed that he had spent a long time at Yoon Seungho’s. (chapter 9), and his friend never denied it. As you can see, the characters made sure to confuse the readers with the change of the chronology. As you can see, it took me a long time before noticing the bruised face (only during season 3), then to bring up the conclusive evidence that Min was the culprit of the slap. Then in the shaman’s house, he took the dildo with his left hand, because he was angry and frustrated. (chapter 100) With the same hand, he pushed Jihwa (chapter 100) too. This shows that he could barely control himself here. And once he faced the main lead’s sword, he got so scared that he showed Jung In-Hun’s glasses with his left hand again. (chapter 102) Due to stress and his strong emotions, he exposed his true self, but since the readers were more focused on the actions and Min’s punishment, they never paid attention to his hand. This contrasts so much to the way the author portrayed Yoon Seungho. She often zoomed on his hands. (chapter 92) The irony is that in this scene, the main lead employed his left hand too, the positive reflection from the night in the pavilion (chapter 43). While here it was to bring him back to reality, in the pavilion, the Joker had the opposite intention: to lure Lee Jihwa to believe in illusions. (chapter 43).

Why did she confuse the readers then? It was to hide an important information, the culprit is left-handed!! And now it is necessary to examine the lord’s nightmare.

2. The hand in the nightmare

If you read my previous analyses about the visions, you are aware of my following observation. The visions represent not only memories, but also predictions. (chapter 74) They announce the future events, though the information is not given properly. On the other hand, since they are memories either, this signifies that they contain insight about the lord’s tragedy. Thus I noticed that the anonymous perpetrator used his left hand to grab his hanbok!! I deduced that the perpetrator in the past is also left-handed!! Secondly, since this vision can also be seen as the announcement of the painter’s second kidnapping, this is no coincidence that Byeonduck created such panels during the painter’s last torment. (chapter 99) However, in the shaman’s temple, Black Heart grabbed Baek Na-Kyum with his right hand. He was trying to manipulate the artist, he was acting. He was not showing his true self. Yet, the vision was revealing the truth: the future mastermind of the last scheme was in reality left-handed!! It didn’t matter, because at the end, the main lead was able to discern the truth. He sentenced Black Heart, for he believed that he had killed his loved one! That’s how I realized why the author would focus so much on the hands and on the distinction between unconscious and conscious! The hand in Painter Of The Night represents the crucial clue to identify the culprits!!

3. The illustrations and the mystery

Because of these new discoveries, I realized the signification of the covers. In season 1, we had the hands in the illustration. The hands were revealing the crime committed against the main lead. The latter was totally passive in this picture. The hands are touching and unclothing the immobile man. It also shows that Yoon Seungho was at the center of the conspiracy, in the past and in the present! The painting in the background indicates the presence of a hidden painter. Thus Baek Na-Kyum was not drawn in the cover. The painter of the night was in truth someone else, the painter from the past! Nevertheless, the main lead was looking at the readers, indirectly at Baek Na-Kyum, the young painter of the night. This describes the arrival of Baek Na-Kyum in his life. Striking is that the painting in the background was destroyed… indicating that the portrayed relationship was no longer existent. This represents another clue that the lord’s suffering is linked to a previous relationship. Then in season 2, the author revealed Baek Na-Kyum as the painter, who had now become the target of the plot. Yet behind him we see Yoon Seungho’s foot. The latter symbolizes the main lead feared to get close to him, but he wouldn’t leave his side. Moreover, this corresponds to the lord’s impulsive decisions, he let his foot guide him. Thus during the first night of the failed gangrape, he walked towards the study and stopped unconsciously, when he was next to the room. (chapter 53) Due to his strong denial, he was strolling not realizing that his feet were under the influence of his subconscious. And it was the same, when he opened the door with his foot at the Lees’ (chapter 67) Nonetheless, I believe that the author had another reason to draw the foot in the cover. The foot prints are the evidence of the crime, and as such the deceptions and the culprits. (chapter 59) (chapter 60) (chapter 61) The shoes were the clues how to recognize the perpetrators and accomplices. That’s why I compared these feet (chapter 59) with those . (chapter 66) My avid readers are already aware of my theory. For me, we have two kidnappers, and one tried to kill the artist! To conclude, Byeonduck left the clues how to unveil the mystery from the past and the present in the illustrations of each season. The paper in the second cover is a reference to the forged letter (chapter 56), but also to the theft of the painting (chapter 56) and the painter’s break! At the end of season 2, he was no longer painting and in the beginning, he had also stopped due to his heartbreak. Simultaneously, we have the presence of water which serves as a connection to season 1 with the ruined painting and to season 3 with the well and drowning. The dark shades were an allusion to the lord’s darkness and suffering. The latter would come to the surface. However, since the cover only showed the lord’s foot, it exposes that the lord would not divulge his traumatic past. (chapter 78) In season 3, this time the main leads were facing each other, they were recognizing each other: their true self! But this stands in opposition to the deceased people without identity! (chapter 94) We never saw the face of the corpses, as they were either covered (chapter 97) or the manhwaphiles could only view the hand, , the back (chapter 97) or the clothes and shoes (chapter 100)! And since Min had disguised himself as Lee Jihwa, it was clear that the deceased shouldn’t be identified by their clothes, but by their faces. As you can see, season 3 was about the face and identity! This indicates that in the past, someone had been not identified correctly!! Why? It is because the main lead has long repressed this memory. He had forgotten his face out of fear and hatred. The only thing the victim remembers is the BEARD, and old bearded men! (chapter 44) And the nightmare exposed the number of persons involved in his suffering: 4 men!! Here, we have 3 men, and don’t forget the left hand from before. (chapter 74) But if I include the painting, then I come to 6 people: the patriach Yoon Chang-Hyeon and the king. This coincides with the cover from season 1: 3 hands indicates 3 people and we have two lovers in the background. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget the peeper, the person Yoon Seungho was looking at. Hence we have 6 people involved in the conspiracy.

But what caught my attention is that the illustration of season 2 and 3 are showing locations: the painter’s study and the bedchamber. Thus I conclude that Byeonduck was revealing the places where a crime was committed in the past and in the present. In the study, the painter lost his virginity, he was bullied or slapped, while in the past, Lee Jihwa stole Yoon Seungho’s first kiss. So in my opinion, the illustration for season 4 should be the gibang, unless we assume that the cover of season 1 is a reference to the kisaeng house! (chapter 1) Anyway, from my point of view, the cover of season 4 should indicate a location which is connected to the town. Why? It is because now I am suspecting commoners to be involved in the lord’s suffering. I have already expressed my theories about Kim, the guard blacks, Heena and the physician. But there are more suspects! Moreover, observe that the kisaeng house is not only visited by aristocrats, but also by commoners. (chapter 99) That’s the reason why I am anticipating a cover with the gibang. It would be the perfect place to find closure for the couple. It is a place where both suffered. Moreover, I think, belongings should serve as an evidence for the identification of the schemers and accomplices. Remember that we had the glasses as the evidence of a murder in season 3, yet I am sensing that the possession should serve to identify the perpetrators from the past and the present. Since the clothes were used to confuse people in season 3, I am assuming that in season 4, they should help to recognize people, but at the same time, it is totally possible that our main leads decide to employ the same method to fool the schemers and accomplices. And now, we have the cover for season 4. Both protagonists are not only facing each other, but also touching each other. They are no longer hiding their emotions and thoughts. This image represents the opposite to the other seasons. At the same time, the author is again referring to the bedchamber indicating that this place is strongly connected to the protagonists’ suffering. On the other side, since the painter is wearing a silk white shirt, it implies that he is not a commoner. This panel indicates that the main lead was able to the true owner of the study and even bed. However, due to the tears, the beholder can sense that this season will be painful as well. Striking is that in the cover, they were either alone, or they were just looking at each other, hence they didn’t pay attention to their surroundings. Consequently, they couldn’t sense the presence of a plot and the schemers. This indicates that the couple is still not prepared to face new schemes. To sum up, the author selected such covers because she had planned to leave clues there about the mystery! But wait… I had outlined that the person who grabbed the young master Seungho was left-handed, and he played a huge role in the main lead’s downfall and suffering! But who is left-handed in this story?

4. The mysterious left-handed

Naturally, I investigated the matter right away. My first suspect was Kim, but he seems to be right-handed! (chapter 12) (chapter 56). But then I noticed that he carried his master on the left side. (chapter 57) Nevertheless, the person threatening the painter was right-handed. (chapter 66) and since it is for me the butler, he was not the person from the nightmare. That’s the reason why I am excluding him from the suspect list. For me, if he was involved in the past, it is because he lit the candles (chapter 74). Furthermore, don’t forget that in his nightmare, the author exposed the presence of plates with 3 candles (chapter 74) which were also used in the shaman’s house. Finally, in this picture, we have a right-handed person. (chapter 74) So Kim could have been the one silencing him with his hand.

Then I realized that Yoon Chang-Hyeon had also switched his hand. In season 3, he slapped his son with his left hand. (chapter 86) Hence his right cheek was red and he had a wounded lip. (chapter 86) On the other hand, at the doctor’s office, he employed his right-hand to keep his son by his side. (chapter 57). Why is there this change? The turning point was the prank in the bedchamber. (chapter 83) During that scene, the father slapped his son with both hands. First with the right (chapter 83), then with the left! Striking is that the author never showed, when the patriarch employed his left hand. The readers could only hear the sound, and see the result of the beating. Both cheeks were wounded. From my point of view, he was conditioned exactly like Min! He was not allowed to use his left hand, but the angrier he got, the less he could hide his true self: he was left-handed and he was a stupid and brutal father!! (chapter 74) However, note that this switch happened after the sexual abuse had started!! That’s the reason why I conclude that he is not the man from the nightmare. For me, the father is symbolized by the painting, just like the pedophile! So where is the left-handed person? So far, the fake servant smoked with his right hand. (chapter 37) On the other hand, I am doubting that Byeonduck will introduce many new characters in season 4. That’s the reason why I believe that the man with the pipe is the real schemer, as the pipe was in the annex. Since Min grabbed Baek Na-Kyum in the shaman’s house, I am more inclined to think that the perpetrator grabbing the young master Seungho by the collar was just an accomplice and not the mastermind. In other words, he was the helping hand.

And there are two persons left that fit the profile of a left-handed old bearded man. The physician!! 😮Notice that he placed his box on the left side and this twice!! (chapter 57) (Chapter 74) I don’t believe in hazard. Besides, the lord had his nightmare during the same chapter. This means that he could have leaked this information about Yoon Seungho to an outsider, like he did with the painter. As the manhwalovers can grasp, the physician is more suspicious than before.

As for the second person, it is none other than the calligrapher!! (chapter 92) Besides, observe that the angry man put the brush on the left side. (chapter 92) The man is left-handed! And what did Yoon Seungho do? (chapter 92) He grabbed him by the collar! Exactly like in the dream!! (chapter 74) Thus I had this sudden idea: the calligrapher could have been Yoon Seungho’s teacher!! The latter became jealous of the young master due to his talent and notoriety. Another possibility is that he was commissioned by the elder master Yoon to write a talisman, a spring poetry, as we have these writings on the door (chapter 44) or patio of his mansion, similar to Heena’s. And since the young main lead suffered so much, it is normal that he doesn’t have such believes. IT is also possible that the young master Seungho played a prank which made the man angry and humiliated. As you can see, I come to the conclusion that jealousy and resent were the reasons why he got involved in the first place. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget that the calligrapher is linked to the kisaengs! He even recognized Baek Na-Kyum, as he called him a peasant. (chapter 92) Yet, he was either perceived as servant, a noblewoman or as a sir so far! He was never recognized as a peasant. Since he could identify the artist, it is also possible that he was also able to identify Yoon Seungho. But he thought that he was not well educated after living as a male kisaeng for so long. From my point of view, the man could have decided to get revenge on Yoon Seungho and participated in his abduction and gangrape!! Thus his karma was to lose his home! (chapter 91) The fact that Yoon Seungho grabbed him the same way than in the nightmare is not random. It was, as if he was getting justice. Honestly, I am more and more suspecting that in the past, Yoon Seungho got raped by commoners! Naturally, I have not changed my mind that the king was behind this plot: to get revenge on the Yoons! Who benefitted the most from the crime? Definitely the king, as he was able to ruin their influence.

Finally, I would like to remind the readers that according to me, the tailor is involved in the lord’s past suffering. However, according to me, there exist two tailors. While the other called the main lead “lord Yoon Seungho” (chapter 39), the other only recognizes him as master Yoon. (chapter 64) This means that the latter knows about the existence of elder master Yoon. Like mentioned above, the calligrapher, the physician, the tailor, the fake servant and the “shaman” from chapter 29 have all one thing in common: the beard!!

5. The other accomplices: the hanbok and the beards

Byeonduck left pieces of the puzzle in the covers in order to unveil the truth about the past and the present. Hence the moment the illustration is released, try to examine it attentively. It definitely gives clues about the evolution of the story, and the evidences concerning the perpetrators and helping hands. My recent discoveries led me to develop the following theory: the involvement of merchants. This man (chapter 83) disguised himself and hide his true identity behind “lord Song”. But is he the king or someone else? He was definitely a pedophile, but since we can’t see his face, it is not certain that it was the king. (chapter 83) Striking is that he is not “smoking here”, yet I had outlined that one abuser was a heavy smoker due to Yoon Seungho’s behavior. (chapter 83) On the other hand, I discovered that the man with the green hanbok was smoking! And why doesn’t the patriarch suspect the king behind the plot? It is because he was never officially banished or sent to exile. Thus he explains his desertion from the mansion as an absence. (chapter 86) Let’s not forget that in season 3, clothes were used to deceive Yoon Seungho, and the authorities played along. Besides, as the painter had become the love interest of Yoon Seungho and Black Heart, it is very likely that in the past, the victim was exposed to two different abusers, but they all hid behind the name: lord Song. Note that during this feast, one man had a moustache beard which is in Painter Of The Night the sign that he is no yanbang, not even chungin, the upper-middle class. He could be a rich merchant. Just because they are all wearing hanboks (chapter 83) (chapter 87), this doesn’t mean that these men belong to the aristocracy. Furthermore, Kim never said “nobles”, he just said “visitors”!! Finally, I would like to point out that since Yoon Seungho lived secluded for 10 years, I doubt that he had the means and the knowledge to be involved in the trade: (chapter 22) This theory of the participation of a merchant got even reinforced, when I made the following discovery. The wooden boxes in season 1 were present at the tailor‘s shop!! (chapter 39) Thus I am deducing that the barn in season 2 (chapter 51) could have belonged to the tailor or the owner of this shop. And note the couple was in the same position than with the kisaeng with No-Name in episode 51! (chapter 51) This was the negative reflection from episode 39: no penetration versus penetration, no interruption versus interruption, no rumor versus rumor etc. And this contrast clearly displays that the tailor shop is involved in Yoon Seungho’s suffering. And the best evidence for this is the nightmare. The main lead’s clothes had a design. (chapter 74) and the readers never saw the protagonist wearing it so far!! So where is this special hanbok? The latter is the evidence of the tailor’s involvement, as he had to create it. To conclude, there is a strong connection between the gibang, the tailor and the trade. And now, you comprehend why I am more than ever suspecting commoners’ complicity in the main lead’s suffering.

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: The rise of the dragon 🐲

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/ 

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.

1. Yoon Seungho the king

After the end of season 1, I had been contacted by many followers asking me about the possible ending of Painter Of The Night. Many feared for a depressing ending, as Byeonduck had declared that the protagonists would be happy on their own. In their mind, this meant that the protagonists wouldn’t end up together. My reply was that the couple would become happy without getting too dependent on each other. I meant Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum would come to give a new sense to their own life, and their love would help them to have a goal and purpose in their life. And that’s how real couples live. Thus while examining season 1 closely, I came to imagine that Yoon Seungho would become the king and Baek Na-Kyum his painter. As you can see, very early on, I connected the noble to royalty. Why? First, we had the lord outlining his powerful position in front of the painter. (chapter 11) Secondly, I had associated the main lead to the eagle which is the symbol for the kings and emperors in Europe. He was seen here flying (chapter 30), and his fingers reminded me of the eagle’s claws. (chapter 18) And this perception got even reinforced, when I saw this panel: (chapter 52) In this scene, he was sitting like a king surrounded by his “court”. The hanbok had such a design that I couldn’t help myself associating it to Joseon’s monarchy.

However, I have to admit my mistake, for this interpretation was strongly influenced by my own culture and as such European history. Yet, here we are dealing with Korean and as such with Joseon culture. Hence the symbol for Joseon’s dynasty is not the eagle, but the dragon. That’s why when I saw this new image on Twitter , I had another revelation. On the one hand, it actually confirmed that Yoon Seungho was somehow destined to become a king, yet he is not represented by the eagle or the phoenix, but by the dragon. Hence the moment I saw this image, one idiom came to my mind: Dragon king!

2. Yongwang

Because of this sudden association, I decided to look more into it. Thus imagine my surprise, when I discovered this:

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2022/10/113_324712.html

Yongwang, or Dragon King, is a deity of the river or the sea, overseeing peace in the house, good health and longevity in the family, the harvest, catch and safe sailing. Yongwang is also called Yongsin (Dragon God).

Communities worshipped Yongwang as a water god, holding divine powers to control rainfall. Dragon King worship is closely related to the contemporary practice of staging rituals at village springs or wells that are believed to be dwelling places for Yongwang. Around the country there are also legends regarding dragon springs and dragon wells, created by a dragon that brought rain to repay humans by turning wasteland fertile, which shows that Yongwang is closely related to farming. […] In shamanism, Yongwang oversees not only fishing, but the souls of those who have drowned and died. In the worship of household gods, it is a deity that oversees peace in the household, good health and longevity in the family, the harvest, catch and safe sailing.

Among rituals held for Yongwang in the home by women, the most widely spread is yongwangmeogigi (feeding the dragon king), also referred to as yongsinje (dragon god ritual) and gaetje (fishing ritual). This ritual can take place in three different venues: First is a private well in the backyard; second is the communal well, where, in some cases, a spring ritual (saemje) is held, then water from the well is brought to the home and placed in the kitchen or on the sauce jar terrace for the Dragon King; […] https://folkency.nfm.go.kr/en/topic/detail/2618

The moment I read this article, I couldn’t restrain myself making the parallels between Yoon Seungho and Yongwang. First, the deity in the background reminded me of Yongwang. (chapter 100), though this deity is always accompanied with a dragon and in this picture, the readers couldn’t see one. However, it is possible that the author didn’t desire to reveal too much.

“his most distinctive traits are that his beard, moustache and eyebrows are (usually) “spiky,” protruding in sharp points, sometimes resembling coral, and his eyes are often bulging out like those of a fish. He most often holds the banya-jinju (般若眞珠, flaming pearl of wisdom, a type of ma-niju 摩尼珠), but sometimes a branch of coral or a sword.” quoted from http://www.san-shin.org/EKB-Yongwang-DragonKing.html  

Secondly, we have a strong connection between rain and the main lead’s situation and emotional state. It rained, when the lord had sex with Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 21) Why? It is because the lord was happy. These were the tears of happiness, which Yoon Seungho couldn’t express contrary to the painter. And this is no coincidence that in chapter 58, it started snowing, when the couple was making love: (chapter 58) And we had the same weather, when Yoon Seungho saved his lover. (chapter 102) The weather was expressing the main lead’s emotions: tears of happiness or sadness. We could say that the lord has the “power” to move the sky.

Furthermore, the well plays a huge role in this story. Many people are found dead in a well (chapter 97), and according to me, the messenger was drown there. (chapter 94) In addition, my theory is that Deok-Jae and/or Jung In-Hun’s body were placed in a jar in order to hide the murders. For me, the jar plays a huge role in Painter Of The Night… thus Byeonduck created such a scene in season 2 (chapter 46) and we have so many jars next to the pond: (chapter 94) [For more read the essay “The secret behind the library”]

Furthermore, this story takes place in Jemulpo, a town situated next to the sea, and Yongwang’s realm is supposed to be in the sea. (chapter 91) This is no coincidence. To conclude, all these elements (rain, jar, well, soul of a deceased), connected to the dragon king, are present in Painter Of The Night. Thus I came to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho is like Dragon king. This reinforces my conviction that the main lead is not only connected to shamanism, but also embodies royalty. So he might not be the king of Joseon, but he is powerful in his own way, though he is not aware of this. And note that the moment he wished to commit suicide by drowning in the pond, he was brought back to life. (chapter 102) Water is his true element.

In different temples, you can discover Yongwang accompanied with a woman. She is also dressed in royal clothes with a small crown. What’s unclear is if she’s another Yongwang or if she’s his wife. And this could be a reference to the painter, who will become Yoon Seungho’s bride, but his true identity will remain hidden.

What caught my attention is that the rituals concerning Yongwang are held by women, which stands in opposition to the shrine and Confucianism. (chapter 85) This means that in the Yoons’ mansion, people didn’t venerate this god. And since the aristocrat made such a statement to the elder Yoon Chang-Hyeon, (chapter 86), I have the impression that in season 4, we will assist to a real ritual to ward off evil and back luck, leading the tormenting souls to the afterlife peacefully.

And this leads me to the following observation, the dragon in Korea and Joseon is perceived as a good omen! He would bring good fortune.

Since the release, I realized that the decorated tree (chapter 100) and this altar (chapter 100) were exposing the presence of a ritual. However, my problem was that I couldn’t determine exactly the nature of the ritual. But by making the connection between the dragon and good fortune, I had now more clues. I have to admit that I can not be 100% sure for this, but this is what I found:

Yonggyeong (Kor. 용경, Chin. 龍耕, lit. dragon’s plowing) is a custom observed on Dongji (Kor. 동지, Chin. 冬至, Winter Solstice) in which people tried to predict the outcome of farming for the upcoming year based on the direction and angle of cracks on the surface of a frozen pond. The custom is also known as yonggari (Kor. 용갈이) or yong-ui batgari (Kor. 용의 밭갈이), both meaning ‘plowing by the dragon.’ When ice covers a pond, there is often a crack that divides the ice sheet into two halves, as though a field were divided along a furrow left after plowing. This phenomenon was considered a trail left by a dragon and, therefore, interpreted as having divinatory power concerning farming success in the year ahead. […]

According to another custom referred to as dongbok (Kor. 동복, Chin. 凍卜, lit. ice fortune-telling), on the eve of the year’s first full moon (the fourteenth of the first lunar month), people left two bowls of fresh water out overnight and positioned them north and south of each other. The next morning, they examined the ice sheet that appeared in the bowls and tried to predict the success of farming in the northern and southern regions.  quoted from https://folkency.nfm.go.kr/en/topic/detail/4622

The timing fits to our story, and we have the presence of bowls in front of the deity in the yard. In my eyes, the shaman had prepared a ritual for the dragon king, and was praying for the success of the farming. Don’t forget that it takes place just before Spring. Consequently, this is not surprising that the lord got connected to peasants and this very early on. (chapter 4) (chapter 6) (chapter 82)

This observation leads me to the following conclusion: Yoon Seungho, as a new version of Dragon King, will bring luck to the commoners and peasants. He will help them to improve their living conditions (education and good farming). As you already know, I consider Yoon Seungho as a representative of Sirhak. [For more information read the essay “The scholars’ fight”] And now, you comprehend why very early on, I expected that Yoon Seungho would become a king. He doesn’t need to become a real “king”, yet there is no ambiguity that his fate is to become famous as a spiritual and fair leader.

3. Dragon and imoogi

That’s the reason why I started looking for more information about the dragon. As the readers could see through the deity, this mythical animal is strongly connected to water!

What caught my attention is that the Korean dragon has no wing, yet it can still fly and he has no beard!! But more importantly, this creature is a combination of different animals: the body of the snake, the antlers of the deer, the forehead of the camel, the nose of a pig, the ears of the cow, the claws of the hawk, the scales of the carp, the fist of a tiger and the eyes of the rabbit! He contains all the strongest features of these animals:

  1. luck for the pig
  2. strength for the tiger
  3. elegance of a deer
  4. stubbornness and resistance of a camel
  5. compassionate and giving nature of a cow
  6. the constant change, the metamorphosis of a snake (cycle of death and rebirth)
  7. the rapidity of a hawk
  8. fertility of a carp
  9. the abundance of the rabbit by sharing its eyes

In other sources, I read that the Korean dragon had also features of the dog, the frog and the sheep. But why does this mythical animal possess so many features from different creatures? It is because this powerful, God-like creature embodies the love and respect Korean people have for the natural world. I would even say that he represents nature, and as such he stands for harmony and justice. By being sharing features of different animals, he can understand their life. This is not surprising that the Joseon kings utilized this animal as their emblem. It symbolizes their power (omnipotence and “immortality”) while substantiating their ability to be fair and just rulers. 

Striking is that we have an allusion to these animals in Painter Of The Night. First, the lord was able to kill the boar (chapter 83) and the deer (chapter 22). Then the lord compared Baek Na-Kyum’s eyes to a rabbit. (chapter 78) Since both resemble each other, I deduce that the main lead has the same eyes, the rabbit’s. Like mentioned above, he utilized his fingers similar to claws: (chapter 18) He would fly like a bird, though he has no wing (chapter 30). His fists in this scene reminded me of a tiger’s: (chapter 54) One might argue that this signification is totally impossible, for the lord doesn’t have the body of a snake. This point can be refuted very easily. What is the major characteristic of a snake is molting. A regularly recurrent event during the activity period of all snakes is the shedding of the skin. This coincides with the lord’s change of clothes. The latter reflected his downfall and rising. Furthermore, this animal is linked to death and rebirth. My avid readers are already aware that I had detected different scenes, where we could witness the lord’s spiritual death and rebirth, like for example in the shed: (chapter 62) When he discovered his misjudgment the next morning, he felt like dead. He no longer saw himself as a lord, but came to view the painter as his new lord : (chapter 66) As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho shares so many similarities with the dragon that I came to view him as one. This explicates why even after getting married, he will never wear a beard! The change of dresses and hair dresses of Yoon Seungho represents the different social status in Joseon society: young master, painter, male kisaeng, slave, peasant, executioner, servant, lord, concubine, “wife”/husband” etc. Moreover, since I had detected parallels between the protagonist and the legend of Dangun, this could only reinforce my conviction that Byeonduck is referring to old tales and religions (and as such Dragon King) in her story. The author has already stated that she won’t create a story with the couple set in our time, and this becomes understandable, if she is constantly referring to old traditions and myths.

According to different sources, the Korean dragon is not born as such. They were once said to be Imoogi , a giant lizzard that resembles sea serpents. They exist several different versions on how Imoogi become Dragons. One said it would take a thousand years for them to become a dragon, while another says they must catch Yeouiju (star) falling from the sky. Thus in temples and in pictures, the Korean dragon is also always represented with a ball.

Another theory that exists and sounds the most logical to me, says that Imoogi was born in a place where living and dead intermingled. It was created in cave where thousands of people were stuck due to war in 420AD. As more and more people started to die in the cave, their intense agony and suffering led the foundation for Imoogi’s birth and therefore it symbolizes destruction and sadness. Imoogi controls the power of birth, death and rebirth. Ouroboros, a symbol of wholeness/infinity is also represented by a snake(serpent) eating its tail.” quoted from https://rtaori60.medium.com/imoogi-the-great-lizard-aca02c6c9b1e

Since it takes 1000 years for an imoogi to transform into a dragon, we have 10 years of suffering in Painter Of The Night. For me, this is not random at all. This means that after chapter 102, Yoon Seungho turned into a real dragon! This corresponds to his Coming-Of-Age. That’s the reason why I don’t think that he will be manipulated again like in season 2 and 3! My avid readers are already aware of the presence of ouroboros in this manhwa. For me, Kim symbolizes the imoogi and Ouroboros! He could never turn into a real dragon. But why does the imoogi need to wait for so long ? Some say that this is a curse, other traditions hold the idea that Imoogi are “pupae” or “larvae” of dragons. And they will become full-fledged and full-fledged dragons after being in the ocean for 1000 years. This signifies that time, experience and patience are essential for this transformation. Thus not every imoogi can become a dragon in the end, and that’s Kim’s fate. He was not able to recognize Yoon Seungho as his “yeouiji”. The shaman’s house reminds me of the cavern (chapter 102), and thanks to the painter, Yoon Seungho’s soul was able to escape this “mental prison”.

And this leads me to the following aspect: Baek Na-Kyum is the lord’s Yeouiji, his fallen star fulfilling all his wishes. That’s the reason why the dragon is never seen without his star. One might say that this is exaggerated. However, my avid readers should remember that I had associated the painter to a star, the sun, in previous essays, even before making the relation between the dragon and Yoon Seungho! This explicates why the lord is carrying his lover like his bride (chapter 45) (chapter 102), similar to the dragon in the picture above. His “star” serves as his guide, support and his source of life. Thus when the main lead confessed to the painter for the first time, the sun entered the bedchamber (chapter 55) and as such his heart and mind.

Therefore I come to the conclusion that in season 4, the readers will witness a clash between two dragons, the king and Yoon Seungho! The fight between the fake and the real dragon! Thus when the author released this panel recently, (Twitter), she was actually announcing the arrival of the monarch in Joseon. Hence you comprehend why I selected such a title, the rise of the dragon. “Lord Song” can no longer hide his true identity.

4. Dragon king and expulsion

My readers will certainly recall that the starting point of this essay was this expression “dragon king” which came to my mind, when I saw the recent publication. Why? First, the main figure was wearing the gonryongpo (곤룡포), where dragons are sewn on it. This hanbok is the everyday robe for the king which explains why the latter is always wearing the red robe all the time he appears in front of people. Hence I made this association in my mind: dragon king. When Byeonduck published this image, , she was naturally creating a new story, another Alternative Universe. The student Baek Na-Kyum who got bullied by the classmate Deok-Jae was suddenly sent back to Joseon, and appeared in front of the king’s bedchamber, Yoon Seungho.

Striking is that this panel resembles a lot to this picture which the author hasn’t used yet: The painter is sitting inside a room, while Jung In-Hun is standing outside. Nonetheless, the position of the characters are very similar. This indicates that the author’s new alternative story is actually inspired by the main story!! This can only reinforce my perception that Yoon Seungho in the main story is associated to royalty. However, since it is a reflection, I deduce that this image is the positive reflection of this scene: How did the learned sir react here? He criticized the painter by stating that this was “filthy”. In this scene, the characters are caught by surprise, but it becomes obvious that there is no disgust or expulsion. In fact, the fall of man took place before, for Baek Na-Kyum was sent to Joseon. In this encounter, I detect attraction and curiosity. Hence I come to the conclusion that in the original story, when this scene took place, , Yoon Seungho was far from being living like a king. As you already know, according to my interpretation, the protagonist was treated like a male kisaeng. That’s the reason why I believe that this scene played a huge role in Yoon Seungho’s liberation, the physical expulsion from hell in the end. Since in the parallel story, the student experienced time-travel and as such rejection and expulsion, I conclude that in the main story, Yoon Seungho must have made a similar experience! But this doesn’t end here, as the readers should keep in the mind the following rule: The painter’s destiny reflects the lord’s.

On the other hand, the manhwaphiles will complain that so far, Yoon Seungho has never appeared as a dragon. Yet, we shouldn’t overlook that the phoenix is the symbol for the Queen in Joseon. (chapter 50) (chapter 52) This means that the mysterious lord Song was actually claiming the main lead as his wife in the last scene. Min and his friends were sent there in order to entertain the protagonist, but they failed. This explicates why the next day, Black Heart was seen with a hanbok of lower quality. (chapter 56) It was, as if Min had been compensated for his bruised face by the mysterious lord Song. However, for the pedophile, Black Heart was just a concubine, and not his main wife! Hence the hanbok had not such a detailed and expensive design. This would explain the villain’s jealousy. And now, if you look back at the hanboks from the main lead, you will recognize his ascent. First, he is wearing green, which is similar to Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s color. At the same time, his hat resembled a lot to Kim’s. (chapter 1) Then later, he is mostly wearing blue which is actually the color of the Crown prince. (chapter 11) Yet, his robes initially have no design. Slowly, the lord is wearing colors and designs that are actually reserved for a king: blue, red, black and purple. This constant change of hanboks symbolizes the “snake molting” and as such his transformation and rising. This is not astonishing that on the night of the bloodbath, he had such a hanbok: (chapter 102) Here, he was no longer acting like a noble, but as a ruler. Don’t forget that according to me, the mysterious lord Song had proclaimed the main lead as his unofficial Queen by giving him hanboks with phoenixes. However, naturally, this was never mentioned to Yoon Seungho directly. Why? It is because Kim usually selects his clothes. However, this rise was not natural, as the lord had no real saying in this matter. The real metamorphosis took place in the shaman’s house, when the lord was sent back to the past and as such the darkness. (chapter 102) The moment he left the “cave”, he went to the mountain and surrounded by the wind and water, he changed into a dragon. This expulsion corresponds to the final release, the lord’s mind is finally freed from the darkness, while I believe that this scene is linked to the lord’s physical liberation. .

5. Nightmare and dream

Above, I had mentioned that the painter was the dragon’s fallen star and the love sessions were strongly connected to the weather. If so, why did it snow, when the learned sir left the mansion? (chapter 44) It is because the main lead was thinking that the painter would actually run away. Thus the door was left opened, and he was wearing warm clothes. Yoon Seungho never imagined that Baek Na-Kyum would remain by his side. Yet, during the previous night, the lord had consoled his lover by embracing him.

Furtheremore, the manhwalovers could also wonder why the lord had a nightmare in the bedchamber after their second love session? The painter’s presence should have brought relief. Moreover, during that night, there was no rain. (chapter 71) But this can be refuted easily. First, don’t forget that during this love session, the lord was acting like a servant pleasing his new lord. So this had nothing to do with Yoon Seungho’s feelings like sadness or happiness. He was determined to keep the painter by his side, and ignoring his own feelings. He never expected the artist to reciprocate his feelings. Secondly, Yoon Seungho’s nocturne vision is not just a nightmare, but also a DREAM! Yes, you are reading this correctly. Only recently, I discovered that all the artist’s visions are a combination of 3 elements: memory, nightmare and dream! I will give you three examples as illustration, for I am slowly running out of time.

Chapter 28: This vision is a combination of these three elements: memory, nightmare and dream. This had happened during the First Wedding Night (memory) (chapter 21), then we have a similar situation in chapter 49: , , but the painter was rejecting this future. Hence he considered it as a nightmare.

  • Chapter 34 : Memory ; nightmare the lord becomes a ghost and confronts the painter with his biggest fears (admitting his attraction, passion for erotic paintings and homosexuality) and dream (The painter’s true desire was that the lord would kiss him, he was deeply longing for his lips, yet he was still in denial in this vision.
  • Chapter 98: Memory, for the painter was remembering the corpse in the courtyard, a dream, as he wished the return of his loved one . He hoped that the lord would take care of him personally. Naturally, the “spirit” is the nightmare .

Since the lord’s fate and personality are similar to the painter’s, I could only come to the conclusion that the lord’s vision in the bedchamber is not just showing the past and the future horror. It also exposes the lord’s dream and hope! 😮

So where were his desires visible? First it was about breaking free from his jail… (chapter 74) This had already happened, but the lord had not grasped the significance. (chapter 53) Besides, he had not opened the door himself. Even when he went to the scholar Lee and opened the door with the his foot, the lord still felt trapped. (chapter 67) Then in season 3, he could break a door, but it was thanks to the painter. (chapter 96) This shows that the lord’s wish to get released had not been fulfilled so far. In my eyes, it is connected to the torture Yoon Seungho suffered and as such to the purge organized by the authorities. That’s the reason why I deduce that the lord will break a door in season 4, and this won’t be by accident and it will be witnessed by many people contrary to chapter 53, 67 and 96! The broken door will reflect the lord’s rise and power, and no one will be able to stop this. In my eyes, this wish is connected to the door in the servants’ quarter. That’s how his imprisonment started.

Moreover, the protagonist was voicing his thoughts, the reproach to Kim and his father! They had abandoned him. (chapter 74) The “dragon” wished to see Kim and his father, and confront them! And this did take place in season 3. Yoon Seungho confronted the butler with his attitude and betrayal (chapter 77), but this argument was just short-lived. He still viewed the valet as a hard-working and trustworthy person. He had just made bad decisions. Then in the bedchamber, the lord could blame the father for his suffering: (chapter 86) As you can see, the lord’s wishes were granted, but the nocturne vision was so difficult to grasp that neither the readers nor the main lead could interpret the message correctly immediately. Besides, the nightmare was mostly silent. But this doesn’t end here.

(chapter 74) In this image, he is floating in the air… a sign that his status is changing. At the same time, this shows that he is escaping from the hands. They are trying to drag the main lead down. Thus I come to the conclusion that the vision was announcing the lord’s transformation (into a dragon) and as such his “rise”. Note that in this image, he is still a teenager, but in the following panel the protagonist has already become an adult. (chapter 74) Simultaneously, the vision also displays the lord’s expulsion from “hell”, the sex orgies (chapter 74). the hands are trying to bring him back. This image displayed that Yoon Seungho would become powerful, and the hands wouldn’t be able to contain him any longer. The pink is a reference to the painter, and not just to the gibang! Thanks to the painter, Yoon Seungho is changing so that he will be able to face the KING, but not only him!! This is what the dream was telling him too. Thus we have this image: (chapter 74) Simultaneously, the dream showed that the lord wished to see this painting again, though deep down, he blames this image for his suffering. As you can see, the vision was revealing the tormented disposition of the lord. He was switching from nightmare to dream and the reverse… a mixture of anxieties and desires.

However, pay attention that the painting was standing behind Yoon Seungho, when the hand grabbed him (chapter 74) This signifies that he was approached by someone from behind, he had not noticed that the “door” had been opened. Thus he never expected his apparition. For me, this perception demonstrates that the painting is not the real cause for Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Since he had turned around, I came to recognize that this scene stands in opposition to the situation in the painter’s nightmare: (chapter 34) The painter had been able to witness the entrance of the ghost contrary to Yoon Seungho. The latter was caught by surprise. This image illustrates the lord’s biggest fear. That’s how I realized that his biggest nightmare is not the pedophile in my opinion, for the main lead in Baek Na-Kyum’s “nightmare” (chapter 34) stands for attraction, honesty and love… thus it should be the opposite in Yoon Seungho’s nightmare: repulsion, betrayal and resent! He fears to admit the truth, the biggest traitor is Kim, but he is still in denial. He has repressed the terrible betrayal from Kim, just like the painter’s, though I think that the biggest traitor in Baek Na-Kyum’s case is not really Jung In-Hun, but Heena. This would explain why Heena noona was not present in the terrible vision in chapter 34. This is not random that we don’t see the face of the owner’s hand. Naturally, the king was involved in this betrayal, for Yoon Seungho is caught between the hand and the painting. He was trapped between two forces.

This means that Baek Na-Kyum will help Yoon Seungho to face the truth: Kim is a traitor and the king is the pedophile. The vision is indicating that the butler will betray him again in the future, backstab him one more time… However, this time he will recognize his action. Why? Because this time, there is light in the room… as Baek Na-Kyum symbolizes the Yeouiju, the fallen star helping the dragon. If the author presents another dream from the main lead, we will definitely get new clues. And this brings me to the following conclusion:

Yoon Seungho had been portrayed as a bird of misfortune on purpose. (chapter 86) In reality, he was a dragon, who could bring luck and fortune to the person who would cherish him. This is no coincidence that the pedophile sent hanboks with the crane (chapter 34), (chapter 45) In his eyes, the main lead brought him luck, as all his wishes got fulfilled, and he was never caught committing a sacrilege or crimes. However, since the presence of Baek Na-Kyum by Yoon Seungho’s side, it looks like nothing is going like planned. The main lead is not only drifting more and more away from him, he even left everything behind. That’s the reason why I believe that the dragon, the king, will vent his anger on many people in season 4, a new version of this scene. (chapter 30), but much more brutal and violent!  While this “dragon”, the king, stands for court, and as such civilization and immobility, the Korean dragon embodies nature and hope for commoners who dreamt of ascending the ranks! This is not surprising that Baek Na-Kyum is slowly ascending the ranks, while in the past Kim was acting as the unofficial lord of the Yoons’ mansion.

As a conclusion, in season 4, expect a battle between an “imoogi” and dragons. In addition, it becomes obvious that the winners will be our beloved couple. Since Yoon Seungho was turned into a “dragon”, I am more than ever convinced that he will act like in season 1: confident, perceptive, smart and cheerful! He can not longer be used like a pawn, for the “dragon” can not be tamed! And removing the falling star would signify the dragon’s death!

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: Hunted or wanted? 🏹🩸

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/ 

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.

My avid readers are actually aware that Painter Of The Night is constructed like a kaleidoscope. Thus certain incidents keep occurring twice in each season. However, one might argue that this theory is not true, for the author used two hunts in season 1, yet we had no hunt at all in season 2, and only one in season 3.

  • Chapter 22:
  • Chapter 41:
  • Chapter 83:

1. The hidden chases

As you can imagine, I can refute this point very easily. First of all, in the essay „Words“, I had pointed out that in the bedchamber, the lord was acting like a hunter chasing after his prey. I had made this connection, for the main lead would utilize idioms from the lexical field of the hunt. (Chapter 73) (chapter 73) This is important, because the manhwalovers can sense a connection between sex and hunt. This means that the love session in the bedchamber from season 2 should be perceived as a new version of a hunt. And this link between sex and hunting was also present, when Yoon Seungho and Min were in the woods in chapter 41: (chapter 41) In this scene, it looked like Black Heart was trying to make a move on Yoon Seungho, while in truth Min was more obsessed with the painter. (Chapter 41) The expression „spot“ belongs also to the semantic field of chase.

Secondly, the premeditated murder could be viewed as a new version of the hunt. Yoon Seungho was the first one to bring up these two notions together: (Chapter 11) A murder disguised as an accident, the scholar would have been eaten by a tiger. What caught my attention is that No-Name requested from Deok-Jae that he should make the painter leave the mansion. o (chapter 51) It was, as if the rabbit had been chased away from its burrow or the deer had been forced to leave the woods. That way, he would become an easy target for the hunter and butcher Mumyeong. To conclude, we had two hunts in season 2 as well.

As for season 3, the second chase took place, when the painter vanished. Yoon Seungho had to track down himself Baek Na-Kyum. He was like a hunter searching for his prey, following the clues left by the “witnesses”. (Chapter 99) First, he was rushing, but the moment he received the crucial tip from his childhood friend, he approached the den silently, just like a tiger. That‘s the reason why neither Black Heart nor lord Jang nor lord Park detected his presence. (Chapter 101)

2. Yoon Seungho the hunter

Thus I couldn‘t help myself associating Yoon Seungho to a tiger. In one of my first analyses, I had compared him to an eagle and a phoenix, hence this new association seems to contradict my previous interpretation. However, the readers should keep in their mind that each character has been associated to different animals: Min was either a snake or a crow or a magpie, while Jung In-Hun could be perceived as a snake, a peacock or a chameleon. I have already compared the painter to a deer and a butterfly, so Yoon Seungho should be linked to different animals either: the phoenix and the tiger.

This predator is known to be a solitary night hunter, mainly relying on his sense of sight and hearing rather than on smell when hunting prey. This method is also employed by the main character which was particularly perceptible during the last incident. On the one hand, he listened to the words from his staff, the noonas, Seokdae (chapter 99) and Lee Jihwa (chapter 100), hence he had not the time to question the veracity of their claims or sense their manipulations. On the other hand, he could detect the difference between the blood in front of the scholar’s house and inside the building. (Chapter 100). He was following his instincts. Tigers cautiously stalk their target from the rear in attempt to get as close as possible to their unsuspecting prey. (Chapter 101) And the moment I perceived Yoon Seungho as a tiger, I couldn‘t help myself thinking that the main lead was acting like a mother looking for her lost cub!! 🐯 This would explain why the protagonist showed no mercy at all to the nobles. However, the painter is definitely no tiger. In our story, he was symbolized by the deer, which the lord had stabbed with his sword. (Chapter 22) This was an allusion to the rape. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Baek Na-Kyum feared the lord so much, because he had to face his strength and fury right away. From the beginning, the painter saw his dangerous side. A deer can only perceive the tiger as a natural enemy. We could say that Painter Of The Night is a love story between a tiger and a deer!😉 This means that the lord finally showed his real fangs, when he felt that his curb or treasured deer had been wounded. (chapter 102)

And this thought leads me to the following observation, the way Yoon Seungho hurts its targets. The tiger will attempt to take down its prey with a powerful bite to the neck and/ or throat. Now, look at this: (chapter 41) The pheasant was strangled, just like Yoon Seungho used to grab the painter by the throat (chapter 48) or the chin (chapter 11). The main lead‘s hand has the same form than the bite, though it can not cut the flesh… which the sword can. Thus we saw the lord using the sword: (chapter 22) (chapter 83) (chapter 102) Even in this panel, the sword resembles a lot to the tiger‘s fang: (chapter 102) Another important element is that this predator usually targets large-bodied preys like boar, deer, humans and not rabbit or pheasant. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the main lead went after a boar or the aristocrats in season 3.

“Less than a century ago, tigers and leopards prowled the Korean peninsula and ruled the hours of darkness. Their depredations in the desolate regions were so severe that porters and horse-handlers refused to travel at night ― even in fairly large groups. If they were compelled to travel at night (through the promises of more money or threats of violence), they did so with great caution, brandishing torches, striking gongs, and relying on superstitious beliefs.

According to an old Chinese saying, “The Korean hunts the tiger six months in the year and the tiger hunts the Korean the other six months.” Robert Neff Collection

Quoted from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinon/2019/10/197_276925.html

By comparing all these hunting scenes, I detected the following parallels. The main lead would always do the mercy killing, which stands in opposition to Min or Jung In-Hun. Both disliked dirtying their own hands, it was beneath them to kill the animal themselves. (chapter 22) (chapter 41) We could say that Yoon Seungho was behaving like the tiger, who would always kill his prey in one go. Simultaneously, this reminded me of the status of No-Name, who is according to me a butcher. (chapter 60) The latter belonged to the lowest ranks of Joseon’s society, because killing an animal was a disgraceful job. On the other hand, the butcher No-Name and the tiger Yoon Seungho have something in common: killing is viewed as a necessity. It is either to survive or to end the animal’s suffering or to punish the criminals.

3. Hunting: hobby or work?

That’s how I realized that hunt and murder are similar in this story, for both are mostly presented as an entertainment. Yoon Seungho invited the scholar for a hunt, as it would give the occasion to go to the woods. (Chapter 22). And when Black Heart suggested the artist’s assassination, he always kept laughing, making it sound like a game without any terrible consequence. (Chapter 43) Lee Jihwa would remove a witch, and not a human. (chapter 43) Only Nameless painted it in all its cruelty and brutality. Not only the person would lose his life, but he would lose his identity. (Chapter 60) By removing his eyes and tongue, the victim’s face would change making him impossible to be recognized. And note that his scarf and headgear had been removed as well. It was not a game, but a deadly matter. Why would he do such a thing? The reason is simple. If no one could identify the victim, there would be no investigation. Astonishing is that hunt is a synonym for investigation and prosecution. Hence I am deducing that in season 4, the investigation should be perceived a new version of the hunt. Because of Jung In-Hun and Min, someone will be put on the wanted list. On the other side, Mumyeong’s other job is to entertain people. To conclude, there is a strong connection between killing and entertaining which the main lead destroyed during that night. He reminded the nobles that hunting means taking away a life.

On the other hand, the hunting in chapter 83 looked the exact opposite: (chapter 83) It was far more serious and deadly. The noble was acting like an obsessed and crazy man. There was no trace of fun on his face, only stress and fear. (chapter 83) Thus I am deducing that this chase had been suggested to the main lead in order to release his tension and as such in order to divert his attention from the painter. Naturally, Kim was behind this idea faking his concern for his master. The hunt was supposed to procure pleasure to Yoon Seungho, but it couldn’t, because he was afraid of losing the painter. This explains why he selected the boar as his prey. He was fearless in front of that dangerous animal, for it meant nothing to him. He didn’t mind losing his life… revealing his suicidal disposition which resurfaced later, when the father mentioned the authorities. (chapter 86) (chapter 86) But the moment the servant reminded him to pay more attention to himself (chapter 83), he abandoned the boar immediately. This shows that all this time, Baek Na-Kyum had been on his mind. Therefore it is no coincidence that he rushed home on his horse and looked for Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 83) He couldn’t forget that he had scared and wounded the painter in his dissociative state. This shows that the chase had not served its true purpose: entertainment. In reality, the domestics had been the ones suffering the most, for them it was definitely more work (Chapter 84) compared to the past. (chapter 23)

Another important detail caught my attention in this panel: (chapter 83) the hunter had the impression to become a target himself, thus he turned around. His situation coincides with the tigers in Joseon. The latter were hunted down by professional tiger hunters, for they represented a huge source of danger for the local population.

Some of Korea’s most dangerous and ferocious tigers were those that dwelt on the slopes of Inwangsan, just outside the Seoul city walls. These tigers often preyed on woodcutters and firewood merchants traveling to and from Goyang city ― especially at Muakjae Pass. In 1893, at least one tiger was reported to be prowling about Gyeongbok Palace ― probably hunting the tame little deer kept there. There are even claims (probably exaggerated) of tigers stalking Seoul’s gloomy, unlit streets ― the silence shattered by the screams of their unwary victims fighting a losing battle for their lives. When the tigers became too much of a nuisance, professional hunters were summoned. These men were highly respected by Koreans and foreigners for their bravery.  ” Quoted from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinon/2019/10/197_276925.html

To conclude, the hunter can become hunted too.

4. Chased

This is interesting, because the hunter Min became himself a prey to the tiger Seungho. When I started examining this manhwa, I had interpreted this scene as a metaphor for Lee Jihwa’s destiny. (chapter 41) First, I had feared that he might lose his life, then later I had realized that this death was purely symbolic. He would lose his title and family, therefore he would become a commoner. But I had also expressed my doubts that this scene could be a reference to Black Heart, as from chapter 52 on, I had sensed that he would die. But if the pheasant is representing two characters, The Joker and Lee Jihwa, then this means that the deer in chapter 22 (chapter 22) embodies not only the painter, but also someone else. While in the past, I used to believe that it was Kim, now I come to the deduction that it was Jung In-Hun. Note that in this scene, the main lead left the prey and the scholar behind. Both got defeated. By hunting the deer, the learned sir offered this prey to the tiger Yoon Seungho, and this was the painter’s case. Furthermore, the deer was carried back home on a horse (chapter 24) reflecting the painter’s fate. (chapter 25) Who brought the horse to the pavilion? Kim and Deok-Jae! And when the learned sir departed from the mansion, he was followed by the vicious servant and the horse. (chapter 44) Everything is pointing out that the learned sir was like a deer to the hidden hunter. And by losing the painter, the scholar would lose his power over Yoon Seungho, and this is what truly happened. By leaving the main lead’s side, Jung In-Hun died.

(chapter 83) The boar symbolizes not only the nobles like Jihwa, Min, Jang or Park, but also the elders Kim, Lee, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, and as such the king. And if you consider the boar as the personification of the pedophile, the ruler, this means that the moment Yoon Seungho hunted down the nobles, he defeated the ruler in a figurative way. Thus I was wondering if in the end, the main lead would hunt down a human in season 4, Kim or the king. Don’t forget the main lead’s words to the painter: (chapter 11) It could be staged as a hunting accident. In other words, I am expecting a new form of hunt in season 4, a human will be chased, either through an interrogation or through a staged hunt. Since I believe that Kim has been working for the pedophile, we have to envision that both puppet masters will meet their doom in the next season. While the one is prosecuted for murder, the other could be killed during a hunt. Moreover, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t overlook that the king used clothes and impersonation to his advantages in the past, and according to me even in the present. (chapter 37)

Like mentioned in the previous part, Nameless explained to Lee Jihwa that he had to butcher the victim in order to hide the murder. Thus this staged crime scene looked like the scholar had been attacked by a tiger. (Chapter 88) On the other hand, the foot print and the glasses could give the impression that the learned sir had been murdered. However, after adding blood in the fake crime scene and removing the learned sir’s possessions, (chapter 100), the place could be interpreted differently. The inhabitant had been attacked by a tiger during the night. Though the painter had been the prey of these vicious nobles, the real target had been Yoon Seungho. That’s the reason why I had developed the theory that the pedophile had been not only lusting after the young master, but also targeting the Yoons.

Then I noticed an element in this image: (chapter 45) the cobweb behind Deok-Jae. Imagine that this scene took place in the middle of winter, thus the spider’s web got covered by frost. However, this indicates that this room had been abandoned for quite some time. But it is close to the gate. So it should have been the place where the doorkeeper is living. Secondly, I had demonstrated that the shrine had been neglected, for the altar had been removed. (chapter 18) Because of the presence of the cobweb, I started wondering why the author drew it behind Deok-Jae. In my eyes, it is because he was part of the spider’s web. According to me, the learned sir was killed shortly after his departure, and Deok-Jae was a witness of this assassination. That’s why I came to the conclusion that in the past, Yoon Seungho, had caught the attention of the monarch represented by the spider. Since the lord’s fate resembles the painter’s, I am assuming that we should perceive him as a butterfly too. And in order to catch its prey, the spider prepared a web, a web made of lies. Even before the start of season 3, I had declared that right from the start, the young master had been targeted. Thanks to this new parallel, I had another revelation. Remember how I had described the schemers as puppet masters, and they would view people as pawns. As the spider has 8 legs, I am thinking that the pedophile has always been using 8 persons to achieve its goal. Some were aware of the scheme, others were just manipulated. In the past, there were Father Lee, Lee Jihwa, Kim, Jung In-Hun, Heena, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, Yoon Seung-Won and No-Name. So when the story started, I believe that there was a new generation of pawns: Kim, Deok-Jae, Lee Jihwa, No-Name, the noble with the mole, Heena, Yoon Seung-Won and Black Heart. I am excluding father Lee for the simple reason that due to the topknot incident, the scholar was well aware that “lord Song” was no longer judging his family in a good light. He definitely lied low for a while. Naturally, the huge change from the past is that this time Kim had become proactive. But let’s examine Yoon Seungho’s downfall.

Since the main lead was protected by his good reputation, the first goal was to taint his reputation to the point that no one would ever remember him. He was idle, disobedient, but more importantly he was a sodomite. He had to make sure that Yoon Chang-Hyeon would abandon him. The main lead needed to become a “commoner” or “low-born” so that the pedophile could claim him. Yes, the exact opposite of this situation: (chapter 18) That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho was not dressed properly. (chapter 83) If he lived in a shed and had such a simple attire, no one would ever think that he was a noble in the first place. I believe that neither the patriarch nor the ruler had an interest to reveal his true identity. However, the protagonist had to be monitored, for he could try to escape at any moment. That’s the reason why the butler was still tasked to “take care of him”. But by becoming a male night servant for the king, this meant that the other nobles could claim him as well. He had no right. However, since the main lead was a butterfly, he couldn’t get tamed. Hence violence, manipulations and drugs were used to tame the young master. And remember how the spider kills its target: he empties it of its blood. In other word, he sucks all his energy. Therefore it is not surprising that at the end the main lead had become a wreck, and had no light in his eyes. (chapter 57) Naturally, the purge played a huge role in the lord’s suffering reinforcing the huge rift between the pedophile and Yoon Seungho.

In addition, the suicide from the main lead’s mother brought an end to this masquerade. The king could no longer feign ignorance about the main lead’s true identity, and naturally he needed to punish Yoon Chang-Hyeon for his “trick”. He had deceived him, whereas in reality he was well aware of the situation. He had to blame someone else, for he didn’t desire to become responsible for this. Besides, by fueling Yoon Seungho’s hatred for the father, “lord Song” definitely hoped to be judged in a different light. Nonetheless, because the protagonist was abused sexually, physically and emotionally, he could only fear and resent the pedophile, but he could never express it. This was a vicious circle, which ended when the main lead tried to commit suicide himself. (chapter 57)

That’s the reason why I believe that little by little, the pedophile is losing his pawns and as such his legs. The scholar had been abandoned, then later he got killed. Lee Jihwa was punished with the loss of his topknot, then he left town with No-Name. Since the main lead deserted the mansion, the ruler lost control over the protagonist. So he will blame the Lees for that. Heena ran away from the gibang. Then Yoon Chang-Hyeon has no longer any power and connection, he has to rely on his son Yoon Seung-Won or on Kim. But the elder master Yoon played a trick at the end of season 3. As you can see, the pedophile almost lost all his pawns from the past. Finally, Black Heart and his friends got killed. What started like an entertaining hunt became war in the end, for many people died. And this brings me back to Black Heart and lord Jang again.

The nobles are in truth animals. They are dogs, like Byeonduck indicated it. Therefore it is no coincidence that they don’t make a difference between hunting an animal or a human. This explains why lord Shin was abandoned behind in the cold and why Lee Jihwa was compared to a dog (chapter 101). It was not Min’s task to carry a friend… he was just a fellow puppet brought to the shaman’s house in order to entertain Black Heart. This truly exposes that Black Heart never saw in the aristocrats humans. As the red-haired master, he had been considered as the hunting dog, he had fulfilled his function. That’s why he was abandoned. He had helped Min to corner the painter and brought the kisaeng to the scholar’s home. Hence it is not surprising that the wild dogs ended up all dead. They were totally defenseless in front of a huge tiger. This feline is difficult to tame.

As for the painter, Min considered him as an animal that should entertain them. Striking is that the aristocrats’ vocabulary is revolving around violence (“break”, “bloodied”) reflecting their cruel and ruthless nature. (chapter 101) They saw in the sexual violence a new form of hunting. I would even go so far to say that they desired to turn the artist into their pet fulfilling all their desires: (chapter 101) Thus it is not surprising that Yoon Seungho was compared to an animal by his own father in the past. (chapter 83) The pedophile also desired to tame the young master, the beautiful and gentle butterfly. Thus he got brainwashed. He could never refuse anyone, he had to entertain the guests. And now you comprehend why Min said this to the painter. (chapter 101) As a punishment, he was given to lord Jang and his friend. Since Min had captured the artist, he viewed himself as his owner who would give order to his pet. Yet, a deer is a shy, but wild animal, difficult to control making it difficult to be tamed.

Min had turned into a dog, because he had been misguided. He never realized that his biggest wish was to be noticed as a human by the painter. (chapter 99) But this was impossible, for Black Heart never treated Baek Na-Kyum as a man. Hence I come to the conclusion that by meeting the painter, Yoon Seungho rediscovered his true nature: he was a free spirit, a tiger! And guess what… In Joseon, the tiger was perceived as a good talisman to chase away the evil spirit!! (chapter 102) Hence the dogs became the preys of the huge tiger. On the other hand, I am wondering if in the next season, the painter will paint a tiger and show it to his lover. So far, we couldn’t see the pictures from his childhood.

But how could the tiger earn the deer’s trust? It is because he treated Baek Na-Kyum as a human. By falling in love, Yoon Seungho rediscovered his humanity. His beating heart was the reason why he didn’t end up completely as a beast. His art moved his heart and healed his eyes. He could forget the violence and blood from his youth. Yet, at the end of season 3, Yoon Seungho has the impression that he could get hunted down, for he killed the nobles. However, since he spared the kisaengs, Seokdae and even his own staff, people will have the impression that he is not capable to commit such a crime. Why? It is because he has been portrayed as weak-hearted by the butler. He often had a change of heart.

Before closing this essay, I would like to point out that the pedophile is not just a spider, but also a dragon, for he is the king of Joseon. Hence expect in the next season a battle between a tiger and a dragon…

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. 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 mostly used the following website as a source of inspiration: https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/tears

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 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/reduce+(one)+to+tears

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 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/burst+into+tears

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 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/blink+back+tears

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 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/moved+to+tears

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. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/two+tears+in+a+bucket+fuck+it

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 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Blood+Sweat+and+Tears

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.

Painter Of The Night: The Light 💡in the Heart❤ (second version)

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/ 

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.

I would like to thank Luzy 😉again for pushing me to ponder more about chapter 70 and its significance.

(chapter 70) When you look at the panel, you’ll observe that Baek Na-Kyum is represented by three white candles, while on the lord’s side there are just two white bougies. Since the color white symbolizes purity, this picture exposes that both protagonists are not just healing, but also getting less selfish and more open. Nonetheless, the noble’s purification is not complete yet. Here, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in mind that since 3 is often associated with order, perfection, completion, reconciliation or fecundity due to the fusion of 1 and 2, it explicates why 3 is considered as magical and mystical. On the other hand, the number 2 symbolizes not only duality (light-darkness; ying-yang), but also balance and companionship. It is also related to kindness, and reflects a quiet power of judgment. At the same time, it indicates the need for planning and boundaries in order to keep the balance. And now, the readers can grasp why I view this panel as a confirmation that the master’s carthasis isn’t finished. In chapter 70, he has finally dropped his armor, this just means that he has finally abandoned father Yoon’s doctrines for good. But let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho’s life has not only be determined by father Yoon, but also by Kim, his surrogate father. Hence he is still under his influence.

1. The butler’s principles

But what are Kim’s rules?

  1. (chapter 23) Ignorance is a blessing for him, because it allows him to let his master to be in the dark. That’s why the master relied on the valet all this time. Kim was his eyes and ears, therefore certain rumors didn’t reach the noble’s ears. (chapter 18) On the other hand, the butler let him know about this gossip. (chapter 22) Since Yoon Seungho perceives himself as cultured, because he reads so much, he could only laugh about this rumor. However, he never realized the origin of these gossips. The valet utilized the rumors in order to deceive everyone, including the main lead. That’s why Kim could only judge “ignorance as a blessing”, because it helped him to manipulate the staff, the town folks and the nobles. He had an interest to create a bad image about Yoon Seungho. This helped him to keep the main character in isolation and in the dark. Moreover, it reinforced the lord’s dependency on his assistant. In order to corroborate my interpretation, I will use a panel reflecting the true nature of their relationship: (chapter 11) Observe that the valet is not portrayed with eyes. This is not just an indication of the butler’s lie. The valet’s eyes became the master’s. This signifies that the words and the vision of the valet became the noble’s reality. At the same time, the noble’s mouth is closed and his hands are not present either. Note, he is getting dressed by his own valet. As a conclusion, he is entirely relying on Kim. He has no mouth, no hand, no ear and no eye. Everything belongs to the butler. This single picture exposes the butler’s true powers. The lord was totally deprived of all his senses and his own body, a real puppet. And this interpretation leads me to the following question: Who killed the servant in chapter 1? In my eyes, the noble was just the executioner, while the butler was the judge. Why do I see it like that? First, note that in the scene, the main lead has no eye (chapter 1) and he doesn’t want to know about the painter’s reasons for not painting any longer. I know, some readers might reject this idea, but I would like them to remember that we see the butler acting like a judge in front of the doctor, that’s why the commoner begs the valet (“Are you trying to have me killed”). (chapter 65) He uses Yoon Seungho’s power, yet the latter is described as a killer. In chapter 1, Yoon Seungho was the epitome of ignorance (narrow-minded, blind and deaf) (chapter 1) and the butler didn’t need to be by his side, as he had a real control over the lord’s hands, eyes and ears. Now you understand why Kim really treasures ignorance. Simultaneously, the valet values knowledge, as it procures him power.
  2. Don’t take it to heart (chapter 50) This idiom doesn’t only imply to ignore your feelings, but also to deny the existence of your heart. If the noble has no emotions, then he can be the perfect puppet. This explicates why Yoon Seungho had a relapse after this conversation. Despite his warning, the master did listen to the butler’s advice.
  3. Act, as if nothing happened (chapter 65) That’s why there is no sincere apology. (chapter 65)
  4. It’s none of my business” (chapter 65). He prioritizes his own life. He is not interested in people’s passion and well-being. He doesn’t care about people’s motivations. The latter just become relevant, the moment they affect his life. He needs to know about people’s behavior and thoughts for his manipulations in order to protect his quiet life.
  5. He hates trouble and scandal,(chapter 65) therefore any incident must be covered up. At the same time, it implies as well that everything must be done in the shadow. That’s why without any spectator, he removes the snowman embodying the painter. The final panel contain all the butler’s doctrines. He will erase everything related to the past, acting as if nothing happened. It doesn’t matter, if someone gets destroyed in the end, because on the surface, it will look like he just cleared a way. He gives the impression that he helped the persons concerned, not taking into consideration how his actions and decisions will affect others. If someone has to pay the price for this, then so be it, as long as it doesn’t disturb his life. From my point of view, this scene is full of symbolism. From my perspective, he is ruthless and even willing to dirty his hand to a certain extent, since he is using a broom. However, this gesture exposes too that he is not directly soiling his hands. This is the reason why he is never directly involved with people’s wrongdoings. He will just push others to commit wrongdoings with remarks. They have to act according to his own thoughts and benefit. This interpretation is not exaggerated, if you compare this scene with Deok-Jae’s misdeed in chapter 46. The vicious servant used his own feet to ruin the artist’s creation or he pushed the painter with his own shoulder. (chapter 46) At the same time, with this new approach, it helps to understand why the butler’s evilness was never caught. He could always feign ignorance with such a behavior and was never directly involved.
  6. And this leads to the following observation. Kim’s final rule is to utilize others in order to achieve his goal. The butler allowed Jihwa to torment the painter three times (10, 17, 59). He also allowed the vicious servant Deok-Jae to betray Yoon Seungho and plan a murder (chapter 51). He hoped that Heena noona would take the painter away (chapter 68) and he is now expecting that Min organizes a second abduction while framing others: Nameless, Heena noona and Jihwa.

After exposing the butler’s doctrines, I would like to describe the impact of these rules over Yoon Seungho’s life, and they slowly disappeared or diminished.

2. Yoon Seungho’s life under these rules

  1. First, the rule “don’t take it to heart” was completely abandoned in chapter 58, because he was confessing his love to the painter properly: (chapter 62) Here, the noble stated that he adored the painter). This means that the light and warmth had finally reached the lord’s heart, which is also mirrored by the light in the panel. But the problem is that after the low-born’s disappearance, the master had the impression, he had been betrayed and abandoned. Hence he became enraged and blinded by his own wound. This is a sign that he definitely took it to heart. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget that despite the incident at the barn, the noble was not even able to stick to the rule, treating the artist like a sex toy. In the end, Yoon Seungho brought him to his own bed, indicating that he considered him as his partner. To sum up, the noble was still not honest to himself exposing the valet’s influence.
  2. The longer the painter remained by his side, the more the main lead caused trouble and scandal (rule 4). First, it started with the nobles’ humiliation in chapter 8 and 18.. Then another scandal appeared, when the lord punished the staff for not following his order (chapter 30). As you can see, the uproar remained within the mansion in season 1. This is the reason why the noble retreated in chapter 30, when he was pressured by the other aristocrats. (chapter 33) Here, he was definitely avoiding any scandal. He was running away, although he tried to deceive the nobles by declaring that the painter would belong to him. And during the second season, the readers can observe a progression, the scandal and uproar is now reaching the town (chapter 64) . Thereby the climax was reached in chapter 67, when Yoon Seungho visited the Lees’ mansion. For the first time, he was confronting a noble and didn’t fear to cause a scandal, when he showed up with a sword and didn’t even remove his shoes. (chapter 67)
  3. As for the principle “act, as if nothing happened“, the manhwaphiles can detect that it is still present in the lord’s life, because he still doesn’t judge his action in the barn as a wrongdoing. (chapter 70) And this confession could be used against the lord later, hence after that night, Yoon Seungho kept his distance from his lover. Thus he said this to his lover in chapter 75 and later asked if the painter was truly resisting. Slowly, he had internalized that consent was central: (chapter 79) But this doesn’t signify that this doctrine had completely vanished. For me, it has been gradually weakened, the moment the lord started feeling remorse. The problem is that he still relied on the butler to correct his wrongdoings. That’s why he sent the valet to the artist in chapter 12 or left the artist behind in chapter 33. He ran away from his responsibility (chapter 33) and let Kim take the burden. Yet the more time passed on, the more the noble took his responsibility. He protected him from the maids and decided to buy him better clothes. This is no coincidence that in chapter 40, he implied to the painter that the latter could now rely on him. This progression is visible, when he took care of the painter in chapter 55. He covered him (chapter 55) and watched over him during the night. But this principle will be truly abandoned, the moment the lord apologizes properly, and this expectation was proven correct, as the real apology took place in season 3. (chapter 102) Nevertheless, for me, he truly changed a lot from episode 70, because there he expressed regrets for the first time in front of the painter. Notice that in episode 71, we had a semi-apology, for he was admitting his mistakes: (chapter 71) The problem is that in the bathroom, he chose the wrong words. Hence the painter could only misunderstand him and pushed his hand away. While the manhwaphiles could witness his huge pangs of conscience, the painter never did. He was either unconscious (chapter 32) or asleep (chapter 50) or blind or deaf(chapter 49). And little by little, the lord learned how to apologize to his lover. In season 3, he admitted his wrongdoing right away. (chapter 82) Then later he tried to redeem himself. (chapter 84) Note that here, he was doing everything himself. He was no longer relying on Kim. Hence in the first version, I had voiced that the lord would apologize to Baek Na-Kyum, after the second abduction had been solved. And this expectation became a reality. The lord felt definitely huge pangs of conscience. (chapter 102) He knew that Baek Na-Kyum had been targeted. Yet he thought that by just warning his childhood friend, the problem was solved. He didn’t desire to cause too much trouble. However, I believe that after this crime, the noble will realize that he needs to take matters into his own hands. He can no longer live like that, he needs to become more reliable and not to fear scandal. We have another clue for this theory, the painter’s question: (chapter 102) He is tasked to investigate how this tragedy could take place. Why did they get separated for so long.
  4. Ignorance is a blessing
  5. with to utilize others in order to achieve his goal: Yoon Seungho praised Kim in that scene (chapter 23), because he liked keeping people in the dark as well. We had a perfect example with the deal between Jung In-Hun, the painter and the protagonist. First, Yoon Seungho gave the scholar the impression that the former was just an uncultured fool, whereas in truth the low noble was the one deceived, because Yoon Seungho was giving him just an empty promise. At the same time, the rich noble lied to the painter, when he claimed that Jung In-Hun had come to see him. (chapter 7) However, it backfired on Yoon Seungho the moment the latter saw the painter’s reactions. He would run to his former teacher immediately, leaving the main character behind. Then he smiled to Jung In-Hun (chapter 7) and blushed in his presence. That’s the moment Yoon Seungho’s heart was moved, justifying the words in chapter 63: (chapter 63) No one has ever questioned how the master could treasure the artist’s smile so much? One might say that the first smile occurred in chapter 40 (chapter 40), but as you know, each event happens twice during the same season. So the lord experienced it much earlier. That’s why I believe that the first smile in chapter 7 played a huge role. The incident marked the return of the aristocrat’s jealousy, which had been buried for a long time. That’s why Yoon Seungho decided to reveal his plan. He hoped that with this new approach, Baek Na-Kyum would perceive him as a benevolent lord and look at him differently. He hoped that Baek Na-Kyum would smile for him. This explicates why the lord underlined the importance of connections and wealth. (chapter 7) Note that at the end of the chapter, he treated the painter as a real guest. He invited him to his bedchamber officially. (chapter 8) And observe that the noble was here smiling, he was already imitating the artist. This explicated too why not only his moves in this chapter were contradicting each other, but also Kim was introduced here for the first time. And note that from that moment, the lord never tried to trick the painter afterwards. Like I have already pointed out, the incident at the pavilion was definitely organized by the butler. And with this example, the manhwaphiles can see that the lord was applying the 6th rule as well, but dropped it due to the low-born’s reaction. This is not surprising why this manipulation ended up causing more and more pain. Yoon Seungho had brought him upon himself, revealing how the first doctrine “ignorance is not a blessing“. With this new observation, I perceive the episode 7 as a first major turning point. The lord was dropping the 6th rule (to utilize others in order to achieve his goal). However, this doesn’t mean that he abandoned the first doctrine. Quite the opposite… it took him a long time to realize why he couldn’t achieve his goal. In my opinion, the master started changing in chapter 67. Contrary to chapter 33, Yoon Seungho couldn’t bear to hear how people would talk behind his back: a sodomizer and a beast who corrupted Lee Jihwa and others. (chapter 67). Note that for the first time, the lord decided to defend himself, correct people’s perception about him, which he never did before (chapter 18, 22, 57). This coincides the return of the lord’s hearing and speech abilities. In chapter 67, he is using his own ears and mouth, he is no longer relying on the butler’s help. What the lord imagined to perceive as help was just an illusion. However, I believe that the lord decided to drop the first principle in chapter 68, when he heard the conversation between Baek Na-Kyum and Heena noona. Observe that he is listening behind the door, as if he was spying, which I perceive as another evidence for Kim’s spying activities. Nevertheless, this was never the main lead’s intention, hence he left quietly. Yet the painter’s words did push the lord to abandon the butler’s first principle. But what did he hear exactly? Here, I have to admit that I can’t be 100% sure, but I think that he heard the painter’s confession, because in chapter 70, Yoon Seungho asked the painter, if the latter was afraid of him (chapter 70). And note that when the painter confessed, he externalized his fear. (chapter 68) But what caught my attention is that when we see the lord’s feet in front of the door, we have to keep in mind, Yoon Seungho was not able to see the painter’s tears. He could only hear his words. Consequently he was relying on his own ears. However, this doesn’t signify that Yoon Seungho is blind. In my opinion, in this precise moment Yoon Seungho was able to envision Baek Na-Kyum’s tears, because he was forced to use his mind’s eye. Then with this new perspective, we have a new version of chapter 3. However, the huge difference is that Yoon Seungho’s mind’s eye is no longer focused on himself, but on the painter. This explicates, why the master decided to retrieve and to give him space. Without seeing his face, he could sense that there was affection, because the painter was crying. The readers should recall that the painter’s tears have always had a huge impact on the noble, because they healed his eyes, hand and heart. The manhwaworms can comprehend why the lord chose to let the painter determine his own fate. The presence of tears and the painter’s voice were able to remove the lord’s veil on his eyes and ears for good. I would like to remind the manhwaphiles that in chapter 68, Kim tried to destroy the lord’s own judgement by recurring to gaslighting and distorting the past. [For more explications, read this essay: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2021/01/30/painter-of-the-night-heroes/ ] In other words, the discussion in chapter 68 represented the most important battle between the master and his domestic, where the latter wanted the main lead to lose his sight and hearing for a second time. However, the butler failed. The irony is that people perceived the argument as the butler’s victory, while in truth it should be judged as the valet’s loss of power. What Kim didn’t expect is that with his manipulations, he encouraged the main lead to rush to the painter’s study. The butler never expected that the lord would stop right in front of the door and listen to the conversation. For me, this marked the return of the lord’s senses. This is the reason why the lord is able to hear the door opening and the commoners leaving the study, (chapter 69) although he is sitting in his bedchamber. Imagine, he is no longer relying on the butler’s information contrary to chapter 56: (chapter 56) With this new approach, the readers can understand why the aristocrat can make such a comment in chapter 70: . Therefore I deduce that the butler can no longer control the lord’s body, since he is no longer required to be his eyes, ears and hands. However, this doesn’t mean that Kim is truly defeated. He still controls the staff, especially the male domestics. Here, I would like to make a little disgression. In my opinion, the butler played a huge role in the first abduction. How come that the servants were so sure that the painter had run away? (chapter 61) They were not present, since both protagonists were at the physician’s. From my point of view, Kim must have manipulated the servants… he just needed to imply that Baek Na-Kyum had escaped, while in front of Yoon Seungho, he would say the opposite later due to the commoner’s return: (chapter 62) There’s no doubt that with the painter’s appearance, he could use the incident to obtain more support from the servants. The painter had caused trouble again, he was responsible for their misery. But since he truly exposed his true nature to the main lead (abusing his authority, criticizing and judging his master), he can no longer appear in front of him. Right now, he has to lie low, hence he needs other people to be his eyes and ears. This explains why the servant is portrayed without eyes either (chapter 70). The absence of the eyes is an indication that they belong to Kim, just like the lantern indicates that the domestic is acting on the valet’s order. And in season 3, we can observe a similar situation. This time, they faked obedience (chapter 99), while they badmouthed their master. (chapter 98) Because the lord feared to lose his lover, he didn’t pay attention to the domestic’s insult: (chapter 98) But the insult was the proof that they never treated the painter as a part of the household. He was just a spoiled brat.
  6. And since the noble is now using his own body and all his own senses, it becomes clear why the lord is gradually becoming less selfish. He needed to be selfish in the past in order not to become completely alienated. This signifies that he would have lost his own identity. This explicates why his selfishness is slowly vanishing, indicating that the noble is on the verge of dropping rule 4 (“This is not my business“) which embodies selfishness. On the other hand, his selfishness can not completely be eliminated, as long as the butler is by his side. Why? It is because the valet is trying to justify his actions by acting selfless. He lulls the lord in the illusion, he will do anything for Yoon Seungho, and the new scene in the bathroom is the perfect example. Observe that the lord is determined to treat the painter more like a guest, hence he asks his servant to follow the painter to the door. From my point of view, it was not, because he wanted the domestic to keep an eye on the painter, but because he wanted to treat the artist with great respect. Yet, note that the moment the kisaeng leaves her brother and the door closes, the servant’s behavior and tone change drastically. He pressures Baek Na-Kyum and gives orders. He is truly rude. We could say that he treats the low-born like a servant, as though he wanted him to feel so little. Kim’s strategy was to remind the painter of his position: he is just a servant, a new version of chapter 52. Remember that Kim’s intention from the start of the second season was always to diminish the artist’s status: he is just a temporally favored servant, nothing more. Striking is that the domestic never says that the lord gave him the order to bring the painter. He uses here a passive sentence “you are to attend to him” which is important. That way, the servant can hide the identity of the person who requested this. And since the lord was looking at the intruder in a rather cold way, I believe that he didn’t expect Baek Na-Kyum. However, when the door was closed loudly, the lord must have realized that this must have been Kim’s action. The lord didn’t mind, for it looked like the butler was helping him to improve his relationship with the painter. This interpretation was also confirmed in season 3. Yoon Seungho showed no desire to investigate the matter of “Jung In-Hun” or Deok-Jae’s death, for he was too much focusing on his lover. He kept saying that this was not of his concern. (chapter 98) However, he was totally wrong here. That’s the reason why the abduction could even take place. Because of the last incident, the main lead is forced to recognize that he needs to investigate the matter, as everything or everyone can affect his life. This is important, because that’s the only way for Yoon Seungho to recognize the butler’s wrongdoings. He encouraged him not to pay attention on others so that he wouldn’t detect his wrongdoings. Thanks this rule, Kim could live freely.

All this leads me to the final observation: since the butler is relying on others, this signifies that these persons become his eyes, ears, mouth and hands. Therefore he becomes dependent on them. This indicates that the valet has switched his position with the noble. And this is relevant, because this announces Kim’s future demise. He will experience himself, how ignorance can’t be a blessing. In chapter 69, they heard from the kisaeng that the painter could write, hence he will take this info as face-value. I am assuming now that he knows that the painter can not read Chinese and will come to the conclusion that he can read Hangeul like any commoner. However, while in the past, I used to think that Kim had asked the domestic can only listen to their exchange, I realized that I was wrong. It was still Kim behind the window. (chapter 70) But he is deprived of his sight. And now, if you look at the conversation in the bathroom, we have to question what information the spy gathers:

“You refuse to watch” and “Don’t push me away”

This means that the servant will have the impression that the artist is still resisting the lord, especially after hearing that the low-born corrected the lord. However, the spy can’t see what is happening in the room. He can’t observe how the painter is letting the lord caressing his face (chapter 70), kissing him tenderly . That’s why Kim will have the impression that the painter is still not accepting the lord. This explicates why after that night, they were separated. The butler imagined that if they had no longer sex, the artist would feel neglected and believe that the lord had already a change of heart. He hoped that after such a separation, the painter would leave the mansion, exactly like the lord had been encouraged to have a relapse in chapter 50. In my eyes, Kim was slowly viewing the artist as a man consumed by lust. How could he still accept to have sex with Yoon Seungho after the latter had treated him like a sex toy in the shed? The butler couldn’t grasp the protagonists’ thirst for love and warmth.

From my perspective, Kim had already realized the urgency of the situation at the end of season 2. He was on the verge to lose his position. The painter was getting more and more power, while the reality is that Yoon Seungho was slowly regaining his freedom, because he was just owning his own body. This explicates why he is now delicate and treats the painter’s hand as a treasure. (chapter 70) Under this new light, it becomes understandable why Kim decided to betray his master and rekindle with Yoon Chang-Hyeon. The punishment was the signal for the valet to switch the alliance.

Therefore as long as the butler remains by the noble’s side, the transformation is not completed. That’s why we still have no proper apology and the lord is not determined to get justice for the artist. Yet, the light has already entered the master’s heart, irradiating his whole body. Consequently, the main lead could finally drop his armor: it melted away. To conclude, the final transformation took place in the mountain which was symbolized by the lord’s tears. (chapter 102) From that moment on, the light had now reached the mind. He could drop his self-loathing finally which was the foundation of Kim’s principle. It was okay to cry. These were tears of happiness and relief… He had been able to rescue his lover. This means that Yoon Seungho did everything what the butler rejects: the embrace as a way to console and apologize and the tears as a sign of regret and happiness. But why does the valet abhor them? It is because he could never admit his own mistakes and as such he could never beg for forgiveness. (doctor Frost, chapter 211) 8chapter 50) Since he has been denying the existence of his heart, there can be no light in the heart. (chapter 50) Here, the butler never cried, he just showed pity and sympathy towards Baek Na-Kyum, however he was not speaking from the heart.

And now, I would like to close this analysis with three quotes from the book called “The Light in the Heart written by Roy T. Bennet which inspired me to write this essay, because it illustrates the lord’s metamorphosis:

Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice (chapter 63/70). Optimism is a choice (chapter 68/69: the lord recognized that he still had some chance, though he was very scared). Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice (chapter 69). Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.

Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”

With this quote, the readers grasp better why the lord was just existing like a ghost in the past before meeting Baek Na-Kyum. He was only a puppet, while he was lulled in the illusion, he was a free spirit haunting an armor. This explicates why he couldn’t feel remorse in the past, why he could neither hear, nor see, nor talk nor dream nor give etc. And since he has promised that he won’t frighten Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 70), he needs to prove it. He will never hurt anyone close to the painter, hence he spared the kisaengs. I have to admit that I have been thinking about the next step: asking the painter to brush his hair. This would announce the butler’s complete loss of power. At the same time, it would signify that the lord is showing that he trusts Baek Na-Kyum and is using his hair to woo the painter. And this could definitely correspond to the master’s attitude: his will to open up. Simultaneously, he could express the following wish: he would like to comb his lover’s hair himself encouraging him to have a topknot.

And now, I would like to close this essay with the following quote from Bennet

We are all different. Don’t judge, understand instead.

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.

Painter Of The Night: Rumors and The Yoons

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/

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.

This won’t be a long analysis but the new chapter from the second season made me realize the importance of rumors. In one of my former essays, I discovered that there were two different kind of gossips:

  1. The one among the nobles, where Yoon Seungho is condemned for his relationship with the painter.
  2. The one among the commoners, where people believe that Yoon Seungho has now a fiancée.

After giving some thoughts, I realized that there were also rumors in the first season but I never really paid attention to the origins of the gossips. If we pay attention to the rumors about the Yoons, we’ll notice there are two different kind of rumors circulating about this family. In the chapter 13, Lee Jihwa insults Yoon Seungho as filthy libertine and describes that Yoon Seungho is from a declining family.

Then in the chapter 22, Yoon Seungho replies to the low noble that he knows about the existence of his bad notoriety.

Notice the contrast between these two rumors. On the one side, they are described as if they were losing their influence, on the other side the Yoons are called as wealthy but uncultured. This looks like a contradiction, yet there is none. The declining family is actually referring to Yoon Seung-Won and his father who are losing their influence because they have no official post, whereas the wealthy but uncultured family is an allusion to Yoon Seungho. Since he decided to keep his distance from the government, he put all his strength and knowledge in order to get power through trade. That’s how he became powerful and influential, while his father and his younger brother had no power any longer, as they were living too far away from the capital and the government. Now, the manhwaphiles understand better why the brother visited his brother and asked him to visit their father. By reconnecting to the eldest son, they hoped to use his money but also his connection to get some influence but they were turned down. With his help, they could have got a direct nomination as official, however the eldest son refused to follow the request. Through Jihwa’s curse, we can detect that the red-haired noble looks down on Yoon Seungho because of his father. Since the father’s influence is in declin, then

Yoon Seungho might keep his distance from the officials, however he has definitely power and can use his connection to get a government post. I doubt that he was lying to the painter, when he threatened him in the chapter 11.

Now, we can better comprehend why the nobles were attracted by Yoon Seungho despite his terrible reputation.

He was powerful through his trade and his connections and the nobles needed his help, either because of his wealth or because of his closeness to officials. It becomes even clearer why Jihwa claimed in the chapter 18 that in fact he had been using Yoon Seungho all along. Therefore the sex sessions with the seme were a sort of prostitution. They approached him for their own interests, however the main lead was aware of that and chose to humiliate them with his sex sessions. That’s why he abhors prostitution and was happy to have found someone so pure. Now, you realize the importance of the hearsay. The nobles are the ones spreading these rumors about Yoon Seungho. He is uncultured because he does commerce and deals with commoners. They need to spray this gossip in order to keep their dignity and remain honorable. They use grapevine in order to tarnish the main lead’s reputation as they can’t accept that they have to lower themselves in order to get what they need from the protagonist.

No wonder why Yoon Seungho is so confident about his influence and never looked down on Baek Na-Kyum despite his humble origins. Yoon Seungho is already an outcast among the aristocrats and Jihwa tried to use the rumor in order to force him to keep his distance from the painter.

As you can detect, the hearsay is among the young nobles and the red-haired lord is trying to use this as a weapon to weaken the rich master. This doesn’t surprise us that the seme refuses to submit to this kind of pressure and even replies that he will make sure that this rumor will become true. This would ridicule more the young nobles. Right from the start, the rumors are a weapon of the nobles targeting the protagonist. Consequently, the manhwaphiles grasp better why in the second season Yoon Seungho is also using gossip among commoners to get support, to change his reputation. He is a transformed man. At the same time, it outlines how powerful and influential Yoon Seungho is. He is not seeking for an official post because of his traumatic past, yet he learnt due to his bad experience that he needed money to protect himself and through his fortune, he could create his own network without getting too close to the government. This also explains why he hates nobility and even feels closer to merchants and commoners. This arrogance among the nobility towards Yoon Seungho doesn’t surprise me at all. In France before French Revolution, the bourgeoisie was also despised by the aristocracy, although the high bourgeoisie was even richer than some old families among the nobility.

The nobles needed to turn Yoon Seungho into an unrefined noble because they couldn’t accept that despite his declining family and his terrible reputation as sodomite, he was more influential than them. I don’t think that he lied to Jung In-Hun and Baek Na-Kyum about his power,

however the irony is that he never said clearly that he would give Jung In-Hun a government post. When he says “our”, he is actually speaking about himself and not his other relatives.

Because of this, I have the impression that once Jung In-Hun realizes that he has been abandoned by Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum, he will turn his attention to Seung-Won and his father as they represent the old and traditional nobility, whereas Yoon Seungho is a loner. Due to his family, he belongs to the aristocracy, yet he decided to develop his influence through commerce thereby I suspect that Jung In-Hun will look down on him for mixing with commoners and will attempt to help the Yoons (father and son) unaware that they might use him as his pawn and sell him to an old official.

As you can observe, with each new chapter, we get new info which helps us to perceive the older episodes in a different perspective.

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 twitter/tumblr account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.