Painter Of The Night: The bride’s abduction (theory)

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/ 

Feel free to 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.

In my last analysis, I had already implied that the painter’s second abduction would take place during this night. And now, it is time to elaborate why I made this deduction. I will list all my arguments for this theory.

1. The bride’s abduction: between joke and tragedy

First, the manhwaphiles will certainly recall that the marriage between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum started as a joke. (chapter 78) And in Germany, there is this tradition that the best man and his friends steals the bride.

“Traditionally a bride is kidnapped by the groomsmen at some point during the reception who then drags her from bar to bar until the groom finds them. Once the groom has managed to locate his bride he is then expected to pay the cheeky kidnappers bill, as well as a round of drinks for everyone in the bar.” quoted from https://weddedwonderland.com/7-german-wedding-traditions-you-didnt-know-about/

As you can observe, this tradition is actually a joke between the couple and their friends. The parallel between the marriage between the two protagonists and the German tradition is prank. Therefore I couldn’t help myself associating the marriage as a joke to Black Heart who is also a Joker, but the negative version. Hence contrary to the German custom, he will make a bad joke which can only end badly.

On the other hand, the “bride kidnapping” can be a harsh reality too. In Kyrgyzstan, women can get kidnapped and forced to marry their kidnapper. The men doing this claim that this is part of their traditions. https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2013/09/new-law-in-kyrgyzstan-toughens-penalties-for-bride-kidnapping/ However, for the victims, this kind of marriage can only end as a tragedy. Either the bride has to accept her new situation and husband or she decides to commit suicide. [for more information: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56675201]

In other words, the “bride’s abduction” can be a serious matter too, and not just a joke. Moreover, since the noble and the painter took their “marriage” seriously, this signifies that the painter’s kidnapping won’t be perceived as a joke, but as a real crime. Thereby at the end of the long night and day, people will be punished for their silence and complicity.

2. The fruit and the new Fall of man

I have to admit that I had already developed this prediction after reading chapter 79. Why? Because this story is constructed like a kaleidoscope and as such, scenes from the past will resurface, yet there will be small changes. In addition, the author is combining different chapters together. Hence when I saw this panel (chapter 79), I connected it to the scene in the woods. (chapter 23) As you already know, I interpreted this scene as a new version of Fall of man. Both protagonists tasted the “forbidden” fruit and discovered the reality: the painter had lost his virginity and had not remained “faithful” to his admired sir, whereas for the main lead, their first sexual encounter was just an illusion. After eating the apple, the rape occurred. And since the red persimmons are often compared to apples, thus I couldn’t shake the feeling that this fruit in chapter 79 was a bad omen, especially when the butler brought it. Besides, this fruit is also offered during a marriage. However, since neither the artist nor the noble got to eat the red persimmon, I believe that this fruit is more associated to “expulsion from Eden” than to sexuality.

So far, the artist had lived in a bubble, all his needs were provided. The lord was so generous, he would keep caressing him and confiding to him without asking anything in return. Moreover, he would talk about their future together. To sum up, for Baek Na-Kyum, his stay by Yoon Seungho’s side could only be judged as a paradise. The lord would fulfill all of his wishes… He had a home and a family. (chapter 80) Then the aristocrat called him Kyumah exactly like in his wet dream, while smiling so happily. This was too beautiful to be true, hence the low-born started worrying about their future as well. (chapter 78) The manhwaphiles can sense that the painter was slowly transforming, he was maturing. He wanted to become responsible for Yoon Seungho too. He needed to pay attention to his fortune and position. In other words, the artist felt that their time spent together was like a paradise and they should go back to reality. That’s the reason why I came to the idea of the expulsion of the Garden of Eden.

Moreover, what caught my attention is the following panel: Why would Byeonduck create such an image, as it doesn’t contribute to the evolution of story at all? In addition, it was placed next to the music box. In my eyes, this picture played a bigger role than it appeared to be. Since I had already perceived some parallels between chapter 79 and 36-37, I couldn’t help myself connecting the red persimmons to the drug the butler gave to the painter through the head-maid. (chapter 36) Furthermore, we had this picture which resembled a lot to this one from chapter 47: The manhwalovers will certainly recall that in that episode, Deok-Jae had played a prank too. He had put some stones in the rice! The gesture was the same than giving some drug like in the first season. The only difference is that in chapter 36, the valet could mask it as a prescription from the doctor.

Consequently, I made some research about persimmons. Was it possible for putting some drug in the red persimmon without tasting it? Since we had opium in the second season, I imagined that the perpetrator would add opium to the red persimmon so that the painter and the lord would get drugged together. As you can observe, this simple image (chapter 79) triggered so many thoughts. Then I read that opium tastes bitter and dried persimmon can also be astringent. And guess what:

The astringent variety before dried is heart shaped while the non-astringent variety is shaped more like a tomato.” quoted from https://armanifood.com/product/dried-persimmon/ I could use other websites as proof for this. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/persimmon-nutrition-benefits

And look at the picture: The fruit has a heart shaped form displaying that it is astringent! Hence I felt that Byeonduck could have been misleading her readers on purpose, letting them think that the persimmon tastes sweet due to Yoon Seungho’s words. (chapter 79) However, my fear didn’t come true. I was wrong in that aspect that neither the artist nor the main lead ate the red persimmons. In other words, they didn’t get drugged.

On the other hand, note the persistence of the servant who was pressuring his master to take his supper. (chapter 80) Moreover, the manhwaworms should mark the butler’s words: (chapter 47) Here, the valet implied that the lord could get drugged too. Therefore I am not throwing this theory of the drug out of the window, in fact my impression got reinforced after remembering that in season 1, we saw this: (chapter 17). What if the male servants decided to eat the supper prepared for the couple? The head-maids stopped doing this, but it is different for the male servants who keep disregarding their lord and the artist. So what if the supper is left behind… exactly like the expensive wine in chapter 19? And imagine this: they fall asleep to the maids’ surprise. But I have to admit that this is just a thought. However, I was more convinced with my theory of the drug after discovering the following pattern.

3. Pattern

While I was comparing season 1 and 2, I discovered the following motive. Note that after episode 21, the noble kept his distance from the painter. (chapter 23) He waited for the painting hoping to see their “wedding night”. Hence we could say that we had abstinence and separation. Then after the sex marathon (chapter 32), the lord left the painter behind out of remorse. (chapter 34) Even after his return, he accepted that the painter wouldn’t stay in his bed or have sex with him. Note that he only masturbated the artist and refused any real sexual encounter, until the latter begged him in episode 41. (chapter 41) This means that we had a second phase of separation (32-34). With his return, the lord restrained himself. So it was abstinence. This scenario, distance and abstinence, was repeated after episode 49: (chapter 51) While for outsiders, it looked like the artist had lost the master’s favors, the main lead’s gesture was expressing the opposite, concern and love. However, this strong connection between distance and and chastity got disrupted. After episode 58, we only had separation leading the protagonist to have another sex marathon. After realizing his mistake, he made love to the artist… but note that after episode 73, the noble is chaste again. (chapter 74) From episode 74 till 80, we only have abstinence, thought the kisses, hugs and masturbation (chapter 80) seem to indicate that we will have a new love session. As you can imagine, because we only have abstinence from 74 to 80, I came to the following deduction: separation should happen right after!

But there’s more to it. By comparing the two first “escapes”, you will notice that the discovery of Baek Na-Kyum’s vanishing is noticed much earlier:

  • chapter 29: Around breakfast, so during the morning.
  • Chapter 59: at dawn, very early in the morning

This signifies that the lord will realize his disappearance during the night so that the culprits will be put under pressure.

In addition, I would like the readers to keep in mind that during the first season, the painter was drugged twice (19 and 36), then he had to eat some spoiled rice (chapter 47) and was forced to breathe opium and drink booze in chapter 54. From that moment, the artist never got poisoned via food again, because the head-maid would take care of Baek Na-Kyum’s meals personally. After the incident with Deok-Jae, there’s no doubt that she must have felt responsible, and chose to ensure that nothing bad would happen. Hence only the lord could “drug” him in episode 54. However, note that in chapter 79, Kim was the one bringing the red persimmons. Observe how persistent he was to bring him something to eat, though the artist rejected the offer. (chapter 79) Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho refused the butler’s tea and medicine again. (chapter 77) Hence my actual theory is that the butler had planned to drug the two protagonists, well aware that they would share their meals. However, since the “poisoning attempts” were less working, if you compare the first and second season, I deduce that the valet’s third attempt was doomed to failure.

But there’s another reason why I am thinking like that. What caught my attention is the second pattern. Notice that during the first and second “desertion” nothing happened, like Kim had expected. He always had to change his plans quickly, adapt himself to the new situation and develop a new trick.

During the night of the rape, Kim envisioned that if the teacher witnessed the sexual encounter between the infamous hell-raiser and the low-born, the scholar would get appalled. (chapter 18) He thought, the admired sir wouldn’t like to be associated to such a person and would leave the mansion with the painter. That’s why he approached his master in the courtyard. (chapter 25) He was curious about Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 25) Had he been killed or had he already escaped? Let’s not forget that he saw Yoon Seungho taking a horse. Then after meeting in the hallway, Kim had the impression to see a ghost (chapter 26), his master resembled a lot to his father. Hence he knew what would happen. He would get enraged and jealous of the scholar. Consequently, he saved Jung In-Hun by sending a servant to his chamber forcing him to leave his bedroom. He needed to ensure that the staff would still believe, they didn’t need to take their master seriously, he was too weak-hearted. After that night, Kim made sure that Baek Na-Kyum would leave the mansion without getting stopped. He thought, if the artist told Jung In-Hun that their life was in danger, the scholar would believe him. As you can see, the long awaited desertion didn’t occur right away, only much later in the night. And it is the same for the second abduction. It should have happened during the night of episode 53, yet Deok-Jae failed with his task. Later, the noble was incited to leave the mansion due to Jihwa’s fake letter, therefore the kidnapping could only take place two days later. To sum up, timing was essential. Moreover, this time, Kim played a bigger role, as he let the painter leave the mansion without Yoon Seungho’s authorization. As the readers can notice, the “desertion” was delayed again and Kim’s involvement was more visible. Furthermore, Kim anticipated that he would find a dead body in the next morning, but this was not the case. The artist was also brought back to the mansion, exactly like in the first season. Hence my expectation is that during this night, Kim had already planned the abduction with the drug, but he had to change his plans.

First, he was not sure if both main leads would eat the red persimmons. He needed to know if they were asleep. Hence he sent the guardian as a scapegoat to the bedchamber. Naturally, he had promised him that he could take the music box as a reward for his favor. Therefore he gave the greedy domestic the following advice: (chapter 80) He shouldn’t tell Yoon Seungho that someone was looking for the painter. He knew that if the couple was not asleep, then the lord would get upset and threatened the domestic so that the latter would reveal the presence of the guest. Kim saw a huge opportunity with the arrival of Father Yoon’ s messenger. He could separate the couple. Yoon Seungho thought, his lover would be safe in his bedroom. But he made a huge mistake, he didn’t expect this trick from this conniving creature: Lie by omission! (chapter 80) The butler expected that his master would rush to the study, thinking that it was the kisaeng. But since he has been spying his lord for quite some time through the balcony/door, he knew that the painter would hear the lord’s words. Remember this scene: (chapter 37) the artist could hear the brother’s voice!! Hence the artist should have heard that someone was looking for him. And now, imagine the following:

Baek Na-Kyum is well aware of his lover’s possessiveness and violence. He even witnessed how his sister and his partner would hate each other. In chapter 69, he even had to meddle and stop his sister from menacing the host. (chapter 69) However, back then he thought, he was protecting his sister, whereas in truth it was the opposite. (chapter 69) That’s the reason why I believe that during the conversation between the messenger and Yoon Seungho, Kim will approach the painter again and tell him that his sister wants to see him. Hence she is waiting in front of the mansion or in the courtyard. The butler will fake care and generosity, the new version of this (chapter 67). Therefore, the artist will leave the bedchamber in a rush, he wants to protect her from Yoon Seungho’s wrath. Let’s not forget that before the first desertion, the artist protected the scholar: (chapter 26) As you can see, there’s a pattern here. The low-born is always using his body to defend his loved one… but each time, he was “betrayed”. The scholar backstabbed him three times, thus the kisaeng will do the same. So he will leave the bedchamber without any shoe rushing to the main gate. What he doesn’t know is that Heena noona is there to take him away. She will kidnap her own brother thinking that she is saving him.

4. Heena’s blindness and crime

And now, you are wondering why I am suspecting the sister. First, I would like to point out that the artist fled the mansion through the backdoor in the first season. (chapter 4) The first time, he was stopped by Yoon Seungho himself, hence he succeeded in chapter 29. Moreover, note that in the second season, he didn’t desert the property through the backdoor, but the main door!! Yet he returned to the noble’s side, when he realized that he had no place where to go. (chapter 46) Nevertheless, for Yoon Seungho is staying in the painter’s study while conversing with the messenger, this means that he is closer to the gate from the backyard than from the main door. Consequently, the painter needs to be sent in the opposite direction. Moreover, the readers shouldn’t forget the main lead’s words: (chapter 69) The painter, in his hurry, will not pay attention to Yoon Seungho’s words and will step outside the door. In that moment, he will be dragged away by his own sister.

As you can see, I haven’t changed my theory at all (see The purge – “a theory”). Heena will become Min’s hand and justify her actions, because she “received” a letter from her brother. Since we have forged letters in each season, I have always been expecting this again. And remember that each letter helped Yoon Seungho to discern the truth directly or indirectly. He recognized his brother’s indifference and selfishness, just like Jihwa’s. Even if she tells him that he can now follow her, and the latter rejects her offer, she won’t accept his resistance thinking that he just had a change of heart. In my opinion, all her reproaches addressed to Yoon Seungho will come to bite her back: (chapter 65) Where was she, when the painter got dragged many months ago? But there exist many reasons why I believe that the kisaeng will enter the mansion. Note that in the second season, no one stopped her from entering the propriety followed by her guards. (chapter 65) She could find out where her brother was living. (chapter 65) We have to envision the following situation: (chapter 43) The staff witnessed her walking, but they didn’t care at all. Consequently she could approach the lord’s bedchamber so easily. Hence I am expecting a new version of chapter 65. However, the roles will be switched: Heena will drag her brother away. And the servant eyeing the music box will take it. But why would the kisaeng act in such a reckless way?

She was already fearless in episode 65, and she noticed that no one stopped her. Furthermore, she could observe that the household’s security was totally lacking. (chapter 69) Furthermore, Min will certainly tell her this: She can just swoop in tonight and do the deed/ rescue her brother. She saw it with her own eyes. But what neither Heena nor Min know is that this is the third “desertion”!! And only Kim is aware of this. For the latter was never caught as an accomplice, he still thinks that he can succeed again. Keep in mind that concerning the main lead’s suffering past, the valet never got caught either, therefore he has every reason to expect the same outcome. But what he fails to realize are the small changes and little details.

5. The discovery of Kim’s treachery

First, he is not expecting the lord’s return from the painter’s study so soon, a new version of this: (chapter 68) Remember that he used to get a flashback by the mere mention of his father. In the first season, he could overcome it thanks to the painter’s presence. (chapter 38) Moreover, since the lord acted, as if he was respectful towards his own father, Kim believes that the conversation will take longer.

Secondly, the disappearance of the music box will be the clue for Yoon Seungho to recognize the true nature of the crime. The butler made a huge mistake in that matter. He believed that the painter only remained in the mansion out of greed. That’s how he explained his refusal to follow his sister. But here he overlooked two important clues:

  • chapter 29:
  • Chapter 61:

The painter never “accepted” the gifts from the lord. He always left them behind, though in the second case, it was stagged. But now, Kim knows that the painter treasures the music box (chapter 79), hence this item needs to disappear, giving the impression that the artist took it with him. What he doesn’t know is the following: (chapter 78) The painter used the pronoun “we” and worried about Yoon Seungho’s situation.

But more importantly, Kim is not anticipating that he will be betrayed. Strangely is that Deok-Jae remained quite “loyal” to Kim despite his abandonment and betrayal. (chapter 29) The manhwalovers will detect that the domestic used the personal pronoun “we”. He was speaking for the staff and as such for Kim. He actually hoped that the butler would come forward and take responsibility for the first desertion. But the valet remained silent and let Deok-Jae take the fall. However, note that the servant didn’t reveal Kim’s complicity. He could have dragged him down, but no… he hid the truth, for he feared that he would suffer much more than the butler, for the latter was supposed to be the favored servant.

And remember what happened before the couple got separated. The new domestic told his lord this: “I was told not to”!! (chapter 80) By speaking in such a way, he unveiled that he was acting on someone else’s orders! There was someone in the shadow commanding his own staff. That’s why Yoon Seungho will come to question the domestic again. Who told him not to say? There’s no ambiguity that he will point out the butler, for he is quite new in the mansion.

Finally, since the painter left the bedroom in a hurry, he won’t put any shoe, for there are none there. Since the lord brought his lover to his bedroom without any shoe, he will realize that he couldn’t have left on his own without shoes.

Naturally, I am expecting an intervention from the head-maid. Let’s not forget that she perceived the intrusion of Heena as a problem. That’s the reason why she ran to Kim in episode 65. She had no idea how she should deal with her. But now, she is well aware that her master doesn’t want her in the mansion. Besides, we saw her wandering in the courtyard once: (chapter 32) So it is very possible that she becomes a witness and testify about the incident, similar to chapter 11: (chapter 11). However, we have to imagine that Yoon Seungho won’t discover the crime right away, because he needs to reply to his father.

6. Happy slap

Due to Kim’s trick, he faced the messenger of his father without any fear. He had been manipulated to think that he would meet the kisaeng. Since he oozed strength and charisma, he could sense that he had nothing to fear from his father. The messenger’s words let him see reality: Father Yoon was totally powerless. In the painter’s study, Yoon Seungho could free himself from his father’s shadow for good. This is important, because this means that he will recall his youth, similar to the painter: (chapter 71) He will recognize that his chest didn’t tighten nor he felt frightened nor his heart pounded at the thought of the eldest master! That’s why Byeonduck released this panel in my opinion: The main lead will recall the physical abuse from his father… It can only be the father due to the color of the hanbok, khaki, which is father Yoon’s favorite color. Nonetheless, this time, the memory of the slap won’t affect him any longer: (chapter 55) And now, you are wondering why the author wrote “happy slap”. How could that be a happy slap? First, it is related to the protagonist’s emancipation, like I have just explained.

Secondly, I believe that this is also connected to the painter’s abduction. While developing my theory about the kidnapping, I discovered why Yoon Seungho was such a bad lord in his mansion, why he allowed his staff to do whatever they wanted! The manhwalovers shouldn’t forget that the lord truly hated his father, hence deep down, he didn’t want to behave like his father. Since the latter was abusive and cruel, he acted the exact opposite. He didn’t want to look like his father at all. He had experienced how to be treated like a low-born… therefore he didn’t want anyone to experience such a fate. And Kim encouraged such a fear… If he was lenient and benevolent, then he would look different from his father. In other words, he encouraged his master to stay quiet, because he could be perceived as a cruel master, like his own father. (chapter 68) This explicates why he made this comparison in episode 68. He knew that Yoon Seungho hated this reflection: (chapter 68)

But because of the painter, the wealthy noble is slowly taking over his role as lord and master!! This means that he accepts his new position and assumes his responsibility as a lord. He has power, thus he can mistreat or kill people. In the first season, the use of violence was triggered by emotions, hence he didn’t act rationally. It was not a real choice, a conscious and rational decision. (chapter 30) People perceived him here as a spoiled child throwing a tantrum.

However, in episode 80, we can sense a huge transformation. The main lead is confident, he gives orders (chapter 80) and doesn’t seem scared at all. His opponent views that the young lord Yoon shouldn’t be taken lightly. (chapter 80) Thus I believe that once Yoon Seungho discovers the artist’s disappearance, he will use his authority as a lord to question his staff. He won’t slap the servants randomly like in episode 30, he will first target the “creepy domestic” circulating around his bedroom. Hence it is possible that the readers witness how he slaps the new version of Deok-Jae!! Hence it is possible that we see another panel, where Yoon Seungho is slapping the domestic in order to get some answer: Besides, the lord has every reason to act like that. His brutality is justified, because he needs to rescue his loved one… Hence this could be seen as a “happy slap”, for the lord senses that “violence” and authority can not always be a bad thing, when it is to find the truth. The lord will learn to distinguish between violence and authority too. So far, he confused brutality with power. Hence he used no control and authority on his staff and later only employed force in order to achieve his goal. Slowly, he is discovering power as such. This incident will be like an eye-opener for him. He needs to use his authority to guaranty his lover’s safety. However, in a hurry, he will have to slap the domestic himself. He needs to find Baek Na-Kyum. Due to this observation, I conclude that he will ask for the authorities’ support this time. He won’t rely on his staff any longer. That’s how Father Lee will experience Yoon Seungho’s true power. Consequently, I feel that the guards could barge in his mansion: (chapter 67) The main lead’s threat will turn into a reality.

As a conclusion, with this incident, he has to prove to Baek Na-Kyum that he is strong and trustworthy, he can rely on him for the future. Therefore, we would have two characters acting the same way. They would use violence and power in order to save the painter, though only one would be in the wrong: Heena, the so-called selfless and loving noona.

But there’s another reason why I believe that we will see a memory from Yoon Seungho and how it affects the present. Since the start of the third season, I recognized a new pattern: each episode would be strongly intertwined together, and each episode would reflect the previous one. Hence this means that in chapter 81, we will find elements from episode 77. Secondly, within the same episode, we would find the same elements: versus Hence since there’s a slap from the past, therefore expect one in the present, but the role will be switched. Yoon Seungho won’t be the target of abuse.

And now, I have presented my theory… what do you think about it?

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.3

Painter Of The Night/The Pawn’s Revenge: The witch and the lustful spell (part 1)

This is where you can read the manhwas. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/pawn https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that these manhwas are 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 of Painter Of The Night: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/ As for The Pawn’s Revenge, this is where you can read other essays: https://bebebisous33analyses.com/2021/06/06/table-of-contents-of-analyzed-mentioned-manhwas/

Warning: I used the German version Snow White “Schneewittchen” as basis. Hence I translated myself the quotes.

Everything started with this panel: (chapter 22) The protagonist starts viewing himself as the main character from the fairytale Snow White. Hence he comes to the conclusion that since he is Snow White, then there must be a hunter and a witch, the famous stepmother of Snow White. (chapter 22). That’s why he believes that Do Seong-Rok is the huntsman, while Jeon Hee Seong is the witch, because the former didn’t kill him. The former prostitute had planned to get rid of the young man, as he represented a source of danger for her. That’s why she ordered the killing to her lover. Soon after the release, an user asked Evy who was the Prince in this story. The author replied by denying his existence in this story.

What caught my attention is that there are more references of Snow White in this manhwa, like for example the presence of the shared apple. (chapter 24) Thanks to The Pawn’s Revenge, I came to recognize that even Painter Of The Night has so many common denominators with this fairytale. (chapter 23) That’s the reason why I decided to compare the two manhwas with Snow White. This means, I’ll also explain why they diverge. But for that, it is necessary to explain the fairytale Snow White and its functions.

1. The fairytale Snow White and its purposes

Actually, the focus of this fairytale is the daughter-mother relationship creating some rivalry and jealousy. Though there exists so many stories about this topic (for more read this article https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/07/the-tale-of-snow-white-and-what-the-various-versions-mean-to-us/), only two are famous, the fairytale written by the brothers Grimm (19th Century) and the version from Walt Disney, “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” (1937).

1. 1. Grimm versus Walt Disney

But the famous psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, who considered tales as very important for the child’s development, looked down on the version from Walt Disney calling it “empty minded entertainment”, as the creators had modified too much the Grimms’ story to the point that it had softened and robbed the meaning of this fairytale. Why did he say that? It is because the darkness from the Grimms’ version had totally disappeared. The stepmother in Walt Disney’s version doesn’t eat the lever and lung of a boar boiled in salt in order to keep her beauty, or she doesn’t asphyxiate Snow White with a lacing strap. The jealousy had turned into more in a rivalry and competition because of beauty. Besides, the movie focused on fated love too, for the prince met Snow White as a child. As you can see, the prince plays a bigger role in the movie. For Bruno Bettelheim, only the Grimms’ version is the true one, as it truly deals with the oedipal complex.

The oedipal complex is when a young daughter feels jealous of her own mother, she is unconsciously attracted to her father. But since having such feelings is forbidden, she projects her own jealousy onto her mother. That’s why the daughter feels that her mother is jealous of her. The darkness from the child is now personified by the “mother”. I need to add that the German authors turned the mother into a stepmother in the second version. For Bettelheim, the fairytale helps a child to overcome the negative emotions (oedipal complex, jealousy, rivalry), it also helps him/her to understand the world around by giving him/her a meaning to life. Furthermore, it explains to the young daughters the future transformation unconsciously: it announces the adolescence and adulthood through sexuality. We have to imagine, when Snow White lives with the dwarfs, she is protected growing up in an environment free from sexuality. So when the Queen offers the apple and both are eating from the same apple, Snow White discovers sex and temptation. The apple is a reference to the bible. And now, you comprehend why I choose such a title. The Queen is a witch introducing Snow White to sexuality. As you can see, Bruno Bettelheim judged the fairytale from the point of view of a psychologist. Yet what he failed to realize is that fairytales have other functions.

1. 2. Fairytale and History

First, fairytales were not written for just children, but also for grown-ups. They were supposed to teach lessons to the adults.

They were meant to entertain adults while they were spinning, sewing, repairing tools, and doing chores late at night. John Updike tells us that fairy tales were the television and pornography of an earlier age, and a story like that is revelatory about the true uses of enchantment.” quoted from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/07/the-tale-of-snow-white-and-what-the-various-versions-mean-to-us/

How to deal for example, when a lord betrays or abandons a servant? Here, I would like to outline that the notion “family” is strongly connected to the house, and as such a household including the staff. Imagine that Snow White is a maid. Remember that the Queen acts as a lord, the head of the house, so when she orders Snow White’s execution, the young girl can only escape from this terrible fate thanks to the hunter’s fake generosity. This story shows that a servant or even daughter has no right, the lord can do whatever he wants. He won’t get sanctioned. And this remark leads me to the following statement. Bettelheim didn’t recognize that fairytales actually reflect history and the society of their period.

And now, you comprehend why the Disney version was less brutal, more romantic and the Dwarfs were portrayed as rich but hardworking miners. When the American author released the fairytale, marriage in America is associated to love. There exists the myth about fated love too. In addition, American society is promoting free market economy and hard work: American dream. Therefore we see the Dwarfs working so hard in the mine while singing. In the other version, it is just said casually. The parents are supposed to protect their children from any kind of violence, the children have even rights. Consequently the cruelty was removed. Moreover, motherhood is considered as sacred, while in the past, it was different. In the 18th Century and even before, parents didn’t ponder on how to raise their children properly. There were neither psychologist nor pediatrician nor educationalist. The children just needed to learn how to act and dress according to their social status. They were treated like small adults. However, slowly from the end of the 18th Century on, government and as such society started perceiving children differently, as a tool for their own politics. Napoleon created lycées (high schools) in order to increase his army. He promoted education, while in truth he misused it for propaganda and indoctrination. My point is that when the brothers Grimm published Snow White, people treated young children differently than in 1937 in the United States. In Germany, adults used fear to control the children!

Die gar traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug von Heinrich Hoffmann
This is a story from the Struwwelpeter written by Heinrich Hoffman. As you can see, the girl plays with the matches. Her disobedience leads to her death. She gets burnt. The lesson is that if you should listen to your parents’ words because if not, you can die. These lessons are quite gruesome but reflect the mentality of that period. Fear is used as a tool to get submissive students.

Secondly, violence was a way to expose the children to the brutality of their world (there were many revolutions in Germany in 19th Century). But there’s more to it. And we have a proof that Snow White from the brothers Grimm reflected the society of the 19th Century: the presence of a lacing strap.

But the old woman quickly laced and laced so tightly that Snow White lost her breath and thought she was dead.”

It was a reference to the corset. Young girls would try to lace their corset so tight that they could faint. This was one of the lessons in Snow White: “Don’t lace the corset to tight, because you could have the same fate than Snow White!” This explicates why Walt Disney didn’t include this scene in his story. The corset had vanished from fashion a long time ago. How did I realize that old fairytales are a mirror of the past? It is because when I was a P. A. of a History professor, I was asked to translate his essay about the definition of House and Foreign in late Middle Age and early modern times, and he used the fairytale “Town Musicians of Bremen” from Grimm as an example. The servants were indeed part of the House, once they were old, they would be thrown out of the mansion. The house was a synonym for family, like I mentioned above. During the Middle-Age, European cities, like Bremen, became more and more powerful leading to their emancipation from lords. Bremen like other cities became independent, hence the city councils could hire hire their own musicians. Though this fairytale was written in the 19th Century, it let transpire the social norms and mentality from a previous period. That’s why I came to the conclusion that Snow White must also reflect society from the 19th Century. I could give you another example.

In the Grimms’ version, the presence of sexuality was hidden, because it was symbolized by the apple. Since religion occupied a huge place in the 19th Century, people knew the bible. Consequently they could comprehend the message. But the moment Snow White ate the apple, she discovered sex. But note that she fell into a deep sleep right away. Once she woke up due to an accident occurring during the transportation of the coffin, Snow White had already found her husband, the prince. The latter had selected her as his bride, as he couldn’t forget her. The prince had even asked for the dwarfs’ permission.

Then he said to the dwarves, “Let me have the coffin, and I will give you what you want for it.”

In other words, this fairy tale was promoting marriage of convenience and the interdiction of sex before marriage, while in the Disney version we have the opposite message. Since the prince kisses the protagonist, before he marries her, it implies that sex can occur before marriage.

Thus even if I consider that The Pawn’s revenge and Painter Of The Night are new versions of Snow-White, they can only be different. Now, sexuality, sexual education and homosexuality are no longer a taboo. That’s the reason why there is no hidden message concerning this topic. As a conclusion, the stories will reflect Korean society or modern society as such. The stories will teach lessons to the readers and give meaning to their life, but only if they decide to ponder about these stories.

This truly exposes that Grimms’ and Walt Disney’s Snow White is just a mirror of the past. But don’t get me wrong: these fairytales are still useful. First, like Bruno Bettelheim, they help children to forge their own identity and to navigate in the world as moral compass. Since the characters are black (evil) or white (good), the children can easily differentiate between right and wrong. Simultaneously, the fairytales prepare them to recognize that reality is more complex. We have the perfect example in Snow White (Grimm) with the huntsman.

1. 3. The lesson taught by the huntsman

It seems that people only remembers him as a good-hearted man, as he had pity and disobeyed the Queen’s orders. But what many don’t know or overlooked is that the huntsman embodies cowardice and selfishness. In truth, he is just a weak-hearted person and a hypocrite.

“And because she was so beautiful, the hunter took pity on her and said, “So run along, you poor child!” The wild animals will soon have eaten you, he thought, and yet he felt as if a stone had rolled from his heart, because he did not need to kill her.

He acts kind and benevolent in front of Snow White, while in reality he envisions that she will die. At no moment, he wants to save her. She survives, because he doesn’t want to feel guilty and fate is on her side. This means, he just refuses to become responsible for her death. Others will do it for him. That way, his Queen won’t notice that he disobeyed. And notice that the moment the stepmother discovered that she had been played, the huntsman’s disobedience was not punished. Why? It is because she didn’t discover it right away. She ate the lung and lever believing that these were the parts of Snow White.

As you can see, the fairytale was teaching the meaning of fake kindness, cowardice and hypocrisy. But the irony is that in the latest movies, the huntsman was turned into a hero! In addition, it also exposes the “powerlessness” of the Queen. The huntsman could fool her due to her obsession. Simultaneously, it teaches that disobedience doesn’t lead to a death sentence. Here, I would like to point out that after the end of World War II, many German soldiers or guards from camps of concentration claimed that they didn’t dare to disobey. They just followed the orders they had received as a justification for their misdeeds. The reality is that it was just a myth. Historians could prove that no one got executed or no one was forced to become a guard in a camp of concentration.

1. 4. Definition of a fairytale

Because of these parallels between The Pawn’s Revenge, Painter Of The Night and Snow White, I wondered if the manhwas could be considered as fairytales. The presence of violence or sexuality can not be judged as evidences that they can not be fairytales, for they are considered as old form of pornography, destined to adults too. So what is the definition of fairytale?

The story must contain the following elements:

  • The presence of magic and supernatural beings: witch, animals acting like humans, fairies etc.
  • The characters are seldom given a precise identity. The characters are portrayed very briefly. They are associated to features, like for example, the Queen embodies vanity, superficiality and jealousy.
  • The existence of trials, the heroine has to go through different bad experiences in order to grow and mature.
  • The place and times: They are usually not defined in order to give a timeless dimension.
  • The ending: People usually think that all the fairytales have a good ending, but this is not true. The fairytales from Andersen (The little Mermaid, the little Match girl) have often tragic ending.

According to this definition, The Pawn’s revenge can’t be considered as a fairytale, for there is no magic. But I would like to point out that The Pawn’s revenge still contains some “supernatural elements”. Lee Je-Oh compares the serial killer to a grim reaper (chapter 1) or a god. Then the characters are often associated to animals: dog, mutt, snake, horse, pig, elephant, chicken (chapter 2). Furthermore, the figures in this story are perceived as living pawns of Janggi. (chapter 12) Finally , I compared Jeon See Heong to a mermaid (chapter 6) bewitching her prey. On the other hand, the figures have a precise identity. The time and the place are quite defined. As for Painter Of The Night, it looks like the same. We know the birthdays of Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum and there’s no magic or supernatural elements. Yet, we sometimes see the presence of magic and a lustful spell. Imagine, in this scene we have the impression that the painter’s spirit summoned the Ghost Seungho to approach him. Striking is that this repressed desired got fulfilled. While he had his eyes closed, the lord approached him. Another positive aspect is that the time and space are not defined. It’s just Joseon period, but that’s it. The mention of Hanyang can not be seen as transgression, because remember that there exists the fairytale Town Musicians of Bremen. The town has no name. Byeonduck said that her manhwa was not a historical story, but she found her inspiration in History. Besides, the trials of the two protagonists are more in the center, while Lee Je-Oh and Do Seong-Rok have already struggled, before the story starts. Consequently, Painter Of The Night resembles a lot more to a fairytale than The Pawn’s revenge, though the sentence “once upon a time” is missing.

On the surface, this comparison seems pointless, yet I wanted to expose that these stories might not entirely correspond to a fairytale, they still resemble to Snow White. Just like the fairytales, the manhwas can have a deeper meaning, for they serve the same purposes: Teach lessons to adults, incite the readers to question their own society and social norms, develop a better understanding of psychology, encourage them to become more committed, less indifferent to injustice, more thoughtful and not judge people too quickly.

1. 5. The ingredients of Snow White

In order to be able to contrast the stories to the fairytale, it is necessary to list all the elements present in Snow White from the brothers Grimm. Besides, this version resembles more to the manhwas due to the sexual content. Seduction and temptation are more obvious. Nevertheless, I will not just list the characters and the relevant items present in the fairytale, but also the topics while giving some explanations:

  1. The 7 Dwarfs: owners of mines
  2. The presence of a witch (The Queen as the stepmother in the original story)
  3. The huntsman
  4. Snow White: Dark hair, white skin and red lips.
  5. The prince: a symbol for marriage
  6. The mirror of truth
  7. Arrogance and vanity: She keeps looking at her own reflection in the mirror. She feels entitled to be the most beautiful.
  8. Hidden fears and anxieties: The Queen still doesn’t believe her own eyes, hence she needs a confirmation from the mirror of Truth. In reality, the mother is full of insecurities, that’s the reason why she desires a confirmation.
  9. Reflection and critical thinking: She doesn’t ponder about the reason why the mirror of Truth is telling her that Snow White is more beautiful. She doesn’t distinguish between seeming and being.
  10. Jealousy and rivalry
  11. Oedipal complex
  12. Guilt and responsibility: Because the hunter didn’t want to feel guilty, he refused to follow the order. Yet he didn’t save her as well. Notice that the stepmother and the hunter desired to put the responsibility on others. The Queen blamed her step-daughter for her failure, whereas the huntsman desired to delegate the dirty work to others (animals). Both showed no true remorse in the end. The Queen failed in her quest, because she never reflected on her own actions. She is definitely responsible for her own failure and misery.
  13. Loyalty and betrayal: While the Queen betrays the daughter, the huntsman does the the heroine and the Queen. He is only loyal to himself and his own interests. Despite the discovery of the scheme, she doesn’t punish him, she vents her anger on the protagonist. On the other hand, Snow White still has a good impression of the huntsman.
  14. Neglect: the father seems inexistent and he doesn’t intervene.
  15. Obsession and blindness: The Queen is determined to become the fairest that she doesn’t understand what the mirror of Truth is telling her. She misunderstands the message: the mirror of Truth is telling her that “Schneewittchen” has the better personality. She is a 10000 better than the Queen, as she is more kind and selfless. The Queen doesn’t recognize her true personality.
  16. Abandonment: Notice that Snow White is sent away to woods in order to get murdered. This gesture symbolizes abandonment and betrayal. But the Queen is not the only one to blame. The father doesn’t seem to miss her disappearance as well. He neglects and abandons his daughter.
  17. Selfishness and fake altruism
  18. Death and murders
  19. Hypocrisy: Snow White never discovered the huntsman’s true personality.
  20. Cowardice
  21. The presence of justice and injustice: While the huntsman escaped a punishment, the Queen was sentenced to death: “Iron slippers had already been heated over a fire, and they were brought over to her with tongs. Finally, she had to put on the red-hot slippers and dance until she fell down dead“. This means that the real perpetrator was only caught many years after the crimes. And it is, because the huntsman had told her what the Queen had ordered him to do. She relied on his testimony. But the protagonist never discovered the true thoughts of the huntsman. Yet, like I mentioned above, the hunter was not innocent. He might have committed no big crime towards Snow White, yet he was definitely a sinner and had not a good heart. According to our actual laws, the huntsman has perpetrated a wrongdoing: non-assistance of a person in danger. The moral of this fairytale is that true justice will never happen immediately or even worse: there exists no real justice.
  22. Ambition and Greed: Her quest to be the most beautiful exposes her greed. In fact, her fight is pointless, as she can’t fight against aging. She is already doomed to failure.
  23. Unconscious/conscious: Here, I would like the readers to keep in mind that according to Bruno Bettelheim, the fairytale was speaking to children’s unconscious, while the adults can learn lessons from this story consciously.

And now, it is time to analyze how similar the manhwas are to Snow White.

2. The Pawn’s revenge

As this essay is already long and to outline the similarities, I will put the common denominators to bold. Simultaneously, I will follow the list developed above by examining the main figures.

2. 1. The 7 Dwarves

Since the 7 Dwarves are owners of mines and seem to be very rich, I couldn’t help myself connecting these supernatural creatures to the following characters: Contrary to the fairytale, they embody not innocence, generosity, selflessness and chastity, but the opposite: sex, hypocrisy, corruption, selfishness, ruthlessness and immorality. They are not owners of mines, but they possess brothels which reminded me of chicken farms . They don’t live surrounded by nature and among animals, but in the city. The animals are the humans, they are treated like chickens. In other words, they stand in opposition to the dwarves of the fairytales: corruption, urbanization, poverty and misery. They don’t work themselves, but let others work for them like slaves. Yet they act, as if they were normal citizens abiding laws. This explicates why Ma Jong-Seok hides his affection from Snow White. He can’t be labelled as homosexual. The dwarfs, associated to different vices, symbolize the negative aspects of free market economy and the problems, when the government is not strong enough or too corrupt to stop such an evolution. I could even say, we have here the negative reflection of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves from Walt Disney. Motherhood is no longer sacred, the kids are exposed to any kind of abuse. Snow White is now held captive in the mansion of the dwarves! He is exposed to exploitation, the perverted version of Grimes’ version. In the fairytale, the young girl was supposed to take care of the house in exchange of protection, here we have the opposite: Enslavement. The male prostitute has no choice. But what they didn’t realize is that the witch would betray them. Hence I consider the apple as the tool the witch used to get rid of her rivals! The fruit served as a diversion, she was busy listening to their affairs so that she could develop her plan to climb the social ladders.

2. 2. The witch

Since Jeon Hee Seong was the one who introduced Do Seong-Rok to sex, she can definitely be seen as the witch and evil queen. She seduced him with her experience and insight. She could read him like an open book. She knew that he was so pure and innocent, hence she compared him to a lamb. Her resemblance to the evil mother explains why she is seen with the apple. However, unlike the fairytale, the fruit doesn’t symbolize sexuality, but betrayal. She is actually spying on the boss of the red light district and his minions. She behaves exactly like the Queen, as she is not longing for warmth and love. But her wish is still different, as she wishes power and wealth. Yet, they resemble each other, as both felt somehow powerless. In the fairytale, the absence or passivity of the king, Snow White’s father, gives me the impression that the evil Queen could have been a neglected wife, and the lord selected her as his new wife, out of convenience. He needed to have a wife by his side, and couldn’t remain as a widower. She was treated like a trophy explaining his absence. But because he married her for her beauty, it signifies that she had no power. Her appearance was her source of strength, and now you comprehend why she became obsessed with her image. If she lost her beauty, she would become even more powerless than before. She had nothing else to do. Jeon Hee Seong was forced to marry Choi, and while the Queen from Snow White was neglected, the witch was abused by her husband. So both were unhappy in their marriage and life. This explains their desire to get power in their own way. As the manhwaphiles can detect, both witches have something in common: ambition and greed, though Jeon See Heong uses her beauty differently. She is aware of her own attraction and has no fear or insecurities. She doesn’t need a mirror to tell her how beautiful she is. Her body is her tool, not the mirror. Yet both have another aspect in common: they try not to do the dirty work themselves. Both hire a killer, the only difference is that due to the huntsman’s betrayal, the Queen learned her lesson. She had to do it herself, if she wanted to get rid of her rival. And this leads me to the following observation. The witch from The Pawn’s revenge has two reasons to use others for her dirty work. First, she is no queen, hence she could get charged with murders. Secondly, if we use the fairytale as a parallel, she could have a similar mindset than the huntsman. She doesn’t want to feel burdened by guilt, notice that she is never facing the consequences of her order and decisions. She didn’t see the corpse of her dead husband and the gambler Lee Soon-Cheol. She just communicates through a cellphone. Besides, even Do Seong-Rok felt uncomfortable after killing two people. Hence I perceive Jeon Hee Seong as less bloodthirsty than she appears to be. She could be more of a coward.

On the other hand, in the manhwa the witch is still relying on her lover, Do Seong-Rok. She got angry, when she realized that he had disobeyed her and let him become responsible for Lee Je-Oh. However, it is just a matter of time, until she gets aware that Do Seong-Rok is no longer bewitched by her. In chapter 26, he can no longer have sex with her. Hence we have a parallel with the fairytale: the allusion of aging and change. The woman is no longer attractive to him, because he has perceived her true nature. She manipulated him and he got aware that she was fake. With this, we would another similarity with the fairytale, the distinction between seeming and being. He realizes, that her promises were all an illusion. In this scene, the manhwaphiles can sense her witchcraft.

And since Jeon Hee Seong has already chosen Ahn Jae Oh as her official partner due to his social position, it becomes understandable why her relationship with Do Seong-Rok was doomed to failure. I would say, since the police officer is on the verge to become a congressman, the protagonist could only appear weak to her. His strength were his loyalty and blinded trust. Consequently Ahn reminds me of the king from the fairytale, while I perceive Do Seong-Rok not just as the huntsman, but also as a second Snow White. First, he had dark hair and a white skin like the protagonist. Secondly, he was as pure as Snow White. But since he was neglected and had abandonment issues, he longed for maternal warmth and love. In the Korean version, we see his father promising to come back, an indication that he had no mother. Hence I judge, Do Seong-Rok’s relationship with the witch was a form of an oedipal complex. She served as a surrogate mother, that’s how much he longed for a mother and family. The manhwaphiles will realize the common denominators: neglect and abandonment perceptible in the beginning of the fairytale. Secondly, note that Do Seong-Rok had changed the color of his hair, when he met her again. That’s why I deduce that the card she gave him should be perceived as the apple from the fairytale. (chapter 16) With her appearance, her words and this card, she casted a spell on him. That’s why he was so full of lust during their second encounter. The red hair could be judged as the indication of the lustful spell. Simultaneously, this color implies the loss of virginity and the beginning of adulthood. The most fascinating is that in the bedroom, two colors are prevailing: red and white, which coincidences to the red and white side of the poisoned apple from Snow White. The witch’s beauty was so strong that he had to transform himself. (chapter 16) This was his desire to resemble her, to get closer to her. Since he was a man, the witch didn’t see him as a rival. This explicates why she didn’t feel jealous at all. But for me, there’s no ambiguity that she filled the void left by the missing mother. Hence, since he was having sex with a surrogate mother, this can not be considered as the real discovery of sex. I conclude that when he met Lee Je-Oh, he discovered real sexuality. That’s the reason why he can no longer have any erection with the Queen. If we judge The Pawn’s revenge as a fairytale, then it teaches, homosexuality is a normality. He didn’t know about this, until he saw the male prostitute having sex with the pimp and felt aroused.

Moreover, by sleeping with him, Jeon Hee-Seong somehow committed a sin. Let’s not forget that she was already married. The woman embodies evil, for she promotes cheating, betrayal, murder, selfishness and avidity. Her ambition is to become the Queen of the red light district. This means, the readers are witnessing the raising of the evil mother, who is on the verge of becoming the Queen! But due to her greed and ambition, she doesn’t realize her own blindness. Her arrogance makes her overlook the male prostitute, Lee Je-Oh. She trusts too much her beauty, and believes to be smarter than others. Thus her arrogance is the reason why she will fail in the end. She showed her true face to Do Seong-Rok too soon, when she showed her anger, because the huntsman had disobeyed her order. The man could see a glimpse of her true personality. Due to his past experience, he had learned his lesson. In addition, she is underestimating the power of love. Thus she had planned to betray and abandon her lover, but she doesn’t anticipate the killer’s betrayal. Exactly like the stepmother, she is not reflecting on her own actions. She didn’t pay too much attention to her words over the phone and the consequences. The absence of critical thinking will be another reason why she is doomed to fail: too obsessed to reach the top. She has the impression, she is almost there, the presence of the ring offered by Ahn is the proof of her success. And now, you can see why I saw so many parallels with the fairytale.

2. 3. Snow White and the huntsman

Naturally, this is not surprising that Lee Je-Oh considers Do Seong-Rok as the huntsman. The latter’s actions resemble to the ones from Snow White. Yet, unlike the hunter, the red-haired man has not a weak heart, but a good heart. He is not a coward or a hypocrite. He can feel pity, and doesn’t fear to dirty his hands. On the other hand, he has nightmares, as his unconscious is telling him that he made the wrong choice. And in this scene, we have the presence of conscious and unconscious. He shouldn’t have listened to his lover’s suggestions, but he is still in denial. That’s the reason why he keeps starring and looking at the letter with a fake confession. Hence I believe that contrary to the hunter, he feels some remorse, as he senses that he has been tricked. In my opinion, by sleeping with her, Do Seong-Rok got tainted by her darkness. This explicates why when he strangled Ma Jeong-Sok, he had an erection. And remember that in the Grimms’ version, we had the presence of a lace in connection to Snow White. And this reinforces my interpretation that the killer is actually more a combination of both characters: the huntsman and Snow White. He has become the “perverted version” due to the Queen’s influence, he is her step-son. Striking is that Lee Je-Oh is giving him another interpretation of his wrongdoings: he liberated him from his prison and misery.

2. 4. Snow White and the mirror of Truth

Since Jeong Hee-Seong resembles a lot to Lee Je-Oh, he appears to be indeed the real Snow White. Exactly like Do Seong-Rok and Snow White, he has dark hair, a white skin and red cheeks. Moreover, similar to the Grimms’ version, the main lead has been neglected and abandoned by his father.

Their fate seems similar, yet there is a huge difference. The male prostitute learned not to rely on others. When he tried to free himself, he didn’t ask for help, he stabbed Ma Jong-Seok himself. However, he was encouraged to use the knife by the witch, that’s how he discovered her true personality. Her beauty can no longer bewitch him. Striking is that he could already perceive her true personality, even before knowing her true identity.

In my opinion, Lee Je-Oh is actually a combination of the mirror of Truth and Snow White. Through his comments, he is confronting Do Seong-Rok and forcing him to reflect on his actions, questioning his relationship with the witch. But notice that he has a similar attitude with other characters. He confronts Choi Yeong-Gil with his hypocrisy and negative attitude. Just before the pimp is killed, he confronts him with his true personality and sins. He is responsible for the misery and death of many people. Once cornered, the “dwarf” is forced to confess his affection to Lee Je-Oh. Both dwarves had something in common: hypocrisy. Hence you can comprehend why I come to the conclusion, Lee Je-Oh is the mirror of truth. He embodies honesty and loyalty, just like the protagonist, he longed for a home and family.

Hence the huntsman’s “jail” corresponds more to the house of the dwarfs from the fairy tale. It’s the place where love, trust and innocence are protected. Since I have already predicted a revolution, I believe, Lee Je-Oh will give another sense to Do Seong-Rok’s murders. They will try to destroy this corrupted world full of selfishness and greed. That’s how Lee Je-Oh will become the witch’s rival. He will ruin her plan due to his sense of justice. The manhwaphiles will certainly remember that the fairytale is centered on jealousy, rivalry and competition. The young boy was already jealous that he felt the need to steal the killer. Right after having sex with him, he considers Do Seong-Rok as his boyfriend. He compliments him and caresses him, giving him the warmth and affection the killer had been longing.

What also caught my attention is that both Snow Whites are “corrupted”. While the one kills, the other lies, schemes and steals. This stands in opposition to “Schneewittchen” from the Grimms’ version. It is comprehensible, because both protagonists got tainted by their parents. Lee Je-Oh’s father was selfish and had no sense of responsibility, while Jeon Hee Seong desired to use the main lead’s weaknesses (isolation, lack of experience and innocence) to her advantage. This signifies, both are the products of bad parenting and a ruthless and selfish society. So if the two Snow Whites start working together and keep killing others in order to clean society, what will happen to this city? Chaos. But Lee Je-Oh would see it as delayed justice.

2. 5. The absence of the Prince

Why did Evy say that there was no prince in this story? My explanation is the following. Since the prince embodies “marriage” and in South Korea, homosexual marriage is not allowed, there can’t be a prince. Secondly, since I have already portrayed that the two protagonists have two functions, this signifies that both could also be perceived as the prince. They both free each other, as they give each other what they need. In the episode 27, Lee Je-Oh decided to lie to Kang Hyeon-Jong in order to protect his lover. He gave him an alibi and used the video as an evidence. This means that from now on, he is now responsible for Do Seong-Rok, just like the latter is now accountable for Lee Je-Oh’s survival. And since there’s no justice in this world, I believe that the prostitute Snow White will take matters into his own hands and give justice to others. Remember that Snow White sentenced her stepmother to death! This signifies that she gave justice herself.

As a first conclusion, though The Pawn’s Revenge doesn’t correspond to the definition of a fairytale, the manhwa and Snow White are really similar due to the topics and characters. It truly shows that such stories are a great source of inspiration. Then the readers should question themselves why the city and its inhabitants are portrayed in such a negative light. From my point of view, it is related to the huge political scandals South Korea had to face like for example with the president Park Geun-hye, and the economical boom with the development of new districts which doesn’t lead to a diminution of poverty. Then, there was the Sewol ferry incident, where many students died, while the captain and the crew abandoned them. This terrible event caused a huge mistrust in the authorities and the adults’ hypocrisy and selfishness. As the manhwaphiles can detect, I view this story as a mirror of our modern society: the failure of parents as role model, the disintegration of families… Simultaneously, it teaches the same lessons: recognize hypocrisy, selfishness and the importance of reflection. Lee Je-Oh could become the killer’s ally, the moment he recognized his own mistake. He imagined his intelligence made him superior, he underestimated the huntsman’s strong will. He might have felt pity, but he was not a fool, rather a dangerous man because of his strength. He mistook his innocence for stupidity. That’s why Snow White is superior to the witch.

As you can imagine, I won’t write the comparison with the Painter Of The Night here, for the analysis is already so long, however I would like the readers now to ponder on the following question: Who is the witch with her lustful spell, Snow White, the mirror of truth, the 7 dwarves, the huntsman and the prince in Byeonduck’s work?

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: Silly or pitiful regrets?

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/

Announcement: I updated the essay “Sins”

In the essay “Sins”, I had pointed out the parallels between episode 40 and 75. We had a stroll through town, and both main leads had a long conversation. But there’s another aspect I had overlooked, the reason why both episodes were connected to each other. While the first one stood under the sign of “responsibility”, the other embodies “regrets”. And now, the manhwaphiles can grasp the connection. The moment a person becomes responsible, he must make choices. And if the decision leads to a disaster, then the person will come to regret his choice. This explains why Jung In-Hun stood in the center of both episodes. Thus I will examine the characters’ decisions and regrets.

1. Definition of regret

But before starting, I would like to outline the difference between remorse and regrets, though these expressions are often employed as synonyms. What distinguishes them from each other is the nature of the action and decision. When the person did something wrong and now feels some remorse, it means that the person acknowledges the wrongdoing. On the other hand, there’s an absence of judgement in regret. It’s totally neutral. The person just wished, he or she had made a different choice. This signifies that a person can regret a decision, but feel no remorse. In other words, he has no guilty conscience. This indication might seem anodyne, yet it is the opposite, for in Painter Of The Night, many characters feel regrets, but are not suffering from pangs of conscience. They don’t see their actions as a crime or a sin. This truly exposes that these characters are not reflecting on their actions, even the absence of remorse displays their ruthlessness and selfishness.

2. Jihwa’s regrets and remorse

Naturally, remorse and regret can coexist. We had a perfect example with Jihwa. First, the red-haired master expressed regret concerning the painter’s abduction. (chapter 61) Observe that he has realized that Baek Na-Kyum’s disappearance doesn’t change the situation. Yoon Seungho will never come to return his affection. The abduction and even the murder are totally pointless. Yet, while confessing to his “priest”, he doesn’t acknowledge the wrongdoing perpetrated against the artist, for all his thoughts are revolving around his love for Yoon Seungho. He doesn’t see the pain afflicted to Baek Na-Kyum.

He only feels remorse, when it comes to his childhood friend. (chapter 61) For the first time, he is admitting his sins. He has always hurt his friend (the letter, the ruined painting, the topknot incident, chapter 59), that’s why the main lead could never reciprocate the feelings. And now, you understand why the young master Lee said this: (chapter 59) Since Yoon Seungho would always overlook his wrongdoings, the latter never felt the urge to reflect on his actions. Why should he feel regret or even remorse, for their relationship never changed? But with the painter everything changed. The noble would no longer close an eye to Jihwa’s sins.

Under this new light, the manhwaphiles can grasp why Jihwa made the following reproach to his friend. (chapter 59) Lee Jihwa used the name of lord Song on purpose, he knew definitely that this would scare and wound Yoon Seungho. I am even thinking that he imagined Yoon Seungho would behave like in the past, refusing to leave his mansion. Since I interpreted that the lord had a flashback in episode 1, I deduce Jihwa had planned with a letter to cause a flashback in Seungho, just like he had done in the past: the topknot incident. We had two clues for this signification.

First, Yoon Seungho had also triggered a flashback in his lover Na-Kyum unconsciously, when he trapped him under the bed in episode 66. Secondly, the childhood friend had discovered the main lead’s weakness (chapter 59). In this panel, Yoon Seungho has a flashback. Thus, Jihwa used this to his advantage, when he was displeased with the protagonist. Nevertheless, I suspect that Lee Jihwa was not truly responsible for the topknot incident, for he had been incited by Min’s words. Yet, instead of regretting his actions, the second lead preferred putting the whole blame on the victim, which often happens with perpetrators and accomplices. He didn’t want to be confronted with his terrible reflection. So back then the young lord Lee didn’t reflect on his actions, rejected his responsibility, for he didn’t want to feel guilty. Let’s not forget that the painter is just a low-born, the second lead didn’t see him as a human.

As you can imagine, Jihwa didn’t realize his wrongdoing, when he let the painter abducted. Since he was still alive, nothing had happened. But the moment Yoon Seungho barged into his room confronting him with his bad action, the other recognized that he had indeed hurt his friend again. But unfortunately, he didn’t learn the right lesson from this experience. He started regretting that the painter was alive. He had now in his mind this: if the artist vanishes, then his crime and sin will disappear. (chapter 61) Really silly regrets! As you can see, he decided to make the opposite decision. And now, you comprehend why Lee Jihwa remained silent, when he got confronted by the Joker. (chapter 76) Min had used his past to bind him to the second scheme. That’s his “punishment” for using the past as a way to tame his childhood friend. This truly shows Jihwa’s lack of intelligence. He never takes time to ponder over events and behaviors. He takes words and behavior as face-values. This is totally normal, for neither Yoon Seungho nor father Lee encouraged him to nurture his mind. Sure, the main lead was too hurt to take this burden. Besides, this is not his role, for he is not his guardian.

The irony is that unlike in the past, Yoon Seungho showed real leniency and forgiveness towards his friend. (chapter 67) He caused a commotion, but he never reported the incident to the authorities. Once again, we can detect father Lee’s stupidity, hypocrisy and superficiality. He didn’t scold or warn his son again despite the main lead’s request, allowing Min to influence his son in the bad way.

As a conclusion, as long as the red-haired aristocrat doesn’t acknowledge his sins towards Baek Na-Kyum, he will keep making mistakes and never learn his lessons.

Hence it is totally possible that Jihwa gets punished, when the second crime occurs, even if he is not participating actively. One might get upset and argue that he is innocent this time. But like I said it before, passivity and silence are indeed crimes! He doesn’t use his knowledge to stop a kidnapping and a rape, therefore it is failure to assist a person in danger. Moreover, the readers will certainly remember that The Joker’s second plan was to ask Jihwa to do nothing, while Min would impersonate him at the kisaeng house.

I can’t help myself thinking that Jihwa could obtain his friend’s forgiveness, though the former gets punished by the authorities. Let’s not forget that once the officers get notified, the system can not be stopped so easily. One thing is sure: Jihwa will learn to recognize the nature of a sin, real guilt and the importance of reflection. He needs to focus on education, exactly like Baek Na-Kyum. The only difference is that the latter never had the access to books and to a real good teacher. But let’s stop here with the predictions.

3. The priest’s sins

So the moment the young master Lee expressed his remorse in front of the criminal, the latter changed into a priest receiving a confession. Since the latter is an assassin or thief, he embodies sins and guilt. That’s why he could only become Jihwa’s mirror. The former definitely dirtied his own hands by accepting requests from nobles, while Jihwa accepted to “soil” his hands for Min’s sake by hiring No-Name. The “butcher” will teach to Jihwa the true meaning of guilt and sins. In addition, he shows him the ugly side from aristocrats through their actions. (chapter 61)

Naturally, I believe that No-Name is not different from Jihwa, putting the blame on others and not recognize his own culpability. He puts the blame on the aristocrats, as they are the masterminds behind the crimes. That’s the reason why he showed pity towars Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 66) With these words, he expressed a certain remorse linked to pity, yet it was limited, for he viewed the nobles as the culprits. He never included himself in the reproach, he even showed himself in a good light (“I’ll let you go”). According to him, he was benevolent and generous. But he contradicted himself, as he threatened his prey. (chapter 66) Moreover, there’s no ambiguity, the painter didn’t pay attention to this confession. The Joker wanted his victim to remember his threat, thus Na-Kyum could only forget the helping hand’s “good heart”. This explicates why the painter got so frightened that he even got a nightmare, he kept remembering the mask of the Joker. (chapter 61) As a reminder: Baek Na-Kyum never saw Nameless’ face. This image is related to Jihwa at the tavern. (chapter 59) His pity for the noble Jihwa was stronger than for Baek Na-Kyum’s, hence he didn’t see the negative side of his last actions. In his mind, he had truly showed his good heart! But the painter let him see in chapter 76 the real impact of his so-called “good heart”.

The latter got a flashback because of the mask and the clothes. Baek Na-Kyum noticed the mask and the colors (purple/beige), visible in the nightmare. Nonetheless, even if the aristocrats are schemers, the assistants are by no mean pure and innocent. They are accomplices, and their silence is one of the reasons why the lords are not punished. In addition, without helping hands, the nobles wouldn’t be able to commit so many wrongdoings easily, for they would be forced to witness the consequences of their own actions. (chapter 61) They might feel remorse. Jihwa got so horrified by the brutality, he had to vomit. As you can see, both second leads have a similar attitude in the beginning. This explicates why neither Jihwa nor the Joker recognized the real nature of their wrongdoing, when they took away the artist.

Yet, the incident in town served as an eye-opener for the Joker. (chapter 76) The latter could realize that his action had affected Baek Na-Kyum. He definitely sensed that the artist had a panic attack and he couldn’t act, as if nothing had happened. This explicates why he kept looking at his previous target. (chapter 76) He could see with his own eyes that both main characters had an affection for each other. Consequently, I deduce that he made the opposite decision from Jihwa. The low-born recognized his sin and guilt. This is the other reason why first he rejects Min’s suggestion and even gets infuriated (chapter 76), when he gets threatened by Min. He won’t act, as if nothing happened. In fact, now he has every reason to get involved again, though he is refusing the participation. He is well aware that he could get framed. Min already warned him. (chapter 76) That’s why exactly like in the beginning of the second season, he will remain passive by monitoring the nobles’ moves. He will definitely use other channels to get updated. And one more time, I am confirming my prediction that Nameless will play a key-role in Min’s defeat. He will definitely help the two protagonists and even Jihwa indirectly by confronting him with his true image.

As you see, I judge Nameless in a better light, though he’s a murderer. He is slowly recognizing that this world is not black and white. His actions are truly condemnable, but I have the impression, he will become Yoon Seungho’s hand of justice. As long as The Joker supports a crime, he is not blameless. His courage, patience and intelligence are his strengths, hence he was able to make the right decision in episode 76. He was no longer willing to dirty his hands for others. Hence I connect him to “pitiful regrets”.

4. Baek Na-Kyum’s regrets

In episode 75, the painter expressed many regrets.

4. 1. The guilty Yoon Seungho and Heena

One of them is that he regretted his decision to stay by the lord’s side. Remember that in chapter 68, he announced to his sister that he wouldn’t follow her. This could only upset his noona, hence she said this: (chapter 65) She implied that her brother would come to regret his choice, as he had not realized that he was pressured and it was a rushed decision. She instigated fear in her brother letting him know that such a “love” is just a trivial and temporary emotion. Since the lord had changed, exactly like his noona had predicted, the painter was starting regretting his choice, for he was getting more and more swayed by the noble’s good and kind behavior, while the other had a different evolution: he would love him less and lose his interest for him. The painter was interpreting the inexistence of love sessions as a sign of disinterest from Yoon Seungho, for the latter had always expressed his love through sex. The artist feared a change of heart from his lover. Hence the former felt awful, while in reality he was responsible for his own misery. He just needed to approach the lord himself, as the latter had already declared that he would view Baek Na-Kyum as a lord. But notice that though he was regretting, he put the blame on his lover. He didn’t want to assume the responsibility of his choice, he preferred blaming his companion. Since he had refused to listen to his “mother”, he needed to find someone else for his wrong decision.

Yet, we all know that in chapter 69, Yoon Seungho had planned to let him go, visible thanks to this image: This was a new version of this situation: (chapter 34) The problem is that in episode 69, Yoon Seungho never let his companion know. He didn’t even show it by opening the door for him.

But the low-born’s reaction to make Yoon Seungho into the guilty one is normal, because the young man was actually imitating Heena. When the latter met her surrogate son, she put the whole blame on her brother. (chapter 68) He is now in this situation, because he didn’t come back to the kisaeng house and he didn’t write to her. When the artist dismisses her reproach, he was just following her request, she diverts his attention by saying: (chapter 68) With these words, she implies that that this is not the time for regret. They have more urgent matters. Because she worries so much for him, they should quickly leave the mansion. And note, at no moment she expresses regret, when she sent him away from the kisaeng house. The absence of regret and remorse from Heena is palpable in this panel too: Here, she makes an allusion that if anything, Jung In-Hun is accountable for that situation, for he was supposed to look after him. As a conclusion, the head-kisaeng has never regretted her decision. She even had not the impression that she had done something wrong towards her son. Let’s not forget that she never contacted him herself during their separation and this for a long time (more than 15 months). This means, she doesn’t view herself as a sinner. Her remorseless and regretless attitude really exposes her selfishness, for she is blind to the wounds she afflicted to Baek Na-Kyum: abandonment issues.

And now, you comprehend why Baek Na-Kyum copied her afterwards. Her behavior tainted on him. Furthermore, I believe that her words and attitude must have wounded her son unconsciously. He must have sensed her lack of sensitivity and selfishness deep down, explicating why he decided to put his fate into Yoon Seungho’s hands, though he feared him. With this new interpretation, it becomes understandable why the painter felt regret later. It was a combination of fears initiated by Heena’s words and his intuition, which he mistrusted now. As you can imagine, I judge his “regret” as quite silly, especially because he was contradicting himself. On the one hand, he had been pleased with the change (chapter 74), on the other hand he judged the change as something bad: futile and superficial. So in the tavern, the artist was wishing that he had listened to his noona . But fortunately, his random encounter with Nameless made him realize that such thoughts were totally pointless. (For more, read the essay “Sins”) Because the lord had changed, he saved and comforted Baek Na-Kyum. He had acted the exact opposite to his attitude during and after the abduction. He rushed to his side, exactly like Baek Na-Kyum had hoped (chapter 60) With this incident, the painter experienced that the noble’s feelings had not changed at all, and he was indeed reliable and trustworthy. That’s why he closed his eyes at the end. His intuition had not misled him. This signifies that from that moment on, the painter will stick to his initial choice. He won’t leave Yoon Seungho’s side. At the same time, this incident with Nameless destroyed the little power Heena still had over her son. Now, the son is living his life as an grown-up without his mother’s interference.

4. 2. The remorseful painter and scholar

But before regretting his decision to stay in the mansion, the low-born expresses his regret concerning painting. But it only occurs, when the lord gets curious about the reason why he dropped his passion. (chapter 75) He was missing painting. Deep down he wished, he hadn’t vowed to stop painting, because he was so sad and hurt. Though he felt so miserable, he saw it as an obligation, for it was his punishment. Because of him, Jung In-Hun had failed to secure a position. (chapter 75) This means, Baek Na-Kyum felt remorseful. He had the impression, he had done something wrong. It was, as if he had sinned, therefore losing his passion was the price he had to pay for his sin.

This topic came to the surface, because Baek Na-Kyum had started talking about his past and more precisely about his lessons revolving around sin and afterlife, reinforcing my interpretation that the kisaeng house was a place full of Christians. This truly shows that the young artist only received a religious education, because he still can neither write nor read.

In this scene, the painter looks really pitiful, for he is blaming himself entirely. The sin is so big that he accepts the scholar’s hatred towards him. (chapter 75) This explicates why for each bad action Jung In-Hun did towards him before, the latter would still overlook the betrayal and abandonment. He accepted all of this deep down, as he felt culpable. Thus the manhwaphiles can comprehend why Jung In-Hun is still so sure about his power over the painter, (chapter 44) and even left him without biding goodbye, though he had hurt him so deeply before. He knows the artist’s weaknesses: his adoration for him and his so-called sin. Thus the teacher appears as remorseless. He has no regret either. He never suffered from huge pangs of conscience, when he beat him or abandoned him. (chapter 6) His attitude resembles a lot to Heena’s.

But remember how I described this conversation in the inn. I compared it to a confession, and Yoon Seungho was a priest embodying Truth.

Back then, he just said this to Baek Na-Kyum (chapter 75). He tried to free his lover from his guilty conscience. But I doubt that these words were enough for liberate the painter from his remorse. Therefore I am suspecting that in the next season, Yoon Seungho will be forced to reveal the true reason why the scholar failed to secure a high position and expose his lie to Baek Na-Kyum.

Remember how he sent a black man to dig information about the learned sir. For this story is going in circle, we have to anticipate that the protagonist will repeat this action. However, this time he could ask for the learned sir’s dirty secrets. Another possibility is that he mentions the Christian religion, for I am suspecting the scholar of using this religion to get free support from low-borns. And this attempt of separating the learned sir from the painter would definitely serve Kim’s interests, as the latter had already tried to ruin the relationship between the artist and the teacher during the first season. The butler’s initial goal was that the main lead doesn’t meddle in politics and official positions. He had to lie low in order not to attract the attention from the king.

While the painter is still attached to the scholar by his sin, the moment the truth is unveiled, the artist has no reason to feel responsible for the scholar’s fate. And now, the readers can comprehend why the artist said this to the head-kisaeng. (chapter 68) It was not just, because he wanted to hide his true emotions and thoughts from his mother, he was still bound by his “sin”. Besides, he has other “sins” to cover up: Heena is still unaware of his illiteracy. Remember how the painter felt embarrassed. Once Baek Na-Kyum is freed from his guilty conscience, no one can stand in the way of the lovers.

Therefore I conclude that the scholar has still power over the painter, but it is just a matter of time, until the scholar’s lie is unveiled to Baek Na-Kyum. Byeonduck has already announced that Jung In-Hun’s secret and past will be revealed soon. With such a prediction, Kim will appear in a good light, as he will give the impression that he is helping his lord and the painter again. His stans will come to the deduction that I was totally wrong. However, the explanation is quite simple. Kim’s interests will be just aligned with Yoon Seungho’s. But this doesn’t mean that once the learned sir is sent away, Kim will remain passive again. In fact, this could lead the lord’s next mistake. He trusts the butler one more time, and since the butler has achieved one goal, he can let the second kidnapping occur without dirtying his hands. That way, he can become the unofficial lord of the mansion again. Since I am predicting that Jihwa will do nothing, I am expecting that the valet fakes a letter, for the butler was always connected to a fake letter.

4. 3. Painting and regrets

In chapter 75, the painter felt regretful, when he had to renounce on his passion: painting. And I started pondering about this aspect. I wondered if Heena didn’t regret herself that she allowed her son to draw such erotic pictures. (chapter 1) We know that she neglected him, as she was too young to assume her responsibility as a mother. So maybe she regretted adopting him, hence she wanted to share her burden with others (kisaengs and the scholar). She must have resented him at some point for painting such images, as she despises sex. But then I realized one important aspect in the following panel. Heena could only see the lewd pictures, not the boy’s passion for painting. She never realized that if she had encouraged him to paint something else, he would have picked up a different topic: painting nature and landscapes.

However, since the kisaeng was overwhelmed with the task, the orphan was trapped in a kisaeng house. Besides, the young mother viewed the kisaeng house as a prison. Secondly, in this place people only come for entertainment, yet they act behind veils and closed doors. Hence he could never witness what was going on there. And if the door was open, he witnessed violence. (chapter 68)

So since Baek Na-Kyum was encaged in such a house, he could only seek for topics within his reach. Hence at some point he caught two men having sex as peeping tom. This topic fascinated him so much that he started painting. But deep down, his true desire was just painting. Since the kisaeng neglected him, she couldn’t change the topic of his drawings. That’s why she blamed Baek Na-Kyum for this passion. She associated painting to erotic pictures.

What caught my attention is that Baek Na-Kyum was so impressed by the lord’s orchid. (chapter 75) Then he even created an inauguration painting with Jung In-Hun, revealing that he was inspired by his admiration and love proving that sex is not his obsession. He is just misunderstood by Heena noona. Consequently, I believe that later he will regret to have painted such an image (chapter 44), as it doesn’t reflect reality. That’s why I come to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho could become the painter’s teacher, and not just his muse. As a painter himself, he will incite his companion to select other topics. Let’s not forget that the noble invited his “guest” to a hunt. We should envisage that Yoon Seungho makes a similar request: they go outdoors so that the painter can paint a landscape.

In reality, Baek Na-Kyum became an erotic painter due to his circumstances, while his true passion was just painting. Heena never gave him the opportunity to nurture his talent, too blinded by her prejudices and belief.

But as you can imagine, though Heena and the scholar have a similar attitude, I am expecting a different evolution. The kisaeng will be confronted by her sins (not teaching her son writing and reading, misjudging the learned sir’s true nature, her abandonment and betrayal), hence she will feel immense remorse, whereas it won’t be the case for the learned sir. The latter will mostly regret his decisions by putting the blame on others. Silly regrets for Jung In-Hun, but pitiful regrets for the mother, as the latter always believed that she was acting out of love and selflessness.

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 predictions 😉

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/

Now, you might wonder if I have not developed an obsession with the tears. This is already the fourth essays about this topic, if I include the analysis about Baek Na-Kyum’s tears. However, remember that in the composition entitled “Tears and characters – part 1”, I had explained that Min’s tear had inspired me.

And now, it is time to reveal my theory. For the first time in the manhwa, we had a combination between tears and humor. Furthermore, just after Nameless had mentioned the intercourse between him and Jihwa, the latter had punched him in the stomach. However, as you can imagine, the lord’s punch didn’t hurt the criminal at all. But since Nameless didn’t desire to embarrass his former sexual partner, he acted, as if he had been hurt. In other words, he wasn’t actually honest, when he said this: “That hurt, my lord”. (chapter 76) For the readers, the situation was transformed into a joke and comedy, exactly like Black Heart pointed out right after. Yet, for the villain, it was a serious situation: “Jihwa had fallen so deeply into sodomy that he had reached to a low-born!” Besides, Min hadn’t been able to taste himself the painter.

And this combination between humor and tears made me realize that at the end of the story, the readers should expect that Baek Na-Kyum or Jihwa will cry out of laughing. Byeonduck’s fanarts are already indicating this, because the artist is always seen laughing with an open mouth. This signifies that Yoon Seungho and Nameless will make jokes and tease their partners. In this picture, the noble is biting the artist’s finger. Let’s not forget that both ukes are always crying so much, when they are sad, angry and pained. It displays that they tear up easily.

Besides, Painter Of The Night indeed contains many jokes and pranks, but there are not perceptible right away. Let me give you another example. (Chapter 67) Nameless excused his roughness with his lack of experiences. But the readers are well aware that The Joker did it from the back with the kisaeng in episode 51 and he has quite a reputation. And when I combined the low-born’s excuse with Jihwa’s reaction, I couldn’t help myself laughing. The latter was so innocent here, for he believed the man. He wasn’t able to recognize why Nameless rubbed him so raw. His description reflected the butcher’s passionate desires. The latter couldn’t restrain himself. His heart had been moved by the aristocrat’s remorse and tears. The criminal could sense his purity despite his horrible intentions. The young master imagined that for the criminal had never done it with a man before, he would be more careful. Moreover, if he had done it with women before, in his eyes, it signified, the lover was quite delicate and tender. In other words, Nameless hid his sexual desires and affection behind a false excuse. We have another indication that the low-born did more than rubbing. He left many hickeys on his sex partner, a sign of possession and passion. For the first time, Jihwa experienced what a love session is, but didn’t recognize it. 😉 Nameless is well aware that the aristocrat has no real affection for him, therefore he has to hide his true emotions behind a joke.

In addition, we have Yoon Seungho who keeps playing pranks (chapter 16: , 74 and teasing his lover (chapter 23) (chapter 75). Nevertheless the latter hasn’t truly recognized his master’s sense of humor due to social norms.

Baek Na-Kyum is always worried about his doctrines and appearances. In chapter 16, he was fighting against his arousal and didn’t want to get caught. In episode 23, he tried to hide the fact that he had stolen the bottle of wine. Then in chapter 39, he was uncomfortable, because the tailor could see the nature of their relationship. In episode 75, he is still in denial that he is hoping for more. Therefore he refuses to admit the truthfulness of his lover’s words. Baek Na-Kyum could only blush, each time he was teased. Consequently I come to the conclusion that the protagonist will only shed tears out of laughing, when he has been able to overcome the social norms. That’s why the moment the artist won’t feel flustered any longer, he can pay attention to his lover’s words and behavior and grasp his intentions. From that moment on, he will sense the main lead’s sense of humor. On the other hand, this can only happen rather late in the story. Furthermore, since Jihwa is very similar to Baek Na-Kyum, for both are trying to follow traditions and are influenced by their peers (Min- Heena), it signifies that the young master will have a similar evolution.

As a conclusion, I am predicting that at the end of the story, the jokers Nameless and Yoon Seungho will make their respective partner laugh so much with their words and gestures that tears will come out. However, so far none of the ukes could enjoy the pranks and comical situations. Both were always very serious, because they are influenced by humorless and austere people: Min, Heena and Jung In-Hun.

Now, I will explain why I perceive them as unhumorous persons. The kisaeng lives in an environment, where she needs to entertain the rich and powerful nobles. That’s the reason why jokes are a synonym for work for the sister. In other words, humor is linked to seriousness. Besides, I think, she has never experienced fun with lightness. She was trained to make the clients laugh. Moreover, I would like to remind that Black Heart is no real jester, as his pranks are always aiming at hurting others, he wants to be entertained in detriment of others. This villain’s humor stands for Schadenfreude which is no real humor. As for the scholar, he is only focused on his dream: getting a high position, that’s why he never interacts with people. He only meets commoners, when he needs them. In other words, he is always very serious and doesn’t understand humor at all. This explicates why he failed to recognize the lord’s sarcasm in chapter 6. He took the compliments as face-value, but if he had paid attention to the tone of the voice and the smirk from the protagonist, he would have realized the situation: he was seen as a joke by Yoon Seungho. 😂

The presence of jokes and pranks truly shows that Painter Of The Night is not just a heavy drama and romance, the story contains humor as well. But the problem is that the jokes are and were never obvious. (see for example the scene with the book in episode 6) Only attentive readers can catch these little details. I have to admit that one of my favorite chapters from the first season is indeed the episode 6 due to the lord’s teasing and cynical remark. It’s because I laughed so much that I fell in love with this character. His sense of irony revealed his intelligence. My readers will certainly remember that my first essays were always about the infamous sodomite, who was greatly misunderstood by the manhwaphiles. And now you know why.

So my question is: Do you like the idea? Do you want to see Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa crying out laughing?🤣 This would be a perfect ending for me, because this would compensate the readers for the long agony experienced while reading this manhwa. Besides, this would explain why Byeonduck created such happy fanarts.

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 2 (Version with 10 different pictures) – 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/

Now, it is time to focus on Black Heart and his famous tear.  (chapter 76) Contrary to Baek Na-Kyum and Jihwa’s crying, the villain is shedding one single tear while laughing. It looks like he’s having fun and entertained. But if you replace the scene in the whole context, you’ll come to a different conclusion.

1. The context of Min’s tear

He is actually far from enjoying this “joke”. First, he had to witness before that he had been defeated by his rival Yoon Seungho.  He couldn’t separate them. He was so annoyed and upset by the situation that he vomited. In other words, he was green of envy and simultaneously he was green (sickly)🤢🤮 due to his opium consumption. This signifies that he was definitely not in the best mood.

Then in the shed, he hears from Nameless that Jihwa had sex with the criminal behind his back.  Though it looks like this secret puts him back in a good mood, I noticed two details:

  1. His eyes are always closed, especially when the tear comes out
  2. Secondly, his laugh is very short-lived.

2. The closed eyes and the tear

The manhwaphiles should wonder why the Joker has his eyes closed. It can’t be explained with the laughing, as his laugh comes to an quick end (only 2 HAHA), and he is already talking to Jihwa and the commoner. But observe that while mocking his puppet, he avoids eye contact. So why does he have closed eyes? In order to get an answer, I tried to compare it to the previous situations, when he laughed. That’s how I realized that Byeonduck never let the readers see his gaze, when he was laughing.

  • chapter 19: 
  • Chapter 43 
  • Chapter 53: 
  • Chapter 54: 
  • Chapter 69: 

The absence of his face (19, 43, 54, 69) and of his eyes (chapter 53) is an indication that he is actually wearing a mask. That’s why I deduce that the Joker is actually closing his eyes in front of the second leads, for he is attempting to hide his pain and vulnerability. After seeing how Baek Na-Kyum escaped from all his traps (the wine, the sex orgy, the murder, the kidnapping, the gangrape, the rape, the sex at the kisaeng house), he has to discover that he is also losing control over his puppet Jihwa. This can only increase his stress and bad mood. The manhwaphiles should remember how much Black Heart loves using his power and influence over Yoon Seungho’s childhood friend. That way, he feels powerful. This explicates why he punished him in chapter 67. He made sure to scare and humiliate him so that the latter would become obedient again:  .

But during that night, he hears that Jihwa had even violated social norms. His disciple had sex with a commoner. Let’s not forget that the second lead had declared this in chapter 18: 

Jihwa: “Yoon Seungho has fallen into sodomy that he is now reaching for a low-born”.

In my eyes, the red-haired aristocrat was just repeating what Min and the other nobles were advocating. This sexual encounter between the second leads could only infuriate Black Heart, as the latter in reality follows traditions blindly out of fear.

3. Fear and laugh

Here, I need to elaborate the signification of Min’s laugh. In truth, his laugh is not a signal for pleasure and excitement, but the opposite. It reveals his discomfort and anxieties. This means, his laugh is linked to negative emotions and nervousness, which the character tries to mask from the others. Why do I interpret it so? I could use the situation from chapter 53. He has just been punched by Yoon Seungho and he fell onto the ground. This was definitely painful. But notice that though he is laughing, he is hiding his mouth with his hand, a sign that he is masking his true thoughts and emotions. In this panel, the readers are seeing Min the clown as his best. The covered mouth and the absence of the eyes are strong indications that he is not honest at all here. Since he is laughing, we have to imagine, he is feeling the opposite: scared and hurt. But he has to grin and bear it. That’s his MO in my eyes. Furthermore, there exists this famous study organized by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram that revealed people often laughed nervously in uncomfortable situations. People in his study were asked to give electric shocks to a stranger, with the shocks becoming increasingly powerful (up to 450 volts). The higher the shocks, the more the participants were laughing in order to mask their embarrassment and fear. They did it to reassure themselves and give the impression to others that this was normal.

One might argue that in episode 43, Black Heart had no reason to feel discomfort. He was truly making fun of Jihwa’s hypocritical behavior.  But even so, this truly outlines that while he was truly mocking Jihwa in episode 43, the new version of this scene (chapter 76) has to be different. Why? It is because this time, Jihwa didn’t act, like Min had anticipated. In chapter 36, The Joker had made sure that the second lead wouldn’t stick to his promise. He had manipulated him to visit Yoon Seungho’s mansion. In chapter 76, Min has to discover that nothing he had planed worked out. The assassination didn’t take place immediately, then he never involved Min like requested. Finally, Jihwa had even sex with the criminal. That’s why this comparison even reinforced my interpretation that Min’s laugh is more often a sign of stress, anxieties and negative emotions than real pleasure and enjoyment. Consequently I believe that the tear and the laugh are in truth a sign of discomfort, pain and stress.

4. The tear and Black Heart’s comment

But there’s another clue why I believe that his tear is the result of negative emotions.

What caught my attention is the presence of an oxymoron: a comedy of errors. While comedy stands for fun and lightness, error embodies gravity and seriousness. The contradiction indicates the presence of emotions, the noble is definitely torn apart by this revelation. Besides, notice the idiom “you found yourself in” which portrays Jihwa as weak and rather stupid. The words imply that the disciple is a puppet. According to Min, he had sex, because Nameless convinced his disciple to this. He was a victim of circumstances in Min’s eyes. That’s why his words truly exposes a huge reproach. Black Heart’s words reflect that he is very serious in that moment, he is even talking about money.

If I had to rephrase his true thoughts, this would be the result: “How could he let himself be so manipulated to make such a mistake? Is this a joke?” That’s why I believe that Min is not shedding a tear out of joy or out of laughing, rather because he is frustrated and pained. That’s the reason why in the same scene he will lose his temper in front of Nameless, and shows his true face: nasty, violent and arrogant.  And note the contrast of the mouth. The lips are positioned in the opposite way than when he smiles. And now, you understand why Min had his eyes closed. He was hiding his true emotions from the others, as the eyes are the mirror of the soul. Yet during that night he could no longer keep his mask as the Joker.

5. The signification of the tear

Another huge divergence is that unlike all the other characters weeping, he only sheds one tear which is quite significant. This shows that Min’s heart has been wounded, yet due to his true personality, he can’t cry buckets. Let’s not forget that I had already diagnosed him as someone suffering from ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder). His lack of empathy is the explanation of his lack of tears.

One might say that this is just a crocodile tear.

This is definitely correct in the sense that the lord fakes his happiness and pleasure, while in my opinion he is masking his hurt, frustration and stress. In that panel, he is definitely a hypocrite, nonetheless I doubt that his emotions are insincere. It is just that he is a crocodile himself, therefore he has never shed a tear before.

As you can perceive, the appearance of the tear is important in my eyes. We have to imagine that until the appearance of the painter Min felt bored to death or better said bored to tears.

“bored to death/bored to tears”: extremely bored to the point of distraction, frustration or irritation. quoted from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/bore+to+death%2ftears%2c+to

That’s why he kept looking for fun and entertainment.  (chapter 66) Striking is that when the lord found Baek Na-Kyum in a terrible situation, he looked excited. In my opinion, the situation was pleasing to his eyes for two reasons. Min could see how Yoon Seungho had mistreated the painter, therefore he sensed that he could have an opportunity to approach the artist. Since Yoon Seungho was not willing to share his lover to others,. Min had only one possibility left: separate the couple. That’s why he found it entertaining. He imagined that his chances to taste the low-born had increased. This explicates why he takes pleasure in the misery of others. He is able to profit from the suffering of others. In other words, he never had to put a lot of effort. Everything was always delivered to him on a silver plate.

But since he was using others to play his games, this means that Min never had to work either. I am quite certain, the readers remember this idiom:

blood, sweat and tears”: a huge amount of effort, dedication and hard work. quoted from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/blood%2c+sweat%2c+and+tears

That’s another explanation why he couldn’t shed a tear. Note that during the first season, he made requests to Yoon Seungho (chapter 19, 33). The latter had to bring the painter to the bedchamber in order to show the pictures or to bring him to the sex orgy. Then he asked the same thing during the second season. The host had to fetch his artist. Then he incited Jihwa to hire Nameless and gave him the information about the criminal. Nonetheless he never went there himself. Striking is that the more he lusted after Baek Na-Kyum, the more he became proactive. In chapter 56, he visited his “student” on his own, and made the request to be involved: “Let me in on it”. Then he visited the protagonist’s mansion on his own in chapter 66, this signifies that he was more and more walking around. In chapter 69, we see him waiting at the kisaeng house. He hoped to meet the artist there, thinking that Baek Na-Kyum would want to run away from Yoon Seungho. The fact that Byeonduck portrayed Min walking in so different scenes (52, 56, 66, 76) is an indication that Min is becoming more and more active. In poetry and literature, the walk is often a metaphor for life. That’s why I come to the conclusion that the tear symbolizes Min’s revival. Hence this picture truly mirrors Min’s life before his meeting with Baek Na-Kyum. (quoted from https://9gag.com/gag/awXAwnW) This image is inspired by the song “Beautiful” written by Eminem, because the latter referred to the presence of a mask and act by singing “hide behind the tears of a clown”.

As you can observe, Black Heart is making a similar experience than Yoon Seungho. He is starting to live his true life and as such dropping his disguise: The Joker. And this picture truly mirrors Min’s life before his meeting with Baek Na-Kyum. But old habits are hard to die.  

Min: “What if I said I could have you killed?” (chapter 76)

He threatened the criminal to have him eliminated. His words expose that Black Heart wouldn’t still do it himself, but he would use others. On the other hand, his remark displays a transformation, for Min is now taking responsibility for a person’s death. By becoming more active, he is no longer running away from accountability. This signifies that at some point, he will be responsible for his own actions and words and won’t be able to put the blame on others. Simultaneously, this situation forces him to show his true colors. However, there’s a huge difference between the wealthy main lead and Black Heart. Instead of transforming into a phoenix and shine, Black Heart will turn into a monster, a zombie. Since Min can now feel pain, this indicates that he is alive. I can’t help myself associating him to rotting flesh due to the opium and his nausea. Because of the connection between work and tears, I am expecting that Min will begin to show an interest in the officials and get in touch with Jung In-Hun.

6. The tear and the clown

To summarize, the Joker was always hiding his true self from others. He played The Joker in order to cover up his own anxieties, emotions and thoughts. Then he never had to make any effort. Finally, he always felt entitled due to his social status. Thereby I come to the conclusion that Black Heart was quite similar than Yoon Seungho in the end. He was also living like a ghost, yet he was different at the same time. Since he fears to break social norms, yet resents them deeply, he learned that he had to hide his true self behind a mask. Therefore he became a clown, a Joker who would use others as his puppets and as such toys. But as a clown, he couldn’t show his true emotions, for it was not his “function”.

tears of a clown: A phrase used to describe a person who appears joyful and chipper around people but is actually emotionally distraught. Usually this results from heartbreak or a severely stubbed toe.  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tears%20of%20a%20clown

This expression corresponds totally to the image from chapter 76: , the clown was in really distressed and wounded, but he had to grin and bear it. He had to keep playing his role of the Joker, until his position as the puppet master got threatened by Nameless’ intervention. This explicates why The Joker had to stop Nameless from talking. The Joker realized that the commoner could have a huge influence over the second lead.

Min: “Such insolence from a filthy, lowly cutthroat…. How dare you, a worthless peasant, question your superior? You’d do well to bite your tongue and keep playing your tricks, jester.” (chapter 76)  

He attempted to humiliate him through insults, but nothing worked on the commoner. In this scene, Min was defeated for the first time, though he managed to keep the red-haired noble by his side.

7. The tear and Min’s obsession

Since I elaborated that Min and Yoon Seungho had so many similarities, the Joker’s tear is another indication that the main lead will also come to cry. Yet, contrary to Black Heart, I am expecting the lord crying a river. In addition, this means that the reason for the appearance of Min’s tear is caused by Baek Na-Kyum, though it happened in front of Lee Jihwa. On the other hand, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that the latter is a different version of Baek Na-Kyum. Therefore we have to imagine that in the past Min became interested in the second lead due to his closeness to Yoon Seungho too. That’s the reason why Min chose to snatch Jihwa from Yoon Seungho. Remember the main lead’s words in chapter 55:

Yoon Seungho: “I brought you here as a new plaything, that’s all…” (chapter 55)

Because the main character and Min are similar, this image is in my eyes an evidence that Min considered Jihwa as his plaything too. First, the protagonist showed an interest in painting, so did Min. The former was close to his childhood friend, therefore Black Heart desired the same relationship between Jihwa and himself. And now, you comprehend why he is determined to taste the painter. Yoon Seungho’s gaze revealed that he was sexually attracted to the painter, and the latter had a similar reaction. Hence Min feels the need to lust after Baek Na-Kyum. But he is making a huge mistake: for he sensed sexual attraction in their gaze, he believes that this is the real foundation of the relationship between the two main leads. Yet, it becomes obvious that Black Heart has fallen in love with the painter, but unlike Yoon Seungho, the Joker is not willing to admit this. He fears the consequences: to be laughed.

But why is Min so obsessed with the main lead? It is, because he envies the protagonist for his way of life. On the one hand, he lives above social norms and doesn’t pay attention to rumors and traditions, hence he has a bad reputation. On the other hand, the nobles keep seeking his company despite everything. Yoon Seungho is attracting attention, therefore the clown can only judge Yoon Seungho as a rival. However, people are mocking him behind his back. That’s why Min can’t truly take the main lead’s place and can only copy him. In my opinion, Min is longing for freedom too, but in a more destructive way.

And now, you comprehend why Jihwa became his disciple. Min was able to earn his trust, which explains why Jihwa admires Min’s relationship with the noble with the mole in chapter 59.

Jihwa: “We have seen each other in the most wretched of states. Of course our relationship is not the same as yours.”

 From my point of view, Min was motivated to take away Jihwa from Yoon Seungho and have the same influence over Jihwa than Yoon Seungho. But even here, Min failed in one aspect. The red-haired noble was always faithful to his childhood friend, therefore their relationship never turned into a sexual relationship. It is possible that first Min was aiming to have him as a sexual partner, until he realized that Jihwa only had eyes for Yoon Seungho. That’s why in the end, Black Heart played with the second lead’s naivety.

However, Min’s obsession over Yoon Seungho is slowly changing. I would say that he is now getting obsessed with Baek Na-Kyum. This would explicate why Min shed one tear in the shed after witnessing the embrace.  He definitely felt agony in that moment, thereby he felt the need to vomit. But since Jihwa’s tears are famous, I can’t restrain myself thinking that Min’s tear was provoked by Jihwa’s betrayal. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And this leads me to the following conclusion:

Min has now discovered that his influence over Jihwa is in danger, then this means that he has to pay more attention to his student. It is definitely possible that the “mentor” torments Jihwa more than before. But it could backfire on him. At the same time, his obsession for the painter is increasing, therefore I am expecting that Min will be forced to make a choice at the end: who is more important in his eyes? Jihwa or Baek Na-Kyum? And the moment Black Heart selects the painter, the second lead can only recognize Min’s hypocrisy and false preaching. One thing is sure: Min will shed more tears in the future… he will be more and more tormented which will be his karma.

As a conclusion, Min’s tear was a sign of his revival. The tear was triggered due to pain and stress. The puppet master experienced how little control he had over people. However, the master attempted to hide his heartache by masking with a laugh.

There will be a third part. 😉

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: “Respect and Love”

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

In the analysis called “A man consumed by lust”, I not only compared Yoon Seungho to a head-kisaeng, but also described that all the characters, including Baek Na-Kyum, would perceive the main lead as a man obsessed with sex. Striking is that with the entrance of Baek Na-Kyum in the main lead’s life, the lord got to discover this reflection about him which took him by surprise. Moreover, he realized gradually, how disrespectful the nobles and the servants were towards him. Therefore I came to the conclusion that the artist was not only associated to a mirror and love, but also to respect. And this observation led me to the following conclusion: Baek Na-Kyum is carrying in himself all the virtues which are necessary for a good social life:

  1. love,
  2. respect,
  3. justice,
  4. honesty,
  5. equity,
  6. responsibility,
  7. loyalty,
  8. freedom,
  9. tolerance,
  10. and peace.

That’s why I decided to examine the behavior of the characters under the aspect of respect and love, as all the other values like justice or tolerance are strongly linked to these two values.

But the problem is that although the commoner embodies these values, this doesn’t mean that he is truly tolerant, honest, just and respectful himself. If the manhwaphiles recall the first season, they will surely remember that Baek Na-Kyum wasn’t actually honest towards the main character, since his mind had been influenced by the scholar’s doctrines and Heena noona’s prejudices. Right from the start, he lied to the noble due to his preconceptions and his belief in rumors. What caught my attention is that in reality the painter’s honesty was only reflected in his body (his tears and his blushing) and in his unconscious. It was something that the low-born couldn’t control, but these honest facial expressions attracted the aristocrat so much to the point that he wanted the artist to see them in the paintings, therefore he utilized the mirror during the first sex marathon.

Right from the start, the artist was sexually attracted by the main lead, especially by his huge phallus, which was implied in this panel: and only displayed with the second episode from the Alternative Universe: . This explicates why he desired to have replaced the second lead (chapter 2) and got aroused during the threesome. The brush was focused on the lord’s hand touching the butt (chapter 9). He deeply desired to have sex with Yoon Seungho, but his conscious kept denying the obvious. And his lack of honesty is still present in the second season, hence he still perceives Yoon Seungho as man consumed by lust which is visible in the paintings. The artist legitimates his wish to stay at the mansion, because it is for the teacher’s sake, then later for the protagonist, who is in love with him. At no moment, he wants to become responsible for his feelings. He keeps resisting his affection and attraction towards the main lead. Why?

From my point of view, it is related to the painter’s huge libido. First, the readers shouldn’t forget that the low-born started erotic paintings of sodomy at a very young age, indicating that he discovered his sexual orientation very early on. Moreover, there’s no doubt that the commoner is quite kinky: his different wet dreams (chapter 2, chapter 6: sex with a stranger , chapter 56 ) expose his deepest sexual desires, the main lead should pleasure him. This explains why Baek Na-Kyum is never facing the lord and always passive in his wet dreams. This shows his reluctance to admit his kinky side. Imagine that he ejaculates, when he hears “you’ve made a wreck of me”, but not when the lover whispers “I adore you”. He even got erected again, when he saw the butler in front of the barn, which was noticed by the aristocrat, and he even had a climax in the courtyard. His reluctance to admit his affection is strongly intertwined with his strong sexuality. There’s this fear that he might get perceived as a man consumed by lust himself. If he accepts his love and as such his huge libido, he might get looked down and excluded. This is understandable, because he has abandonment issues. I believe, the readers should remember that the artist was scared of people’s opinion during the first season. From my perspective, although he has come to accept his homosexuality, he is still under the influence of the social norms: a man shouldn’t love another man. Besides, let’s not forget that Jihwa, as a reflection of the painter, has a similar mindset. He uses sex in order to disguise his emotions. As long as the painter is not honest to himself and as such doesn’t respect himself, he can’t be genuine with the noble. In my eyes, Baek Na-Kuym continued viewing the lord as a man obsessed with sex for many reasons. First he was too hurt by the teacher’s words. He never paid attention to the lord’s words and gestures. However, as time passed on, he never reviewed his perception out of convenience. With such an image, the noble was responsible for the sexual intercourses, and this attitude was even reinforced by the maid’s comments. But now, he is facing a dilemma, because his noona offers him the possibility to leave the mansion, but he refuses her proposition for futile different reasons: the scholar, his living conditions, the painting, the lord’s love… Only once cornered, he finally admits his love, but he describes it as something negative (he is scared, it is against his will). And this interpretation made me wonder about its origin. I have the impression that it is not only related to the brainwashing perpetrated by the scholar. I think that Heena noona could be the other explanation. Since sexuality played a huge role in the head-kisaeng’s life, it is possible that she has a negative perception of sex. Since she wanted the painter to remain quite innocent and pure, she sent him away. Her desire was to protect him too, but deep down she hoped that he wouldn’t outlive truly his homosexuality. If he was painting erotic pictures by the scholar’s side, she imagined that he would get happy. She had the impression that this would be sufficient for the artist’s life, because he would get “loved” and supported by the man the artist admired. Since Jung In-Hun gave her the impression, he was caring and selfless, she imagined that the learned sir would take care of the artist. And this leads me to the conclusion that she has a very romantic and pure image of love, because in her world there is a strong connection between sexuality, power and violence. However, she never asked for the painter’s opinion, she just sent him away, thinking that she was doing it for the boy’s best interest. For her, the boy would keep outliving his sexuality through art. On the one hand, this would explicate why Baek Na-Kyum is scared to accept his sexual appetite, on the other hand it also shows that love is strongly connected to respect. And for the first time, the artist is not blindly following Heena noona’s actions and decisions. So this scene exposes Baek Na-Kyum’s growth, he is transforming slowly into an adult, making his own decision, although his words ooze a certain fear and hesitation.

That’s exactly when Yoon Seungho comes into the picture. He will continue playing the role of the painter’s liberator. The aristocrat forced Baek Na-Kyum not only to admit his sexuality, but also his homosexuality. But now, it is time for the painter to accept his love and as such his strong libido. That’s why the moment the lord tells him that he can leave the mansion, the former will set the commoner entirely free. That way, the low-born can no longer use the excuse that the main character was living together with a man obsessed with sex. Let’s not forget that during season one, the main lead helped the commoner to not only recognize his own sexual orientation, but also to use his own mind. Therefore I predict that the aristocrat will be the cause for the painter to eliminate all the prejudices he had about people, to no longer care about people’s impression. As you can see, Yoon Seungho also embodies honesty, but a different kind: a free spirit. And this comes from his education, the main lead reads a lot and ponders a lot (chapter 61) (chapter 62). He questions things and people’s behavior , that’s why he is so obsessed with the “why”. He desires to understand the motivation behind the painter’s words and actions. In other words, he is looking beyond the appearance and surface. However, Baek Na-Kyum was surrounded by Heena noona and Jung In-Hun, people who value appearances very much. That’s why the head-kisaeng said that she saw everything. But what did she see and hear? She discovered through the town gossips that the painter had caused a commotion by running away. Then she saw the artist tied up and breathing heavily, and the noble’s lie could only contribute to reinforce her negative perception she had about Yoon Seungho. Besides, when she claimed that she recognized the artist’s painting, we have to wonder which drawing she saw. So far, when she opened the door, she only viewed a blank sheet of paper. And thanks to @shoei’s comment, I realized that the butler could have played a role here. Remember that the butler was asked in chapter 44 to throw away the picture of Jung In-Hun’s inauguration. And since we have a scene where Kim gave the ruined painting to Yoon Seungwon, I believe that in chapter 65, we had a repetition of this scene, but the readers were not able to witness it. The valet showed her the painting in order to confirm the painter’s identity. The other evidence for this theory is the absence of Kim’s eyes, when the head-kisaeng states that she recognized the artist’s painting. Therefore Heena noona jumped to the wrong conclusions. She had the impression that Baek Na-Kyum was still in love with his learned sir, and the hell-raiser was just abusing his power and position. But like I have already written many times, reality is far more complex and appearances should always be queried. From my point of view, the noble will help him to get stronger to the point that he won’t care about people’s gaze and gossip.

For me, the painter serves as a carthasis to bring out the virtues hidden in both protagonists due to the reflection. In other words, while the aristocrat purifies the painter by emancipating him from any prejudice and social norms, the artist cleans the lord by unveiling his caring and sensitive side so that the latter is forced to accept the existence of his heart and drop his fathers’ principles. The master of deception is in reality a person who treasures love and honesty above anything, but since he was surrounded by selfish and hypocrite people, he had no occasion to show his true self. We shouldn’t forget that Jihwa never showed his true emotions: his smile and cheerful gaze were masking his own insecurities. From my point, the second lead never allowed Yoon Seungho to see his blushing and, when he cried in front of his childhood friend for the first time(chapte 18), Yoon Seungho had already been moved by the painter’s tears.

What caught my attention is that although Baek Na-Kyum helped the aristocrat to see how disregarded he was by his peers and even Jihwa, the artist didn’t show any respect towards the main lead either. One might argue that Yoon Seungho treated the painter poorly, and even described him as plaything. Therefore the painter was not obliged to respect Yoon Seungho. However, the truth is that the main lead had other intentions in the beginning, if you examine the first two chapters carefully.

First, we shouldn’t forget that the story doesn’t start with Yoon Seungho speaking with the domestic investigating the creator’s identity. The real story begins with the main lead getting fascinated by the publications. Furthermore, the painter hadn’t worked for almost one year after vowing to never paint again. Hence it took Yoon Seungho some time, until the absence of new works made the lord realize that he could no longer live without them. He needed new erotic drawings. Besides, in the first chapter, we shouldn’t forget that Yoon Seungho even visits the painter to the tavern, which is really unusual for him. Let’s not forget that the noble only went to the tavern in chapter 57 after receiving the fake letter from lord Song. This is not a place the lord usually visits, rather Jihwa. This outlines the huge respect the lord showed towards the low-born. A high noble goes to a tavern, even talks directly to Baek Na-Kyum. In the lord’s mind, the artist should have felt flattered. And then we shouldn’t forget that when the artist was sitting in the study, he noticed the expensive paper and the different brushes at his disposal. This shows that the protagonist had made preparations for his arrival. Therefore I come to the conclusion that the noble had intended to invite the artist to work for him. He was his admirer and fan, hence he treasured the artist’s hands so much. However, the painter couldn’t recognize the respect and admiration the main lead was showing, because it was directly connected to sex. Since the lord had been brainwashed to accept sex as a normality (he lets the low-born touch his loins!!), the artist could only feel repulsed and scared due to the scholar’s indoctrination. Sex and physical touch are dirty, that’s why Baek Na-Kyum lied to the noble in the end. He disregarded the noble’s genuine compliments and effort. Since the noble had been hurt and disrespected, he retaliated and showed his anger. Striking is that the lord stopped talking after the second lie, though he was very talkative before. He is left speechless.

In my eyes, there’s a strong connection between the master’s violence and his silence. Studies indicate that persons in jail with a violent temper have often less vocabulary, which exposes the importance of words and voicing his emotions. It is also proven that the less you are allowed to express yourself, the higher the risk you get violent. I could add another example. It is well known, that a baby will scream and become agitated, when he is frustrated. Since he can’t express his thoughts and emotions, the only way to show his discomfort and anger is to scream. Since the painter denied his identity, the lord had no other possibility to continue a conversation. On the surface, in that scene, the aristocrat looked like a violent child killing the domestic, the truth was different. The situation triggered a flashback. And that’s the moment, Yoon Seungho started treating the commoner as a plaything. He dragged him to his mansion and kept him in the barn, until he achieved his goal. During the second season, I pointed out the ambiguity about Baek Na-Kyum’s status at the mansion: who was he really? A wife, a concubine, a fiance, a favored servant or a prostitute? Since there’s a reflection in this story, it came to my mind that the painter’s status was also ambiguous in the first season. However, back then it was different: was he a guest, a servant, a plaything or a prostitute? We have diverse clues showing that Baek Na-Kyum was truly treated like a honored guest:

  1. Yoon Seungho goes to the tavern like mentioned above in order to invite the low-born personally.
  2. He has already prepared the room for the painter and his study is next to the lord’s chamber, a huge sign of respect. The manhwaphiles should remember that the teacher’s room was further away.
  3. Furthermore, I believe that he is the one who took care of the painter, when the latter was sleeping on the floor. Remember that in my analysis “Who is this Baek Na-Kyum?”, I had assumed that the servants had to clean up the mess left by the low-born. However, since we have two episodes in the season 2 indicating that the lord cleaned himself the painter (chapter 45 and 59) and brought him to the bed (chapter 62 and 65), I came to the realization that in episode 2, the noble already washed himself the artist, and even organized the bed. Imagine this: a noble is taking care of a commoner. Yet at no moment the painter wondered who took care of him.
  4. We have two invitations (chapter 8) and (chapter 23).
  5. When the painter arrives in the lord’s chamber in chapter 8, he is the last to enter the room. It gives the impression that he was the guest of honor. The lord kept waiting for him. He must have felt restless, because he started painting something. And observe how he welcomes the artist. He is full of joy and smiling. And when the noble with the mole requests from him to send away the artist, his guest of honor, he evicts the arrogant aristocrat.
  6. In chapter 11, the noble even desires to eat his lunch with the painter. If the butler had not mentioned the study, then we have to wonder if the noble in his good mood would have invited the painter to his bedchamber.

One thing is sure: the lord did care a lot for the artist right from the start, but he made two huge mistakes: he never anticipated a rejection from the low-born, because in his mind he had everything what people would like to have. Secondly, he never envisioned that he would expose Baek Na-Kyum to danger, because for him the latter didn’t represent a thread to anyone. He was just a commoner.

Striking is that despite his care, the painter refused to remain at his mansion, hence he tried to flee in chapter 4. And in order to convince him, Yoon Seungho proposed the deal: if he paints for him, then the lord will help his learned sir in his career. With this new approach, the lord thought that he had finally been able to achieve his goal. But note that with this proposition, the lord was actually selling himself. He was in fact the one asking for a favor, in exchange he would offer his connection. Sure, we shouldn’t forget that the noble had not truly promised anything to the scholar (just an empty promise), but Baek Na-Kyum was not aware of this. At the same time, it revealed the lord’s mentality. This was his way to achieve his goal: prostitution. Sure, sex was not directly involved first, but since the artist was supposed to create erotic pictures, the boundaries were already dilued. And this is not surprising that the moment Jung In-Hun realized that Yoon Seungho was not impressed by his skills, he decided to use the painter as prostitute. However, in my eyes, the lord had already become one, the moment he offered that deal to the painter. And this shows that the lord was showing himself disrespect in the end, just to get the painter working for him. As you can observe, both protagonists didn’t respect themselves in truth, consequently they were not able to respect each other.

And if you look at many drawings created by the painter, you’ll observe that they all show a main lead acting as a prostitute, trying to please the partner: each time he keeps looking at the lover, in order to confirm that he is pleasing his partner: Either Jihwa is moaning or the painter is blushing or moaning, but the lord is always focused, starring at this partner. That’s why the moment the lord had sex with the painter, it affected the artist’s status. The latter could only be judged as a prostitute, because he was also doing it for a favor, for the scholar’s sake. Therefore the following pictures mirrors the prostitution, both protagonists act as whores in the end. While in the drawings from the first season, the protagonists switched the role of the “whore”, in the following painting they are portrayed both as such. That’s why the painter was not paying attention to details. As a conclusion, the moment the noble proposed the deal, he not only lowered himself, but also affected the painter. That’s why the teacher’s words are so painful, because he is actually the one benefitting from this deal. The moment the painter has sex with the main lead, he is indeed a prostitute. Yet the irony is that he is not doing it for himself, but for the scholar: This is the height of hypocrisy. Simultaneously, with these words, he makes sure that the painter can’t even enjoy sex, making him feel terrible.

At the same time, Yoon Seungho did treat the painter as a servant. First, he dragged him to the mansion and kept him captive, until the artist accepted the offer. Then the aristocrat punished him after the second drawing was ruined. The huge contrast between being a guest or a servant exposes that the lord did treat the artist as a plaything. Everything depended on his mood. On the one hand the lord acts like a happy child showing off to his other guests: (chapter 8), on the other hand, when he claims this in front of Min, he is hiding the truth as well. Yoon Seungho had to make a deal with the painter, hence the latter wasn’t truly a plaything… but a person who was using the noble’s wealth and power for his loved one, the teacher. And by praising the painter’s talents, he contributed to expose the artist to danger, to make him the target of envious or jealous aristocrats. In these moments, the main lead showed an immaturity. However, we shouldn’t underestimate the role played by Kim here. The latter ensured that the artist would lose his title “honored guest”, when he suggested to his lord to visit him in the study in chapter 11.

However, if you pay attention to the chronology of the lord’s wrongdoings (the poem, the punishment in chapter 11…), you’ll notice that the artist didn’t respect the lord either. Yet this is not obvious, because Baek Na-Kyum doesn’t get physically violent. Yoon Seungho took the poem without asking, so did the painter with the expensive wine. He never wondered about the origin of the wine. When the lord criticizes the poem, the painter says that he is not allowed to make fun of it, because he is just a man consumed by lust. Nonetheless, Baek Na-Kyum has also no right to say this to Yoon Seungho either, because he is just a commoner. That’s why the master reminds him of his own social status, he is just a peasant. And we have a new version of this situation in chapter 41, when Baek Na-Kyum yells at the main lead, although the latter was caring and showed concern. He desired to know the origin of the painter’s sadness. However, the artist was unwilling to explain the cause for this. That’s why the lord slapped the artist, reminding of his place. He was a lord and the host here.

When the lord gets angry with the painter in chapter 11 due to the ruined image, the painter apologizes to the noble, yet from my perspective his apology is not really genuine, especially if you contrast this to the one in chapter 62: Furthermore, when the painter begged for the lord’s mercy, he was willing to do anything else, except to paint, , he was forgetting one important aspect: he was actually breaking his promise to the main lead. He was actually taking advantage of the main lead, because this meant that the latter would be the only one who didn’t get what he truly wanted. Baek Na-Kyum was here only loyal to the scholar, he was willing to sell his service for the main lead in exchange for his sponsor of the teacher, yet he was still refusing to create erotic pictures. Simultaneously this showed that the commoner started mistrusting the teacher, as he was suspecting his involvement. In other words, he was trying to call off the deal, while the scholar would benefit the most from him. And now, you can understand why the lord got upset and felt betrayed, leading the lord to threaten the artist: the low-born was trying to change the content of the deal, while Yoon Seungho was selling his wealth and connections for the artist. And since this story is build like a kaleidoscope, the new version of this incident was in chapter 38, when the artist chose to lie to his learned sir in order to protect Yoon Seungho. As you can see, both protagonists were disrespecting each other… sure, the master was more brutal, when he felt disrespected and hurt, but this doesn’t mean that the artist was totally blameless.

Then in chapter 30, the painter feels the need to pledge allegiance to the master in order to protect Yoon Seungho. From that moment on, Baek Na-Kyum swears that he will do everything the lord wants. This marks the painter’s official start as Yoon Seungho’s servant. He is no longer perceived as an artist “Will do anything”, explicating why the pictures started losing their importance in the noble’s eyes. So the moment both had sex with each other, the painter became “prostitute”, as he was doing it for the learned sir.

As you can see, the lord always did himself a disservice with his actions and decisions. Each time, he had the impression, he came closer to his goal, only to discover that this was an illusion. He even complicated the situation so that everything was so confusing for the artist. He was an artist, a servant and at the end a prostitute. Let’s not forget that right after swearing to follow Yoon Seungho’s order, the master removed the head-band from the painter, showing his desire that he never wanted him to be a servant. As you can observe the painter’s status was never clear, the lord had no real idea what he truly desired, as his unconscious and conscious stood in conflict. For me, he was already in loved, his heart and gaze had been moved by the painter’s talents. But since he was always rejected, he tried to find ways to achieve his goal, to keep the artist by his side, nonetheless he complicated more and more the situation and created walls between him and the low-born.

As you can observe, the disrespect is mutual affecting both. Yet, the one who is seeking desperately the artist’s attention and love is the noble, hence the painter has always had the upper hand, which he never realized. That’s why little by little, Yoon Seungho is always forced to give in. Therefore, the climax is reached in chapter 66: Yoon Seungho is unable to stop the artist so that he admits his submission and decides to choose the artist as his master: However, this time the commoner’s hand is not led to the loins, but to the master’s eyes and hand. That’s why I believe, the nature of their relationship will honestly change in the future. Now, they will start sharing what they have on their mind, the biggest wish Yoon Seungho ever had:

But Yoon Seungho was also treated as a plaything by the painter. If you pay attention, Baek Na-Kyum is actually the one using Yoon Seungho as sex toy. Note that the commoner only expresses his satisfaction (chapter 45) , but he never tries to please the lord… “he is always on the receiving end”, like Yoon Seungho observed in chapter 45. Finally, in chapter 49, the painter tells him that the noble is only there to procure pleasure to him: an affront and he shut his mouth with a kiss!! He is not allowed to protest, he has to accept his situation: he is there to procure pleasure. Yoon Seungho was definitely not pleased and even hurt, yet he let him have his ways, because he sensed the genuineness in the kiss. And now, the manhwaphiles can comprehend, why the lord treated the painter as a sex toy during the second marathon. He was following the words expressed by the painter to the letter, but he was switching the roles. Since he had been treated as a sex toy, then he was allowed to do the same. However, he refused to kiss the artist, because as a sex toy he is only there for a sexual intercourse and nothing more. And this was reflected in the last painting: this explicates that Min has the impression that Baek Na-Kyum is craving for sex, while in truth the latter was just longing for love. As a conclusion, both protagonists were treating each other as tools, explaining why they kept hurting each other with their lack of respect.

When Kim criticized the artist for acting as a spoiled princess, he was telling the truth, but here he had another intention: he wants the painter to accept his status as “servant”, in order to stop the artist from gaining more power over the master. Observe that the valet didn’t tell him, he should love the noble. He just asked the artist to act like a servant. And the return of the head-band marked a new turning point, because it showed that Baek Na-Kyum was now accepting Yoon Seungho as his master, and he was no longer a prostitute, but he couldn’t treat the main lead like a sex toy either.

As a conclusion, there was a reason why Baek Na-Kyum kept this image “a man consumed by lust”. That way, he could maintain a certain integrity: the master was the one with a huge sex appetite, while the dream revealed the low-born’s true nature: a man with a strong libido. Furthermore, the words expressed in chapter 68 gives the impression that the artist is indeed using the main lead: the latter provides him a roof and his material… he can paint. Then who is using whom here? That’s why I come to the conclusion: the moment the lord decides to free the painter so that he can decide about his own fate, he shows him respect. But at the same time, the deal with Jung In-Hun is cancelled. They can make a clean start. Yoon Seungho can no longer be used, he is actually starting showing respect to himself (although he doesn’t realize it). As you can see, both characters were actually acting like “prostitutes” or “servants” and were used as playthings. And since each action the powerful aristocrat makes is reflected in the painter’s words and action, I am anticipating that the painter will be the one who so that this rumor will become a reality: That’s why the moment the painter accepts his strong libido and his love for the rich main lead, this means he starts respecting himself. Consequently, when the master releases him and allows him to leave the mansion, he shows finally respect in its purest form. And with respect comes love! Thus, this will be reflected in the relationship between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum.: both won’t be a prostitute, a servant, a noble or a sex toy any longer: they will be two men in love with each other.

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

Painter Of The night: The Joker’s plan

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

What caught my attention is the huge influence Min has over Jihwa. The moment The Joker starts talking to the host, the red-haired aristocrat is not willing to listen to him. Due to his suggestion, he suffered a lot in the past, therefore he doesn’t want to make the same experience again: anxiety and remorse. Yet, at the end of the chapter 67, Jihwa is sitting like an obedient monkey and paying attention to Black Heart’s words. It was, as if the red-haired noble had given up on his “humanity” in the sense, he is no longer using his brain. How could this happen? The readers will blame Yoon Seungho for this. The moment he barged in his bedchamber, Jihwa ran away from his childhood friend and hid behind the windscreen. He was too scared and didn’t want to face Yoon Seungho’s wrath. But this attitude exposed simultaneously that he was not willing to assume his responsibilities. Remember that he relied on Nameless so much. Since the latter had become his hands, it signified that the criminal was accountable for the crime. Note this panel outlines Jihwa’s escapism. “I know, he couldn’t have seen me”, the scared man imagined, because Baek Na-Kyum had his eyes covered, then he wouldn’t get caught. What he failed to realize is that first, he spoke so that the servant could have recognized his voice, Nameless was well aware of this. Then, he counted on Nameless’ promise. For me, this panel embodies Jihwa’s habit: avoiding any responsibility for a wrongdoing, which could be seen in the three wise monkeys: In reality, a perverted version, as for Jihwa, if no one sees, speaks or hears his misdeed, then it means, he has nothing to fear. He has the impression that nothing happened. Getting caught triggers his anxieties, as it is connected to the incident with the door and Yoon Seungho’s suffering. And now you understand why Jihwa was so scared after the scene Yoon Seungho made: he had been caught for the third time!! Chapter 18 , chapter 57 and chapter 67 And each time, Yoon Seungho’s anger increased. However, each time, the aristocrat with black eyes never expressed remorse and offered an apology. I would even add that he never saw these as misdeeds, as he always justified his misdeeds. In chapter 10/17, Baek Na-Kyum represented a source of temptation for his friend and he had even seduced him. Then when he sent lord Song’s fake letter to his friend, he justified his action by putting the blame on his friend for changing and cutting ties with him. Finally, the painter was the reason why he got rejected. In all three cases, he never questioned, how his actions affected his victims. That’s why even when he got caught, he never changed his behavior. This explicates why Jihwa didn’t learn his lesson, as he didn’t see the wrongdoings and its impact on others.

Hence one might think that Jihwa changed his mind because of the main lead’s behavior and menace. But it only looks like that on the surface, as from my point of view, the trigger for this switch are Min’s words. First he offered help. Then he predicted Yoon Seungho’s arrival, so that Jihwa was deceived. Black Heart had already prepared his move. He created the illusion that “To Help you” was genuine, as his prediction had become true. For me, “to help you” played a huge role, as Min is well aware of the red-haired noble’s personality. He knows that the neglected child has never been willing to take any responsibility, letting others take the blame. There’s a reason for that: Min was his teacher, The Joker who never got caught himself. For Jihwa, the idiom “to help you” is a synonym for reliability. Therefore he has the impression that thanks to Black Heart, he can keep avoiding any accountability. But Min, as The Joker, will be the one teaching him a lesson. The latter has already planned for Jihwa to take the fall, making him believe that the commoners (Heena, Kim and eventually Nameless) will be blamed for the painter’s second kidnapping. What Jihwa fails to realize is that since Black Heart revealed his secret twice, the latter needs to put a neat, clean ending, so that no one will realize the existence of a mastermind behind the second kidnapping. My prediction is that Min has already calculated Jihwa’s death. This is the devil talking, when he voices those words: He is tempting Jihwa. The Joker was there, when Yoon Seungho warned the former friend and used his sword against him. That’s why the Joker could only laugh, when he saw Jihwa trembling after seeing the weapon so closely. He had to contain his laugh and smile behind his hand. He saw it as a confirmation that the noble would retaliate, if Baek Na-Kyum got abducted a second time. The lord wouldn’t even question his childhood friend. That way, Min would be able to get away, while Yoon Seungho would have to face infuriated aristocrats who would despise him for killing one of their fellows for a low-born. Imagine the destruction he is preparing, just to taste the painter.

That’s how strong his desire and needs are. The devastation he is plotting mirrors the power of his feelings or better said obsession. There’s no doubt that the kiss worsened his condition. That’s why he waited at Jihwa’s door the next morning. He could barely contain his impatience and his jealousy. The lord was far from being in a good mood. His smile is actually an expression of his anger and resent. As time passed on, his desire for the artist got so strong that at the end, he felt the need to approach Yoon Seungho’s mansion. But there, he had to see the painter’s smooth legs in the main lead’s arms. And now, imagine Min’s face, when he saw this: even the merchant, who never had sex with a man before was already bewitched by them. And now, you comprehend why Min has the sensation that he has been bewitched and can’t escape from this attraction. Therefore, it becomes comprehensible why Min wishes to have Jihwa killed in the end. He resents him for putting him in a misery. He had ordered his red-haired servant to bring him the painter, but the childish man had not only disobeyed him twice, but he had made it more difficult for Min to obtain the painter. Yoon Seungho would be on his guard now. That’s the other reason why Black Heart has already projected Jihwa’s death.

But why doesn’t Jihwa realize that? Why doesn’t he use his brain or his ears? I mean, Yoon Seungho warned him, but in reality he was asking Jihwa to stop meddling in his life. In other words, Yoon Seungho was still lenient, as he didn’t ask for a punishment. The only thing the noble needed to do was to avoid his friend’s path. But the problem is that Jihwa got so anxious, as he had been caught that he could no longer think straight. His anxiety was so strong that he wasn’t even able to walk. Observe the presence of The Joker on the windscreen. Since the aristocrat is so paralyzed by his anxiety, his weakened condition explains why he falls for Black Heart’s manipulation so easily. At the same time, this drawing illustrates that Jihwa’s fear is more linked to getting caught than to Yoon Seungho’s wrath. Let’s not forget that in chapter 59, the readers heard about the protagonist’s rage shocking the noble with the mole. Yet, Jihwa didn’t seem to upset and traumatized after that, which the friend noted. He was even surprised that the red-haired noble was able to maintain his relationship with his childhood friend. I see it as a proof that his angst is linked to apprehension and arrest. That’s why I believe that the advice given by Min before the appearance of the main lead played a huge role. Since Jihwa has internalized avoidance and escapism, assistance sounds like avoidance of responsibility. And now, you understand, Jihwa has been following his “teacher”‘s rules so faithfully: This explicates why The Joker knows how to manipulate the young man. Note that in this scene, he is actually contradicting his own doctrine. While the red-haired aristocrat decided to run away (escapism), the devil convinced him otherwise. Yet, the childish protagonist was not able to notice the hypocrisy and the lies. Yoon Seungho had indeed proposed a neat and clean ending: Never to cross his path. Nothing was clearer and neater than the sword swayed next to his face. He never expressed the desire to get revenge or to have him punished. However, Jihwa couldn’t think properly, too emotionally upset. Besides, the manhwaworms can perceive in the panel above that the red-haired noble is is hiding his face and covering his ears, unable to face reality and truth. Consequently, he is blind and deaf so that he is not able to perceive evil standing right in front of him.

As a first conclusion, Min is seducing Jihwa for the second time, asking his disciple to follow his rules: Baek Na-Kyum’s abduction, rape and murder. The irony is that The Joker presents himself as savior to his terrified servant, making him believe that he just needs to follow his instructions. Like I mentioned above, there’s no doubt that Min is planning to use Heena noona and even Kim. First, he heard from the guardian that people believed that the sister was involved in the artist’s disappearance. Secondly, he saw the uproar she caused at the entrance of the propriety. Moreover, the Joker must have noticed how Kim was standing at the door, yet the latter never stopped him and allowed him to be pushed away. This gesture signalized that the valet was a pushover. Besides, I have to admit that I am suspecting Kim to have met Min during that night in chapter 52/53/54. Back then, I was wondering where the man was, when the door of Baek Na-Kyum’s study was destroyed and when Deok-Jae fled. Furthermore, between the time Yoon Seungho brought Baek Na-Kyum to his room and Black Heart’s return, minutes elapsed… yet Kim never intervened. I have the impression, he played a similar role than during the night of the rape. He acted in the shadow, following his favorite philosophy: He is very similar to Jihwa, he is avoiding any responsibility by faking ignorance, whereas Jihwa has not learned to recognize evil and wrongdoings. Therefore I believe that The Joker must have recognized the butler’s true personality. Besides, because the valet doesn’t want to get into trouble with a noble, he can only accept any request from them. To sum up, in my opinion, the Joker’s plan is to involve Nameless, Heena noona and Kim, but he will make Jihwa the scapegoat. In Black Heart’s plot, his disciple killed the artist due to his fiery jealousy, whereas he tells the “monkey” that commoners like Heena noona will be blamed for this. However, Min already talked to Kim and asked him to let Heena noona to meet her brother. Min is expecting that the gisaeng will try to convince her brother to escape from the mansion. She just needs to get the opportunity to speak with Baek Na-Kyum. These words are important, as it shows that Kim has already envisaged what she will say to him. Hence Kim said this: he doesn’t need to say anything, while at the same time, he is putting the whole blame on her. He will say that he had no idea that she entered the mansion, therefore he justified his intervention: Kim has many reasons to act like this. First, the lord noticed his lack of competence (chapter 65) , secondly the painter caused him so many worries that he can only consider the low-born as a source of trouble now. Min must have convinced him that he won’t get caught due to the gisaeng’s intervention and scream. Besides Jihwa will get suspected, if a second kidnapping occurs. Therefore, he can always feign ignorance.

And now, you will ask the role played by the second Joker, Nameless. Where does he intervene? In order to answer that question, it is important to examine the circumstances which led to the first abduction. The reason is simple. Since this story is based on the principle, “history is repeating itself”, this signifies that the second crime will be similar, yet the chronology and the roles will be switched.

  1. Min as instigator at his friend’s house
  2. First, the crime was postponed, for Nameless hoped that Jihwa would change his mind: DELAY. This signifies that time passed on leading to the second lead’s agony: IMPATIENCE
  3. Nameless hired Deok-Jae as spy: SPY
  4. Deok-Jae was asked to push Baek Na-Kyum to leave the mansion which ended up in a failure: FIRST ATTEMPT FAILED
  5. Min saw the incident with Deok-Jae, the latter could escape: BRUTAL BEATING, ESCAPE
  6. Kim brought the painter to the doctor without his lord’s permission: VISIT TO THE DOCTOR
  7. The doctor saw something but out of fear, he remained silent: WITNESS
  8. In Nameless’ opinion, Jihwa’s fake letter contributed to organize the crime: JIHWA’S ROLE
  9. Deok-Jae’s death due to blackmail: SERVANT’S DEATH
  10. Nameless told him that Jihwa would have to make the choice and take his responsibility: RESPONSIBILITY
  11. The consequence: an uproar in town due to the behavior of Yoon Seungho’s servants.

If you look at the summary, you’ll notice that we have 4 persons involved in the first kidnapping: Min, Jihwa, Nameless and Deok-Jae. Yet, Kim and the physician helped them indirectly, as Kim allowed the artist to leave the mansion without his lord’s permission and the physician acted, as though he saw nothing. In other words, we have 6 participants. Therefore, I believe that there will be another person involved in the second abduction beside Nameless, Min, Jihwa, Heena and Kim. This seems to corroborate my theory that Nameless has already planted a spy at Yoon Seungho’s mansion. But there’s another person who could play an important role in the second kidnapping: the head-maid of the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that she will help them, but she will be involved, because she will help the noble and the painter.

Now, I will explain my prediction. The numbers at the beginning of each paragraph are referring to the list of the elements for the first kidnapping.

1./2. What caught my attention is the importance of time and how the first crime got delayed. Since I portrayed Min as extremely impatient due to his strong desire to taste the painter, I believe that he will be the one suffering the most!! (DELAY, IMPATIENCE) The Joker is fell into his own trap! Why?

4. His plan to use Heena noona will fail (1. ATTEMPT FAILED). From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum will reject her offer and explain that he prefers staying at the mansion. Let’s not forget that the painter dreamed of Yoon Seungho while resting. His dream was a mixture of dream and reality, yet as you know, the artist’s dream has always come true. Besides, when he woke up, he imagined that he was seeing his lord, exposing his desire to have him by his side. That’s why I believe that Baek Na-Kyum won’t follow her suggestion. Besides, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that the head-maid was heading to the painter’s chamber. Consequently, I am expecting a new version from chapter 46. From my point of view, her words will have an influence on the low-born and his sister. Another evidence for this theory is the incident in Baek Na-Kyum’s study in chapter 53. The artist refused to leave the propriety, although he was hurt by Deok-Jae. In my opinion, the commoner will reject her offer so that Min is forced to wait. Imagine Min’s torments!! They will be so different from Jihwa’s. I have the feeling that unlike his disciple who drank to hide his anxieties, the lord Min will resort to opium. Min’s new hanbok in chapter 56 exposes his transformation: the pattern reminds the readers of the opium smoke. Furthermore, his return was announced with this picture: There’s no doubt for me that Min will get caught and will suffer the consequences of his manipulations. Since The Joker’s return, I have always predicted his death: he gets suffocated due to strangulation. First, Yoon Seungho broke the pheasant’s neck during the hunt with Min (chapter 41). The blood on his hands comes from the wounds caused by the arrows. But I also noticed a progression, how the lord used his hands during the second season: from this (chapter 61) to this (chapter 67). His hands are getting closer to the throat, for me a clue that Yoon Seungho will eliminate his rival personally.

6. Because of his impatience and his increasing urges, I sense that Min will decide to put Kim under pressure, either directly or through Jihwa. Since the domestic is a pushover, he will be forced to follow the order. That’s why Kim will have to lie to the painter. I have the impression that he will use the sister as excuse. She desires to meet him outside the mansion. It is also possible that a visit to the doctor could be the cause for the artist to believe the hypocrite valet. (BAEK NA-KYUM’s VISIT AS CAUSE FOR HIS DISAPPEARANCE) Kim will lead Baek Na-Kyum to the trap. Honestly, I am expecting a new version of chapter 29, when Jung In-Hun led the painter back to the mansion. Yet, this time it will be the other way around.

9. This time, valet Kim won’t be able to escape his fate. He will be executed by his own master in the end (SERVANT’S DEATH). I doubt that Yoon Seungho will believe his words:

7./ 11. In my perspective, his departure will be noticed. Since Kim can’t ask the low-born to leave during the night, the second attempt will happen during the day. Because Kim and Baek Na-Kyum will walk through town, inhabitants will notice their move. Remember how Jung In-Hun felt uncomfortable, when Baek Na-Kyum met him on the street. He was annoyed, as he feared people’s gaze and asked the painter to follow him to an isolated place. Since I am imagining a new version of chapter 29, I am expecting that Baek Na-Kyum’s walk through town will attract people’s attention. Let’s not forget that in chapter 64, his escape caused a huge uproar, and I doubt that people will have already forgotten the artist. Since the low-born was seen many times in that town and no one paid attention to him before, Kim will imagine that no one will notice the artist. Remember that no one observed them, when they went to the doctor for the first time. And in the mean time, Baek Na-Kyum won’t leave the propriety for the time being. However, Kim is not expecting that people will witness him.

10./8/ 3 As for Nameless, I believe that he will play a similar role: he will ask Jihwa to become responsible and no longer avoid his wrongdoings, as Jihwa played a role in the second crime. I also think, the criminal will force him to witness the consequences of his choices and will refuse to take the fall. I am still expecting that Jihwa will be punished for Deok-Jae’s death. It is still possible that the red-haired noble changes his mind, and tries to stop the second abduction. There’s no doubt that Min’s plan will affect the second lead’s relationship with the criminal. I have the feeling that Nameless will play a key role in Min’s demise. First, the Joker has truly perceived Nameless’ true role: Do you remember that a buffoon is a synonym for “joker”? From my point of view, Nameless has already placed a spy at Yoon Seungho’s mansion. I am still convinced that the new guardian is giving info to the criminal due to his explanations to Min. His words reflected the butcher’s plan so well, besides he was so sure for the desertion without feeling angry and hurt. Sure, I made a mistake and mistook the man at Jihwa’s mansion as the same person due to the color of the shirt. However, this doesn’t mean that Nameless abandoned the idea of planting a spy. He warned the painter not to talk. From my point of view, the butcher never expected the lord’s reaction. Imagine, his servants caused such an uproar so that Nameless should have realized that his attempt to transform the disappearance into a normal escape failed. And if my assumption about the guardian as spy is correct, Nameless will realize that there’s a mastermind behind the abduction… especially if Jihwa argues with him about the discovery and reproaches him his bad work. I have to admit that I am uncertain about the criminal’s role. It is definitely possible that Jihwa is asked to contact Nameless again. Let’s not forget, Min believes that Nameless is someone who will do anything for money. He can’t imagine that the criminal was the one who convinced the red-haired noble not to commit the murder. However, this time the butcher will refuse. Even if Jihwa’s involvement has been revealed, I doubt that the criminal is not aware of Yoon Seungho’s visit to the family Lee. Since Yoon Seungho didn’t retaliate against Jihwa and only warned him, Nameless has no reason to intervene first. From my point of view, it looks like Yoon Seungho is still not looking too closely to the circumstances of the abduction and Deok-Jae’s servant. But it could change, forcing Nameless to intervene. Due to my previous analyses about Nameless, I came to the conclusion that he represents Jihwa’s conscience, hence he is his liberator. Consequently Nameless can eventually become Jihwa’s hands again, yet this time, Jihwa will never be able to escape his fate: he will be caught and be forced to become responsible. As you can sense, I am still unsure about Nameless’ actions. My instinct is to say that he will refuse to help the red-haired noble first, but could change his mind. One thing is sure: Nameless will confront Jihwa and let him see the consequences of his decisions. I am still hoping that he plays a huge role in the discovery of the mastermind, but there’s nothing sure, as Byeonduck prefers characters with flaws. In her story, there’s no hero, except the artist, if we overlook his lies in the beginning.

My prediction is that Baek Na-Kyum’s second abduction won’t be successful due to Nameless, the presence of witnesses and Min’s miscalculations. The latter will become impatient. Secondly, he doesn’t pay attention to commoners and is underestimating the butcher’s influence on Jihwa. Finally, he is underestimating his opponent Yoon Seungho and his own obsession for the painter. In this scene, Min is not only lying to Jihwa, but also to himself. I doubt, that his thirst for the artist will be satisfied with a single sex session. Like I mentioned it before, Min became fascinated by the artist’s gaze oozing desire and purity. Furthermore, I believe that the artist will resist this time due to the scene at the pavilion in chapter 25, it is still possible that he is able to escape too. Finally, the lord will know for sure that the artist didn’t run away from him this time. That’s why he will use other means to find his lover: that’s how the purge will take place. As you can anticipate it, my predictions are based on observations, therefore it can definitely turn out differently. Yet, I think the list I made could be helpful to envision the evolution of the story. In other words, you are more than welcome to imagine a different story about the second kidnapping.

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

Painter Of The Night / The Beast Must Die: The Joker – part 3 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwas. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter   The Beast Must Die: https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/beast_en  But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaois, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

So far, I had compared Min to a snake, a wolf, a crow and a magpie, however my analysis of this character didn’t do him any justice. The moment I recognized the affinities between Min and The Joker, I came to realize the lord’s true personality. He doesn’t just want to replace the main lead as the new alpha among the nobles, more importantly he takes pleasure in ruining friendships and as such causing pain to others. As a conclusion, I noticed that he enjoys destruction. Therefore I stated in the first part that Min had a nihilistic mindset:

“In philosophy, nihilism is the complete rejection of moral values and religious beliefs. It is such a negative outlook that it denies any meaning or purpose in life.” https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/nihilism#:~:text=In%20philosophy%2C%20nihilism%20is%20the,existing%20political%20and%20social%20institutions.

Due to this association with The Joker, I had the following realization: lord Min seems to suffer from a mental disorder, and to be more accurate, from an Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). The distinction between “sociopath” or “psychopath” is here more or less irrelevant because in the end, the specialists always diagnose such patients as a person suffering from ASPD. Then if you make some research about The Joker’s personality, you will discover that even psychologists and psychiatrists tried to determine his mental issues, that’s how fascinating this supervillain is.

Here, the author Arash Javanbakht M. D. is referring to the character from the movie Joker (2019)

But what caught my attention is that The Joker’s mental disorder changes according to the stories, like the author Scott A. Bonn Ph. D. pointed out. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/wicked-deeds/201911/is-the-joker-psychopath Therefore, it is important to determine the identity of The Joker I am referring to. I have to admit that since Min’s behavior reminds me more of The Joker from The Dark Knight, that’s how I came to the diagnosis of an Antisocial Personality Disorder. If you read the article mentioned above, the author confirms that The Joker’s profile (The Dark Knight, 2008) does fit the characteristics of a psychopath. But since our topic is Min’s personality, it is relevant to describe the symptoms of such a mental disorder. I am just quoting the following symptoms from two websites, other sites showed similar info:

  • socially irresponsible behavior
  • disregarding or violating the rights of others
  • inability to distinguish between right and wrong
  • difficulty with showing remorse or empathy
  • tendency to lie often
  • manipulating and hurting others
  • recurring problems with the law
  • Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
  • general disregard towards safety and responsibility (quoted from) https://www.healthline.com/health/psychopath#signs /

And when you compare this to Min’s behavior, you’ll notice the similarities which I will outline now. First, he breaks laws and social norms without feeling remorse (chapter 52). Then he violates the rights of his host in chapter 43, when he proposes the assassination. Since this is not Min’s pavilion, this means that his friend’s house is transformed into a conspiracy place. This will play a huge part in the future, as I am anticipating a purge. At another party, he violates again the rights of his host by mocking and insulting him: chapter 52, 53 54 . I could also add that he disregards the painter by suggesting his murder (43, 56) or by treating him like a sex object (chapter 33/52). Moreover, he often lies (chapter 36 , chapter 43 . All these examples expose that he manipulates his surroundings constantly. He influences Jihwa by giving him the idea of the murder (chapter 43, chapter 56 ). He pressures Yoon Seungho to bring the artist to their party so that he can taste him (chapter 33, chapter 52). Observe that although Black Heart is often seen with other aristocrats (chapter 8, chapter 33 chapter 43, chapter 52), he doesn’t care about them. In fact, he uses them for his own benefit. Remember that he took the opium from his acquaintance (chapter 52). Then he ruined his “friend”‘s party by causing a ruckus, while the other wanted to have some discreet fun. I would even say, he manipulates the masses by making requests, which the other nobles can’t truly reject. Note that neither in chapter 33 nor in 52, the aristocrats stopped Black Heart from talking and even supported his request: the main lead should bring the commoner to their sex party. As a conclusion, he uses his influence over the other aristocrats to get what he desires: have sex with the painter. This displays his true power as manipulator. No one is capable to stop him, not even Yoon Seungho, the alpha king among the local aristocracy. (chapter 52). This is understandable, as during that night, Yoon Seungho was totally vulnerable and tried to hide his weak disposition with his clothes.

And now you understand why Min enjoys being in Yoon Seungho’s company. If he is capable to manipulate the main lead, then Black Heart will consider it as a proof that he is far superior to the main lead, whom he considers similar to him. That’s the reason why he told his acquaintances that Yoon Seungho was so easy to understand. (chapter 52) This explains why Black Heart continues targeting the main lead with his tricks (chapter 52/53/54). Not only he simply can’t get enough, but also he is determined to prove his supremacy. The manhwaphiles comprehend now why in chapter 66, Min even visits directly the protagonist’s mansion on his own indicating that he has been keeping an eye on Yoon Seungho. Observe that for the first time, he comes alone, unlike in chapter 8 and 52. He must have heard about the painter’s disappearance and desires to witness Yoon Seungho’s pain. For him, this would represent the best proof of his skill as manipulator. But to his disappointment, Baek Na-Kyum is not dead. This mask exposes his lack of empathy and his joy for imagining that the main lead is suffering (“difficulty with showing remorse or empathy“). Since his plan failed, he is disappointed. Therefore he enters Yoon Seungho’s mansion. However, pay attention to the last picture which indicates that Min is thinking about Jihwa and his disobedience. The red-haired noble didn’t act like planned. In my perspective, his thoughts indicate that Min will make Jihwa pay for his “disobedience”. At the same time, I believe that Min is already thinking about his next move, this is the other reason why he enters the main lead’s house without a proper invitation (a new version of chapter 12). This image serves as another evidence for his continuous disregard for social norms. And this chapter 66 represents a turning point in my opinion, as it exposes Min’s impulsiveness to the best. Since he didn’t get Yoon Seungho’s defeat by afflicting pain on him, he needs to cause another uproar and inflict pain on Jihwa, who didn’t follow his “order”. Note that Black Heart just reversed the roles, showing that he doesn’t care who wounds whom. His main focus is pain. By revealing the secret, Black Heart is hoping that Yoon Seungho will retaliate against his childhood friend because of the kidnapping.

Striking is that the author zooms on the character’s mouth and chin, revealing that Min has the intention to hurt Jihwa through the main lead. I noticed a certain pattern: Byeonduck always focused on Min’s mouth each time Min envisioned to hurt someone. Remember this panel from the episode 53:

This was just before the character kissed Baek Na-Kyum. The zoom on his mouth was announcing Min’s mischief. He had planned to irritate the host and desired to annul the painter’s action. The artist’s embrace had stopped the “vengeful ghost, the beast”. But Black Heart wanted the main lead to continue with his violent and irrational behavior in order to be entertained. Note the contradiction between his words (“not the sort to stop simply because someone asks you to”) and his action: he doesn’t ask anyone but steals a kiss from Baek Na-Kyum while separating both protagonists. Hence I come to the conclusion that for Black Heart, the commoner had been a killjoy in that scene. And now, it makes perfect sense why Min chose Jihwa as his pawn in the end. He had witnessed how the latter could turn Yoon Seungho into a “monster” and found it so entertaining and funny that he decided to recreate the same situation. This observation explicates why Yoon Seungho put Jihwa and Min in the same bag in chapter 57. Min knew how to provoke the main lead thanks to Jihwa.

But let’s return our attention to Min’s mischievous plan. Observe that in chapter 66, he is doing the same thing again: He says the exact opposite of his true thoughts. While begging for the protagonist’s mercy, he is hoping for the opposite reaction. However, his plan can’t work like in chapter 53 because of the painter’s presence. The reason for this is simple. The lord is embracing the unconscious commoner underlining the importance of the hug. Although Baek Na-Kyum is unconcious here, just his presence is now strong enough to stop Yoon Seungho from getting violent and enraged. Baek Na-Kyum is so vulnerable that the lord can only focus on him, whereas it was the opposite in chapter 53. In other words, this episode marks Min’s defeat. He is not able to manipulate Yoon Seungho like in the past and the painter represents his antidote.

And now, you are wondering why I consider this episode as an evidence for Min’s impulsiveness. It is related to the guardian and Deok-Jae’s death. Min is not aware that a servant among the main lead’s staff has already been killed, therefore he doesn’t realize the consequence of his revelation. Min’s thoughts are always revolving around entertainment and ruckus, hence he doesn’t pay attention to details. He has no idea of the consequences of his intervention. We could already perceive his impulsiveness in chapter 52 , when he revealed himself the planned assassination in front of Baek Na-Kyum. However, back then he wasn’t caught, as neither the painter nor the powerful protagonist paid attention to his words. And instead of learning from his mistakes (f. ex. the murder didn’t occur like planned or the punches he received from the main lead for his provocations), he continues irritating Yoon Seungho. He notices that the latter is no longer denying his feelings in front of him, hence he can’t humiliate him like in chapter 54. Consequently he has to search for another trigger in order to provoke the owner of the mansion. But here, he fails again, as the artist is more important than Jihwa’s wrongdoing. Yoon Seungho is already more focused on his own misdeeds, the afflicted abuse on the painter: the violent sex marathon, the insults and the sequestration. Consequently he has no time for his uninvited guest. He ignores him and leaves him behind, but this won’t do for Min, hence he unveils a secret: Jihwa’s participation. But he fails again, as Yoon Seungho is only seen with the following reaction: Since the chapter 66 stands in opposition to the episodes 53/54, it becomes obvious that the main lead will react differently. He won’t act on his emotions, he learned his lesson due to the painter. He punished the commoner, although the latter was innocent, too blinded by his rage and pain. That’s why I think, we should consider the chapter 66 as Min’s ultimate defeat.

Another affinity to the symptoms for psychopathie is that Min shows a disregard for safety and responsibility. First, he was willing to provoke the protagonist, although he saw that the noble had almost killed a servant with his beating. He chose to irritate him again, risking his own life. That’s why he got slapped so violently that the door was destroyed. But note that Black Heart didn’t feel any pain and showed no tears, instead he started laughing and showed pleasure. But even after receiving the slap, he continued provoking the host thereby the main lead started punching him so many times. Yet at no moment, he asked the lord to stop from hurting him, he kept laughing. However, there exists another explanation why Min kept provoking Yoon Seungho. But this aspect will be elaborated later.

And now there’s only one symptom left from the list: “Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence“. So far, we never saw Min becoming irritable or violent, which explains why I didn’t even realize myself his true personality: he is a psychopath. But if you pay attention to my previous observations, you’ll notice a certain MO. He just uses his pawns to hurt others and enjoys seeing people aggressive and in pain. From my perspective, Min will never employ force directly, but prefers using people in order to voice his hostility and aggression. He will never dirty his hands, which stands in opposition to the Korean Batman, Nameless. Yet this doesn’t mean, Black Heart isn’t aggressive at all, quite the opposite. I will name two examples in order to prove my interpretation. Note that Min manipulates Jihwa to have the painter killed soon after Yoon Seungho humiliated Black Heart in the woods. (chapter 41) Don’t forget that he calls the vicious man “a mouse”, a real insult to someone who sees himself as superior and talented. Then the night after the beating, Min waits for Jihwa in front of his house and urges Jihwa to murder the painter. However, this time he adds that he wants to taste the painter before and note that here, he is mentioning the punches he received from Yoon Seungho. As the manhwaphiles can detect, Min is here retaliating against the main lead for hurting him. He will make him suffer much more: not only he will lose the commoner, but also the latter will get raped: a double affront. However, just like before, he prefers using the childhood friend so that he can avoid to take any responsibility. If something happens, then only Jihwa will pay for this. We should remember that Min never wrote anything concerning a crime. The idea he proposed was at his friend’s place, and the idea of the rape was also mentioned on the street with no witness.

In the last panel, his smile made me think even more of The Joker than before. He takes pleasure in inciting crimes and imagining people in pain. And now, if you recall The Joker’s behavior in The Dark Knight, you’ll note some similarities. He wants to prove to Batman that even good men can turn into criminals. The Joker is the reason why the famous prosecutor Harvey Dent turns into Two-Face, because he wants to denounce the hypocrisy of Gotham society and its rules. That’s why The Joker keeps breaking laws and committing crimes. He abhors society and its norms, hence he is determined to destroy it. And now, you understand why Min chose Jihwa as his pawn and target in the end. He knew that Jihwa could trigger Yoon Seungho’s violence, he was determined to prove that he could turn a rather innocent man into a criminal.

Furthermore, after reading the following quote,

“When psychopaths view others as prey, their lack of feeling and bonding to others allows them to have unusual clarity in observing the behavior of their intended victims. As demonstrated by the Joker in The Dark Knight, psychopaths are unencumbered by the anxieties and emotions that normal people experience in interpersonal encounters. This is because psychopaths are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/wicked-deeds/201911/is-the-joker-psychopath

the manhwalovers will notice that Min considered Yoon Seungho as his prey very early on. In my opinion, this conversation played a huge part in his decision: Min realized the importance of knowledge. Jihwa knew his friend well, hence he was able to awake the “beast” in the main lead. Besides, he could notice that Jihwa had an immense influence on the main character. He could wound him, yet the latter wouldn’t cut ties with him. Note that in that scene, Min never said a word, yet he was observant and realized that Yoon Seungho had a weakness: “in the most wretched of states”. That’s why he chose to get closer to the protagonist, willing to become an uke, if it was necessary for his plan. He needed to discover more about his prey and the best place was to get closer to Jihwa and Yoon Seungho, slowly and silently exactly like a snake. However, I believe, the real war between the two semes started in chapter 41, which caught my attention during the first season. The hand on the main character’s waist was a sign that the psychopath planned to “screw” the main character. (chapter 41) Not only he showed his desire to submit Yoon Seungho, but also he acted, as if he was superior to him. He asked questions and even criticized the main character for his behavior: he was creating a ruckus, exposing his hypocrisy, as Black Heart loves uproar.

After showing point after point that Min’s personality shows many signs of ASPD, it is important to understand the real nature of this mental disorder. After comparing him to The Joker and reading the first part of this essay, you have the impression that people suffering from ASPD are all criminals and they are potential serial killers. However, it is not true, because this mental disorder doesn’t necessarily mean that the affected person is a killer. If you pay attention to Min’s words, he keeps talking about fun and scandal. This observation leads me to the following explanation: The Arousal Theory of Motivation. This psychological conception tries to elaborate what stimulates people.

“Each person has a unique arousal level that is right for them. When our arousal levels drop below these personalized optimal levels, we seek some sort of stimulation to elevate them.” https://www.verywellmind.com/the-arousal-theory-of-motivation-2795380

Since Min keeps seeking entertainment, it shows that he is a person with an abnormally low arousal. Therefore he needs strong stimuli, like violence and attention. And now, you understand first why Min is often seen in company with other nobles. He needs to attract their attention, hence he challenges Yoon Seungho in chapter 33 or in 52. It is the same on the street, when he smokes the opium so openly. It occurs at his friend’s place as well (chapter 43). Notice that he is the one who talks the most and proposes the murder. What caught my attention is that despite the objections from one noble and Min’s friend, the vicious man is able to give a whole speech why Jihwa should have the artist eliminated. No one stops him talking, indicating his skills as orator but more importantly this displays that he likes being in the center of the attention. However, as you can imagine, attention is not enough for him. He needs stronger stimuli than just admiration. He feels the urge to see pain and blood. And this made me think of the other manhwa entitled “The Beast Must Die” written by Lee Hyeon-Sook.

Striking is that we have in the image the same topics: Joker/card, mask and blood. And this is naturally no coincidence, as the protagonist is a psychopath too, in other words, another Joker.

In this manhwa, the main character Lee Ki-Rin approaches the rich but mysterious student Kang Moo. His reason is his thirst for revenge. His sister Lee Seorin was a victim of a gang rape, but since the perpetrators were never prosecuted, the sister killed herself out of despair. The culprits were students coming from wealthy and influential families and members of an organization called “secret fraternity”. Because Lee Kirin had no idea about the identities of the culprits and only knew that they belonged to that “secret fraternity”, he decided to get close to Kang Moo in order to investigate and get revenge for his sister’s death. While Lee Ki-Rin believes, he is manipulating Kang Moo, the readers can quickly realize that the opposite is happening. Kang Moo is the one who let Lee Kirin approach him in the end. What Lee Kirin doesn’t know is that Kang Moo is a psychopath. The latter has always hidden his mental illness in front of people. Even the members from that “club” had no idea except Lim Joohyuk. There’s a reason for that. When he killed a dog for the first time as a child, he saw his mother’s rejection and disgust. Striking is the importance of the gaze again. As a child, the boy sensed his mother’s negative judgement and rejection. However, this incident didn’t stop him to lose his “urge” for blood. Therefore he started to have hobbies like collecting dead bodies, taking pictures of dead creatures and even hunt. As you can detect, in that story Kang Moo has an abnormal low arousal and needed stronger stimuli, as time passed on. This reminds us of Min who keeps looking for entertainment and commotion. Note that Min’s violence has gradually increased: from sex as a symbol for fight, he went to a verbal challenge (chapter 33/41), then it escalated to a murder (43), then to a beating and gangrape (52/53) and finally to a combination of murder and rape (56). And in The Beast Must Die, the protagonist is well aware of the consequences of his behavior. If he killed someone, he would ruin his life. (chapter 32) The manhwaphiles can sense the similarity in the vocabulary: for Min, it is fun/entertainment, while Kang Moor keeps talking about “pleasure”. Since Kang Moo recognized the repercussions of a murder, he chose to fight against it contrasting to Min’s attitude. And there’s reason for that: Min’s social status and historical period. The latter is a noble and can use his superiority to hurt commoners and even break laws, because aristocrats are not prosecuted like low-borns. Secondly, I believe that his family and his surroundings played a huge role. Observe that the nobility is portrayed as corrupt and decadent. Besides, the manhwalovers should remember that Min’s MO is to manipulate others, therefore it reveals that the character had found a way out how to outlive his “urge and need”. He could commit small wrongdoings, as he knew that he wouldn’t get punished for this. But if he had to hurt another noble, he had to use someone else. And this exposes the similarities between Kang Moo and Min. Both are well aware that certain things are not allowed, yet they try to find a different way to move around the rules and laws.

Striking is that Kang Moo never committed a crime, until Lee Seorin committed suicide. She was the trigger for him to change his behavior. While he claims in front of his future victim that she was just an excuse, (chapter 32) the readers shouldn’t take his words as face-value. In my opinion, he felt a similar emotion than Lee Kirin (revenge), because Lee Seorin was the first person who showed understanding and no rejection, when he removed his mask and revealed his true personality. (chapter 33) . What caught my attention is that Kang Moo is voicing his fear indicating that he was well aware of his own mental issues. Moreover, it also outlines his despair… he desired to escape from this, but didn’t know how to. Lee Seorin comprehended Kang Moo’s anxiety, therefore she tried to encourage him not to give up, by supporting him that he could continue maintaining a normal life, if he truly wanted it. And now, you grasp why Kang Moo snapped, when he heard about the circumstances of her death. It was his club that was responsible for her suicide. Naturally, when Lee Kirin asks him if he loved his sister, the psychopath can’t answer that question, since he is unable to grasp his emotions. (chapter 34). However, there’s no doubt that the protagonist had an affection for Lee Kirin’s sister. I believe to perceive an evidence of his attachment to her, when he mentions the suffering of a victim of gang rape. (chapter 56) Sure, in this scene he is threatening Mr. Jang to organize a gang rape on Mrs. Hong’s daughter, because the man with the glass was also menacing his lover Lee Kirin. Yet, the fact that he mentioned such a crime indicates that he didn’t forget the crime Lee Seorin suffered from and he could understand her pain. And there’s another proof that Kang Moo is not truly emotionless. It becomes even more obvious that he loves the main lead too. It is shown in two different occasions. First, he states that he will never let Lee Kirin go. (chapter 34) And latter, he requests from his lover to help him to “stop the beast inside him”. That’s his love confession, although Kang Moo doesn’t truly comprehend the true signification of his words. At some point, he begins to grasp that he has changed and is relying more on Lee Kirin which makes him nervous. This shows that Kang Moo has some problems to accept his love for Lee Kirin. However, this manhwa truly indicates that a person suffering from ASPD is capable to live a normal life and to feel love, even if this patient is not expressing it in the normal way. Furthermore, in this story, Kang Moo tries to use others in order to dirty less his own hands so that the members from “secret fraternity” kill each other indicating that this is not just to enjoy pleasure. Let’s not forget that at the same time, he helps a friend who is getting abused by her fiancé. So he is not a serial killer per se. He is determined to punish “scums” while committing crimes. Yet he believes that he uses revenge as an excuse. To sum up, the story is not just about a psychopath following his urges to kill, but rather the battle of a psychopath who struggled to lead a normal life, but gave in the moment he lost the person who supported him.

As you can sense, I like this story, because the real villain of this story is not the abnormal one, but the ones who are supposed to be mentally sane and normal. The secret fraternity was perverted by one member so that the 5 members started committing crimes and never got punished. (chapter 1). Here, they hunt someone for fun. Besides, I would like to mention here the k-drama “It’s Okay not to be okay” with Kim Soo-Yun and Seo Yea-Ji. In this terrific drama, the main lead is a famous writer suffering from ASPD and the so-called normal people are actually portrayed in a rather negative way as well: they insult, exclude and hurt the persons suffering from a disorder or disability. This shows that authors in South Korea are trying to change the image about mental disorders and plead for more understanding and open-mindedness. In “The Beast Must Die” and “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay”, the characters help people to comprehend that the boundary between normality and abnormality is thin and I would even say, illusory. Lee Kirin desired to get revenge, yet he doesn’t feel sorry for the death of the culprits, but no one is questioning him. It becomes a different story, when a psychopath is involved. The detective will do anything to catch Kang Moo, but finds excuses for Lee Kirin. But observe that he is not diagnosed as a psychopath. As you can sense, there’s here a double standard. Normal people even call for violence and revenge due to their anger and pain, that’s why there’s still death penalty in so many countries. As a conclusion, being diagnosed as a psychopath doesn’t mean that they are no human and people should treat the patient like a monster. Being excluded from society is not the correct answer, like Kang Moo sensed it. He felt the condemnation in his parents’ gaze hence he felt abandoned and lonely.

And now, you understand why Black Heart is often surrounded by people and is even close to the noble with the mole. I believe, he sensed that he was different, but he could never reveal his true self. This explains why his friendship with the noble with the mole was so calm and so harmonious. Hence Jihwa expressed his admiration for their relationship. But their relationship was in reality fake, because Min could never remove his mask. His friend might have sensed his lies and his “Black Heart”, nonetheless I doubt that Min truly confessed his true thoughts in front of the aristocrat with the mole. Moreover, their bond changed the moment Min met the painter. For the first time, Black Heart was attracted, hence he looked at Baek Na-Kyum, while having sex with Yoon Seungho. Furthermore, he saw genuine attraction in the painter’s gaze because of Yoon Seungho. Let’s not forget that Min considered the protagonist as a person similar to him. The commoner was not attracted due to his power or wealth but by the person himself… meaning that he didn’t care about his bad reputation and bad habits. That’s how Min got fascinated by the artist. Since he saw the pure desire in Baek Na-Kyum’s eyes during the intercourse (chapter 8), the aristocrat imagined that he could get the same gaze, if he had sex with the painter. And that’s how the love triangle started. He wished to be gazed like Yoon Seungho was. since he viewed such a pure gaze, while the protagonist was having sex, Min associated the painter’s stare to sex. This explicates why the former is so obsessed with sex and keeps desiring to taste the artist (chapter 33, 52, 56). He couldn’t forget that gaze. I can imagine that he must have called it an obsession, which is an idiom Kang Moo utilized to describe Lee Seorin’s affection for her brother. With this approach, it becomes comprehensible why Min tells Jihwa that Yoon Seungho has been bewitched by Baek Na-Kyum. In reality, he is describing his own thoughts. In other words, he is projecting his own thoughts into the protagonist. He explains his desire and obsession with witchcraft, because he feels vulnerable. That’s his way to confess his love in my opinion. Just like Kang Moo, he can’t say these words (“I love you”), as he has no idea what he feels and what love is. With this interpretation, it becomes comprehensible why Min suggested the painter’s murder in the end. If he can’t satisfy his urges (taste the painter) and he is still thinking about it, then he needs to get rid of the source of his obsession. Because the moment the painter disappears, Min will be able to move on. Witnessing Yoon Seungho’s pain will compensate him for the loss. Therefore, the manhwaphiles can comprehend, why Min still associates Baek Na-Kyum to death. Deep down, he fears the painter, as he senses that the former represents a source of danger for him. He can become his weakness. And the best way to remove this is to manipulate Jihwa to commit the crime. I also think, Min had already detected that he couldn’t do it himself. For me, the character’s thoughts are actually mirroring Min’s true state of mind. Once again, he is projecting his own emotions “fiery in his jealousy”, “too weak at heart” into Jihwa. In fact, we could say the opposite. Jihwa’s heart was strong enough to resist negative emotions. That’s why Byeonduck chose to reveal Min’s thoughts in this chapter. Black Heart is someone who is always projecting his feelings and emotions into others, because he can’t deal with them himself. We had a similar phenomenon, in chapter 43. What Jihwa envisioned in chapter 43 represented Min’s thoughts in reality as well. Min was witnessing how Baek Na-Kyum was escaping from him: first a paramour, now a mistress. There’s another evidence for Min’s attachment to the painter. Like my reader @Lahuno66666 pointed it out correctly, Min is always talking about Baek Na-Kyum, exactly like the main lead. Note that in each chapter Min appears, he always mentions the artist: (chapter 8), chapter 33 , chapter 36 , chapter 41 chapter 43 , chapter 52 , chapter 53 , chapter 54 , chapter 56 , chapter 66 This outlines the importance of the painter in Black Heart’s thoughts. Thanks to her observation, I realized that Min has a similar mentality than Yoon Seungho. Both were confusing the mind with the heart. While Yoon Seungho was in denial of his feeling as he had the impression, he had no heart, the vicious noble is unable to distinguish his heart from his mind due to his ASPD. Furthermore, his so-called “obsession” (love) has never been noticed by the nobles, because when he talked about Baek Na-Kyum, he always talked about Yoon Seungho as well. The latter misunderstood Min’s actions and words. He just thought that Min was just jealous of him, while in reality the source of his envy was the artist. We shouldn’t forget that in chapter 8, Min chose to remain by Baek Na-Kyum’s side , while the main lead was having sex. This truly indicates that the commoner was much more intriguing and alluring than sex. The manhwaphiles should remember my remark about The Arousal Theory of Motivation. Min decided to remain inactive and observe the painter, exposing how much entertained and attracted he was towards Baek Na-Kyum. IT stands in opposition to the sex Yoon Seungho was having: Min was so fascinated by the sexual arousal in the painter’s gaze that he let the nobles alone! Note that he wasn’t even talking in that scene!! It contradicts so much to Min’s usual behavior (talkative, laughing, committing wrongdoings). This displays the artist’s real power. No wonder that Min tried to catch his attention in chapter 52, while the painter was standing at the door. When he saw the new painting, he must have felt so bothered that he felt the need to mock his host and the artist. And now, it becomes comprehensible why Min chose to walk on the picture, when he was in the artist’s study. He felt the urge to destroy the image, as he desires to be the one portrayed in that painting. This explains why the next morning when he talks about the Baek Na-Kyum’s assassination and rape, he remembers the drawing. He would like to be the one in that painting. As you can observe, Min was behaving like the main lead, all his thoughts and emotions were revolving around the painter, that’s why he felt bewitched. However, since he always mentioned Yoon Seungho with the painter, no one noticed his obsession. Jihwa couldn’t, because Black Heart was always talking about the commoner in such a negative way and had even suggested a murder and a rape. How could he notice that Min was in love with Baek Na-Kyum, when he was trying to hurt him? The red-haired noble’s blindness is understandable, because he was doing the same thing to his childhood friend. He would hurt him in the name of love.

Since Min is suffering from ASPD, it explains why Min is causing pain to others. For he is devoid of any feeling, he can only sense them, when he sees them in others. And now, you can understand why he is seeking pleasure and fun all the time. He needs pain and fun in order to feel something, in order to feel alive. But exactly like Kang Moo, the more time passes on, the more he feels this emptiness and his urges keep growing. And the painter became the trigger for Min to become more aggressive and reveal his true face. His jealousy and envy could only worsen. First, he tried to use the support from the other nobles to satisfy his immediate urges in chapter 33, but the main lead refused to share the commoner with him. That’s the moment he decided to remove Yoon Seungho from his throne. He saw how daring Yoon Seungho became, he would even fondle the artist at the tailor shop. I can only envisage that this event must have caused some jealousy and envy… That’s why he challenged Yoon Seungho properly this time and touched his waist. However, he was defeated with an insult: “a mouse”. And remember that at the end of the scene in chapter 41, Min wondered how good the artist would taste. For me, it is clear that Min was so annoyed by this defeat that he wanted to retaliate, like “if I can’t have Baek Na-Kyum, then no one should have him”. As a conclusion, Min is already in love with the painter, but his “love” is associated to so many negative emotions that Black Heart can’t deal with them. Due to his love which he explains with witchcraft, he feels weak, powerless, jealous, greedy, ruthless… and now, you understand why when I compared him to Nameless, I came to the following observations: Min is selfish, jealous, manipulative, poisonous, ruthless, greedy, dishonest and even disloyal. All these feelings are in truth related to Baek Na-Kyum. That’s why Min is able to insult Baek Na-Kyum (“witch”, “charlatan”) and order the murder on the person he is obsessed with. Min can’t accept that he is captivated by a low-born. He needs some abstruse explanations for the emotions he is feeling. In other words, he is in denial!

Because of this new revelation, it becomes necessary to examine once again the chapter 53/54. He kissed the painter, because he couldn’t resist the temptation. He got so jealous that the painter would embrace a vengeful ghost and even accept a slap without getting upset. Imagine, he saw how Baek Na-Kyum was willing to embrace the main lead with all his flaws: rage, brutality and his terrible reputation. Another reason for getting jealous!! At the same time, he felt the need to mock Yoon Seungho due to his jealousy and envy. He had to make him suffer, because he was “suffering” himself. And now, the readers can grasp why Min was even willing to risk his face. He couldn’t contain his negative emotions, he felt the need to provoke the “monster”… In reality, he was mocking himself. How could he feel captivated to the painter? I can even imagine that he accepted the punches, because these could serve as a wake up call. And now, you understand why Min felt the need to retaliate against Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho the next morning. He sensed that he needed more than before to remove the artist, as his desires for Baek Na-Kyum kept increasing, and as such his envy and jealousy had become insufferable. As you can observe, Min is a really complex character. To reduce him to a psychopath is not correct. Sure, it helps the readers to comprehend his personality better, however by analyzing another psychopath, we could definitely perceive his true thoughts and emotions.

My final word is the following: Psychopath or not, such people shouldn’t be judged like beast or monstrosity, because in reality, normal people can become murderers or criminals. Don’t forget that Holocaust was only possible due to the participation of “willing helpers” who were actually normal and sane. However, we can criticize and condemn people and characters for their wrongdoings. Ordering a murder or a rape is a crime, therefore Min is indeed a criminal psychopath.

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

Painter Of The Night: The Joker – Part 2 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter   But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

In the first part, I had associated lord Min to The Joker and elaborated why both characters were similar. And for that, I had used the definition of the joker, which I am quoting again:

  1. a special playing card that can be given any value and is used in some card games instead of any other card
  2. someone who likes telling funny stories or doing stupid things in order to make people laugh
  3. a person who has done something that annoys you  https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/joker

While comparing Min’s words and behavior to the definition, I came to realize that the manhwa Painter Of The Night had another Joker. And now, the manhwaphiles have already guessed the identity of the second Joker: Nameless.

If you look carefully at his role, you’ll notice that he is indeed an entertainer. (chapter 43) So his job corresponds to the second definition. That’s why he is wearing a mask. Striking is that his mask is very similar to The American Joker:

  1. The thick eyebrows
  2. The open mouth
  3. Both give the impression that the face is frozen (mask versus make-up)

Furthermore, Nameless is indeed someone who annoys others, as he is a criminal. (definition 3) He commits wrongdoings for his clients who are all nobles. He is even quite famous among the aristocracy, as Min even described the commoner as ruthless, greedy and unscrupulous. But most importantly, Nameless acts exactly like a special playing card (definition 1), since his function is very similar to Black Heart’s. First, he breaks laws (trespassing, abduction, murder, hiring spies), because the joker is not supposed to follow the game rules. Secondly, the Korean jester is an extremely beneficial and harmful card to the figures in Painter Of The night. Observe, that Nameless’ interventions have a devastating and beneficial impact on Jihwa and the main couple. While the characters had to suffer due his actions, the latter helped the protagonists to realize their true feelings and face reality. Nameless noticed right away that Jihwa was not the type to order the murder of a person. He noticed the noble’s nervousness with his bad habit: biting his fingernails. (chapter 50) Therefore he chose to mislead the red-haired client, because he hoped that with time, the aristocrat would change his mind. However, in order to give Jihwa the impression that he was taken seriously, he gave a false excuse and explained that he needed some time. As you can see, exactly like Min, the commoner manipulated the instigator. Later, when the latter criticized the criminal for his inaction, the latter was the one who reminded the red-haired lord of the gravity of the crime: he intended to kill a person. The irony is that the assassin, a symbol for immorality, was actually playing the role of consciousness: (chapter 51) In my point of view, it is very important, because it shows that Nameless has a huge sense of justice and morality. He can distinguish from right and wrong, and is well aware that killing someone is in truth a terrible crime. And thanks to his intervention, he stopped Jihwa from committing a grave sin. He forced the lord to face reality, by describing in the most horrible but real way possible the things he would do to the painter, so that Jihwa would truly see the consequences of his choice. Nameless brought pain to the red-haired master, but at the end, Jihwa could finally admit his mistake and regret his actions. He was responsible for ruining his relationship with his childhood friend. What caught my attention is that Nameless’ words had such an effect on the lord that the latter even vomited. It was, as though Nameless’ words had such power that they could remove the poison from Jihwa’s heart. His words and actions worked like an antidote, which reminds us of the words used by the noble with the mole: As you can observe, Nameless embodies truth and Min lies, and Black Heart’s lies were the reason why Jihwa had been “poisoned” and deceived. Only reality could make him perceive the truth. Striking is that Nameless had already planned that Jihwa would never give the final hit order, therefore he had already envisioned to return the painter to Yoon Seungho. Min might have suggested the plan, but since Nameless executed it, he is also responsible for their misery and liberation. Consequently, the abduction made the painter realize his feelings for the main lead. The latter would have never recognized it, if he hadn’t been facing death. In front of death, social gap and social status didn’t matter any longer. What is truly important were the persons’ actions that moved the person facing his imminent end. The manhwaphiles should remember that Yoon Seungho’s smile was the last thought Baek Na-Kyum had, revealing that the lord’s smile must have touched his heart back then, giving him some hope. That’s why at the end, he screamed for Yoon Seungho’s help and the way he called the main lead showed a certain intimacy: lord Seungho. The result of the abduction on the main lead is clear. He recognized his powerlessness and recognized that he couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from Baek Na-Kyum. Furthermore, the chapter 66 displays how the main lead is no longer denying his affection for the painter in front of witnesses. Don’t forget that Yoon Seungho is carrying the artist in front of Min and his staff during the day, which contrasts so much to the incident of the broken door with Min. Back then, only Min saw it and the protagonists denied both the main lead’s love for the commoner. Simultaneously, this panel stands in opposition to the incident in chapter 45, because the lord is not naked, a sign for his obsession with sex, but he is not even hiding the identity of his lover. The abduction destroyed the relationship between the two protagonists which was only based on sex, yet simultaneously the kidnapping helped them to change the nature of their relationship, to come to a spiritual love, something the noble had been longing all this time. And this explains why there won’t be any dichotomy later: sex or love. In the future, sex will become one of their ways to express their love for each other. Yet, I am quite sure, both will reveal their affection through other actions: painting, poetry and teaching. As you can conclude, Nameless has a similar effect than Min in the end. Both bring misery and pain, yet they help the characters to perceive truth and accept reality. And now you understand why I had this revelation: Nameless is also a Joker.

But let’s return our attention to our initial observation: Nameless’ role as dancer and clown. What caught my attention is that although Min and Nameless act like entertainers, Nameless distinguishes himself from Black Heart, because he is not doing it to distract himself (chapter 66), but to make people happy. In other words, that’s his job. Therefore, we can say that he is doing it in order to survive, contrasting so much to Min who considers fun as hobby. This is understandable, as the noble is not forced to work, he lives on his wealth and status. Whereas the noble is doing everything for fun, the other is actually living from fun. At the same time, I can’t help myself sensing that Nameless’ work as clown and dancer exudes a certain selflessness, as entertaining the public means making people happy, even if the performers are earning some money through their show. Their performance is rewarded by donations. As a first conclusion, while Black Heart stands for leisure, lightness and selfishness, the other embodies survival/work, seriousness and a certain selflessness. Another divergence is that while Black Heart is using other nobles to pressure Yoon Seungho (chapter 33) and hide his true wish (taste the painter), the clown is working with musicians and another dancer. This exposes that Nameless is actually team-oriented. Moreover, we know for sure that Nameless has a good relationship with his workers, since they gave info to Jihwa. And now, you can understand while examining Black Heart, I had the following revelation: Nameless stands in opposition to Black Heart.

NamelessMin
selflessnessselfishness
Work/survivalhobby
truthlie
team-orientedloner
generositygreed
understandingjealousy
compassionateruthless
honesthypocrite
loyalDisloyal – traitor
Antidote„poisonous words“

The criminal is not greedy, as he doesn’t even accept the money offered by Jihwa at the end. He is compassionate, as he feels pity for Jihwa’s situation. Moreover, he decides not to mutilate the artist, although it signifies that he is taking some risk. Sure, he is here not soft-hearted, quite ruthless. Yet, let’s not forget that he is here wearing his mask. In that scene, the criminal scares the victim so much for a reason: he is trying to ensure that this incident remains a secret and that no one gets hurt in the end. He is loyal towards his client, since he is acting for Jihwa’s best interest (not dirty his hands by murdering a person), willing to get rid of a possible thread.

Thanks to the observation of one of my readers, I came to the realization that Black Heart lives through the anger and pain from others, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t feel alive, whereas the other is just living through the pain of others in order to survive. Yet, he has a heart despite his crimes. He is in fact an disillusioned man due to his past and bad experiences, and this can be sensed in the following panel: He knows the brutality and hypocrisy of aristocracy. And this leads me to the next deduction: when Min described Nameless in chapter 43 , he was in truth portraying the nobles. The butcher’s actions were reflecting their own attitude: immoral, manipulative, greedy and ruthless. And now, the manhwaphiles can grasp why Nameless behaved differently in front of Jihwa. Since the latter was different, he had to act differently. In other words, he has a similar function than the painter: the mirror. He gives a true reflection of the red-haired noble’s personality. Hence the pain Nameless afflicted on others had a different cause. He was just doing it in order to protect himself. Yet, unlike the noble, the criminal has never given up on his consciousness and righteousness. He might be brutal and frightening, yet in his mind he does it for a good reason: protect himself or in the last case protect an innocent noble. Since the latter is not a coldblooded person, Nameless feels the need to stop that person from dirtying his hands, as he is well aware that he will be plagued with huge pangs of conscience.

And now, if the manhwalovers observe the way Nameless uses his mask, they will note that he only wears it, when he is acting as a criminal. Naturally, I am excluding the scene, where he acts as a real entertainer. Let me give you examples:

  1. On the roof top, he is actually trespassing the property and taking a look at the mansion.
  2. When he abducts the painter (a memory from the painter, chapter 61), he is wearing the mask.
  3. When he threatens the artist before releasing him (chapter 65):
  4. But the most decisive clue occurs in chapter 54: When he realizes that Deok-Jae will use his knowledge in order to blackmail Jihwa, the “butcher” puts on his mask, when he decides to get rid of the vicious servant. Slowly, his face disappears behind the mask. Hence I come to the deduction that the mask symbolizes his role as criminal, yet at the same time, it exposes that this doesn’t represent Nameless’ true identity and personality. There’s a different person behind the mask, whereas it is different for Black Heart. Min’s face is the mask itself, the symbol for his hypocrisy.

As you can detect, the more I analyze Nameless, the more it reveals how different he is from the noble. That’s why I had the following revelation: Nameless is Min’s real nemesis. Because of this deduction, I came to the conclusion: Nameless is Batman in the manhwa. Why? First, just like Batman, Nameless has two identities: the entertainer and the “ruthless butcher”. And note that the commoner often acts like Batman during the night: (chapter 50) (chapter 66) Secondly, he is wearing a mask, when he acts like a criminal, hiding his identity. At the same time, he is hiding his true personality (thoughts and emotions) behind the mask as a way to protect himself, very similar to the American Hero, who is full of doubts. One might argue that this association is incorrect. Batman can’t be considered as a criminal, since he fights villains. However, if you pay attention to Batman’s actions, you’ll notice that he breaks laws and rules, he is not working with police, he acts on his own. And if you include the movies from Christopher Nolan, Batman refuses to work with his friend Rachel Dawes, since he doesn’t trust prosecution office and Gotham justice. Finally, let’s not forget that at some point, Batman is even considered as a criminal by authorities, as he is blamed for the death of many people. And both have indeed a tragic past, suffering from a trauma, which is perceptible through the tattoos. Furthermore, Nameless does have a sense of justice…. like I pointed out earlier: he is well aware of the painter’s innocence. Yet, there’s no doubt that there are divergences between Nameless and Batman, as the former belongs to the commoners, whereas Bruce Wayne is really rich. The criminal is not powerful, unlike the American hero who can use his wealth and connection to fight against villains. But since the low-born stands in opposition to Min and I considered the latter as a new version of The Joker due to the similarity of their mentality, I can only perceive Nameless as Batman, the one who will be able to defeat Min. And in chapter 66, their antagonism is already palpable.

What caught my attention is the following panel: Why did Byeonduck decide to show us the roof, when the guardian gave us an explanation about the commotion? It is important, as it represents Nameless’ deception. When I saw this panel, I was immediately reminded of this image: . The roof top is associated to Nameless, which is also a place linked to Batman. Then my follower @BlackPearl1301 noticed that the new guardian looked a lot like the servant serving Jihwa before: (chapter 50). The color of the clothes are the same. Thanks to her, I could finally put the puzzle together. It looks like Nameless planted a spy in Jihwa’s mansion in order to know how the lord would behave after giving the hit order. And this is not surprising why Nameless would know that Jihwa had been drinking all this time, even before removing the veil from the hat. Sure, he noticed the trembling hand, but this could be caused by nervousness and anxiety.

But let’s return our attention to the new guardian. How could they hire someone so quickly? The manhwalovers should remember that only Nameless knows about Deok-Jae’s disappearance and death, therefore he was well aware that Yoon Seungho’s staff might look for a replacement. Since the criminal no longer needs a spy to observe the red-haired master’s move, he needs to plant a spy in order to know if Baek Na-Kyum will remain silent or not. Since Nameless is well aware of the nobility’ mentality, he can use it to his advantage. The aristocrats never pay attention to servants and as such commoners. The criminal is right in the end: Min doesn’t even recognize that there’s a new guardian, although he has been at the mansion before twice (8, 52) and he even saw Deok-Jae getting beaten. Besides, I would like to remind my readers that there’s no coincidence in Byeonduck’s work. She focused a great deal on the guardian and his explanations. Since he was delivering a similar explanation than Nameless had made up, I truly suspect that the domestic is informing Nameless in the end. And note that in chapter 66, Min reveals in front of Yoon Seungho Jihwa’s involvement. Kim and other servants must have heard the aristocrat’s words. And with this new revelation, Nameless’ strategy becomes obsolete. The criminal will realize that Jihwa is in danger, because he knows about Deok-Jae’s death and he is also responsible for this situation. He hired the servant on the red-haired client’s behalf. Therefore Jihwa could take the fall for this. With Min’s revelation, Yoon Seungho could decide to retaliate. Yet, in this moment, I detect Min’s arrogance and stupidity. He has the impression that since the painter was not hurt, there’s nothing to fear. However, Min didn’t notice the change of the guardian and once Deok-Jae’s death is revealed, Yoon Seungho could use it to go after the nobles. Who knew about the kidnapping? The manhwaphiles should remember the words from the noble with the mole: As you can observe, Nameless’ plan was ruined by Min’s action, who believes that he is protected. However, he doesn’t realize that his favorite weapon, a secret, could be turned against him, as he is not aware of the existence of another secret. Since Min is responsible for Jihwa’s fate and the latter will blame Nameless for the servant’s death, the criminal will feel responsible for the red-haired noble. At the same time, Min made himself a new enemy who is definitely ruthless and smart. Since Min was responsible for Jihwa’s corruption, I believe that Nameless will be the one who will fight against Min and will defeat him in the end. That’s why he reminds me of Batman. The reason why I can’t truly associate Yoon Seungho to Batman is that I have the impression, the main lead will use the legal system to go after the people involved in that conspiracy. I have the feeling that he will be responsible for a purge and no one will ever imagine that it was triggered by the painter’s kidnapping. Nevertheless, I anticipate that in the future, Nameless will come to work with Yoon Seungho. There’s a reason for that. While Nameless represents truth and secrets, Yoon Seungho stands for justice and power, like I demonstrated it before. That’s why I believe that Nameless knows a lot more about the painter and his past, though he is not aware that Baek Na-Kyum is that person. The fact that the Joseon Batman was seen with a gisaeng, makes me think that he was looking for info. Then I couldn’t help myself thinking that Nameless must have witnessed something similar in the past, when he made a very realistic description how to get rid of the painter. Let’s not forget that this story is constructed according to the principle: history repeats itself. So there must have been a painter in the past as well. Finally, Jihwa is linked to secrets either, as his favourite sentence is: I know Besides, I had explained that Jihwa seems to be involved in the past and felt guilty. Therefore I sense that both characters will discover that they have much more in common: the past and their involvement with the two main leads’ past.

And now, the manhwaworms can grasp, why I came to the idea that Nameless and Yoon Seungho will work together. The moment they are collaborating, they will definitely uncover what truly happened in the past and brought justice to the responsible ones. At the same time, we could say that Nameless is already working like the hand of justice, though he is not truly aware of it. He killed Deok-Jae who was a criminal in reality. The man never got punished for his misdeeds: the theft, the treason, the bullying, the poisoning and the trashing of Baek Na-Kyum’s place. The vicious domestic met his karma. Sure, nowadays no one would receive a death sentence for such crimes, yet in that period it is a different story.

As a conclusion, Nameless has a similar function than Min, yet unlike the noble he has kept his heart pure. The darkness of his mind has a different origins than Baek Na-Kyum’s: he must have experienced injustice and even witnessed crimes committed by nobles, but they put the blame on commoners. Back then, he must have felt powerless, exactly like the main character. That’s why he chose to become a criminal in the end. If he became the nobles’ dirty hands, then he would get protected. As for Heena, I perceive her as Rachel Dawes, the one who fights for justice, even if there’s corruption.

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