It is hard to sink in but River Where the Moon Rises has officially ended with the last episode airing yesterday on April 20. The ambitious drama was a highly anticipated one with a credible production team, a reputed network like KBS backing it up, an amazing story and a stellar star-cast. However, a few weeks in and the show ran into rough waters. The lead actor Ji Soo who played General On Dal was accused of school violence and bullying. The issue blew up amongst netizens and the actor left the show. In no time he was replaced with Na In Woo, who recently gained prominence with Mr. Queen.
Despite many hardships and financial losses, the actors and the team worked hard to present a beautiful drama to us. The ending was a tear-jerker leaving viewers emotional yet satisfied with the ending. Hae Mo Young refuses to give up on her love for Go Geon despite her father’s protests. Go Geon tells her he knows that she burnt the letter. She pleads with him but he goes. Meanwhile, On Dal and Pyeonggang are at the battlefield, they are clearly outnumbered and On Dal orders Pyeonggang to leave the battlefield as it is getting dangerous. Pyeonggang leaves reluctantly but tells Tara Jin that she can’t leave like this.
Pyeonggang is captured while trying to assassinate King Jinheung. On Dal receives a letter about Pyeonggang being captured. He is asked to surrender or else they will kill the princess. On Dal contemplates and then remembers what his father said – Protect what truly matters to you. Go Geon and Ho Mo Young join hands and On Dal gets to know that Pyeonggang has successfully escaped. Pyeonggang shoots a coloured arrow to call On Dal for help.
Go Geon is seriously injured. He asks On Dal to take the princess and leave. Hae Mo Young nurses him and asks him if he ever loved her. He replies saying he loved her and dies in her arms. Meanwhile, On Dal and Pyeonggang hear victory sounds and relax a bit. They discuss their future and having seven kids together! However, they face a sudden attack by enemy soldiers. On Dal pushes Pyeonggang and takes the arrows by himself. He takes more arrows on his back to shield her and eventually succumbs to injuries and dies in her arms.
Pyeonggang is utterly devastated by On Dal’s death. Everyone grieves his death. Pyeonggang and the king have a heartfelt conversation where they clear out misunderstandings between them. He tells her she is welcome back to the palace in the future. Pyeonggang leaves the palace. She meets Hae Mo Young who tells her she has started a small business and buried Go Geon somewhere with lots of sunshine.
Pyeonggang misses On Dal and is wandering around his house, reliving their time together when she sees him walk out in blood and flesh. He walks past her not recognising her. Wol Gwang explains to her that On Dal faked death to protect those around him; however, it has come at a cost, he has lost his memories! Pyeonggang is determined to make On Dal remember everything. She takes him to their favourite spot and shows him their matching bracelets. They hug each other and he instantly recognises her scent. His memories come flooding back to him and they kiss in the end.
According to Nielsen Korea, the finale episodes of River Where the Moon Rises recorded average nationwide ratings of 6.8 and 8.3 percent. The drama dropped a bit in the middle but picked up momentum in no time. Farewell, River Where The Moon Rises.
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