An Unforgettable Scene – Dae Jang Geum AKA Jewel in the Palace


Today marks eleven years since I first encountered the one scene in a drama that made me feel like I should really become a great writer someday! I am a fan of many legendary writers from the likes of Shakespeare, J.K Rowling, to the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, the Hong Sisters…and everyone else in-between and after, and of course not forgetting whoever writes the lines for Raymond Reddington in The Blacklist, God bless their soul whoever they are coz those lines are simple but epic! And of course I am also a fan of directors like Steven Spielberg all the way to Kim Jin-Man – (anyone think Kill Me, Heal Me?? Yeah!) …I love them all! However, for some reason, this is the Number One scene that had a profound effect on me the very first time I came across it and there are not enough words to describe WHY it is different from anything else I have read or watched before.

And no, it isn’t because I am a feminist and the story celebrates the rise of a woman who rose against all odds in a male dominated society to become one hell of a woman…no. The real reasons lie in the details of the plot, the talented cast – the villain lady is so good in her role that you even feel you would hate her in real life!…and the wonder work of the director. The food of course is another thing to growl about as you keep fighting the urge to rush to the kitchen and get something to eat every time a scene filled with delicacies is presented. Pray you don’t get fat by the time you finish watching the drama!

To this day, since eleven years ago…I keep thinking…I want to write a great story like that one someday…someday….someday….

Here goes my favourite scene of all time!!!:

jewel in the palaceA man on a self-imposed exile wonders into the woods in the dark when he falls down the mountain into a dark pit. Moments later, he awakens from unconsciousness to find himself in the company of a prophet. They share a few pleasantries and then this conversation ensues:

Man: Sir, I have to be on my way…please tell me the way out.

No response from the prophet.

Man: Sir….??

Prophet finally speaks.

Prophet: You don’t seem like the kind to harm someone but why do you have a storm of blood in your hands?

Man: Excuse me…(looks a bit confused) what do you mean sir?

Prophet: tsk tsk tsk…your fate…what a pity.

Man: What do you mean sir? (Getting a little agitated…). Please explain to me. Why do you pity my fate?

Prophet: Three women are holding your fate, (he says in an ominous tone). Even though you killed the first woman, you will not die. The second will die because of you even though you save her. And the third will kill you but she will save many lives.

Man leans his head a little closer to the prophet and whispers:

Man: Sir, what shall I do? What can I do to free myself from this fate?

Prophet: The best thing is not to meet them.

Man: How? How can I not meet the first woman?

Prophet: Haven’t you already met her?

You can literally see man’s pulmonary veins stop functioning for a few seconds.

Prophet continues,: That’s why it’s a pity…(he says – he’s basically fanning a volcano now, isn’t he? ).

By now, you can clearly see the man’s face pictured right next to the word ‘horrified’ in an illustrative dictionary somewhere.

Man: And the second…no…I will die because of the third woman? Then how can i not meet the third woman? (He asks)

Prophet: Don’t meet the second woman.

Man: Then how can I not meet the second woman? Please tell me, Sir. (He pleads).

Prophet throws three placard-like papers at the man, each containing a single word (or could it be words??)

The man looks at them and immediately registers confusion on his face, unable to comprehend their meaning.

Man: What do these mean, sir?

But when he looks up, the prophet is nowhere in sight.

Man: Sir! Please wait, sir! (He shouts as his eyes look around but to no avail).


In the next scene, the man consults a priest and soon finds out the meaning behind the characters written on the three papers.

As the plot unfolds, the man tries to evade his fate and does his best so as not to meet the second woman in whose hands his fate lies. If he can avoid meeting the second woman, then by all means he will never meet the third woman.

But its fate….

He will meet the woman, willy-nilly.

And he does meet the woman.

Because of course, if he doesn’t meet her, there wouldn’t be this beautiful and awe-inspiring story for me to mush over – forever!

This is Dae Jang Geum, AKA Jewel in the Palace…a story I shall forever remember.

Kudos to the writers, director and great cast of this one. I Salute!

3 thoughts on “An Unforgettable Scene – Dae Jang Geum AKA Jewel in the Palace

  1. The Seabird says:

    We also have writers like John Grisham that write wonderful legal thrillers, they keep your heart racing through out the book and sometimes you could even feel like you are watching all events unfold…


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