How to introduce Gu Yong-ha?
I love him! He’s amazing! Adorkable! Even conniving! So, so happy he went good!
That won’t work. It doesn’t really tell you anything. He is that amazing though.
First I should explain that Gu is his last name. In Korea they put family first so it stands to reason last names go first too. So Yong-ha is his first name. His nickname is Yeo-rim, meaning Forest of Women, so you kind of get right away (if you’re Korean) what kind of character this is. He’s a rich, merchant’s son with the best fabrics who gotten to experience all the things you need money to experience. Hence, he’s a woman magnet, mainly women of questionable innocence.
We don’t hold that against Yong-ha. Sure, he’s bored out of his mind and so loves to cause others problems. Still wouldn’t you want to do the same if you needed to be entertained? You would if you had Yong-ha’s skills, you would. He has a way of convincing you that his idea has merit so you’ll go along at least until he’s proven your enemy. Proving such is an unlikely endeavor as he’s faction-less, flitting like a beautiful butterfly from one flower to another.
His one mainstay is Jae-shin. You can see from the screencap above how much he cares for his friend (yes, that’s a man’s hand he’s hugging so lovingly!) Jae-shin himself doesn’t quite understand it but it’s proven to us when Yong-ha makes serious enemies to protect his wounded friend. When asked how Yong-ha seems to know everything, Jae-shin answers for him,
“He’s THE Gu Yong-ha. The persistent guy who’s been following me around for ten years.”
Awww. Jae-shin can’t even be angry at Yong-ha even when he unmans him, his words more affectionate bark than hand biting. While Yong-ha is accepting of his long-time feelings toward Jae-shin he finds it curious that he’s also attracted to Yoon-shik. This puzzle leaves him occupied through the entire series trying to prove he’s really a she.
Yong-ha though wouldn’t exist without the talented Song Joong-ki. You get a glimpse of his genius above – he has a masterful control of his expressions and these don’t even do him justice. Please, please watch the video and you can see him in action through the series. Part of what makes Yong-ha one of my favorite characters from k-dramas is how Song Joong-ki portrays his character through his physical movement. You have to see it to believe it.
Now watch that video, it’s worth it! (Sorry, no subtitles.)
This month I’m participating in a writing challenge to post everyday in April (except Sundays) called the A to Z Challenge. I’m exploring my love of characters, find the full list here. Read some of my other writing posts here. What characters do you love?