Before Yun joins Hak and Yona on their journey, we see what led to him meeting Ik-Su.
Review (with Spoilers)
I don’t remember if I ever cried while watching this show, but oh my eyes got watery as Yun’s backstory was shared. Even though we just met the child. For more on “The Chosen Door” look below.
Topic 1: You Needed Me, And I Needed You – Yun & Ik-Su
We learn Yun’s origins are within the Fire village region in a town which long has lost its crops and most people either left, were starving to death, or struggling to get by. Yun was one of those starving to death since it seemed his family was long gone and he had to steal to find any sort of morsel of food, unless he decided to eat tree roots.
Enter Ik-Su who was traveling through regions after being banished, and giving away all he had, including gold. Something Yun knew about so he threw a rock at his head in order to attempt to rob him. Unfortunately for Yun though, all Ik-Su had was his clothes. Though with Ik-Su crying over being unable to help Yun, and Yun deciding to take care of Ik-Su, so was born their bond. For, perhaps the first time in Yun’s life, someone took the time to teach him something, show they cared, and make him feel loved. Especially since Ik-Su sacrificed his shoes just so Yun could have a potatoes.
And, as you can imagine, being given a taste of love and kindness is hard to let go. So, after Yun made his return to the fire village to say goodbye, for he realized he couldn’t help people as he wished to, Yun made sure he wouldn’t leave without him again. For as much as Yun needed Ik-Su, Yun felt Ik-Su also needed him.
I don’t know if I am going through something, but I was tearing up throughout Yun and Ik-Su interacting. For while I wanted to know the details of how Yun survived for as long as he did, and where his parents were, I felt the connection he made with Ik-Su overpowered my questioning of what was missing in the plot. For not only is there a need to question where Yun’s parents were, but also what happened to the fire region?
Though considering how the fire region modernly seems, especially in comparison to the wind tribe, perhaps this is to show how brutal their world has always been. While also showing why Yun is such a jerk and dislikes royalty. For while he mentions dreams of visiting the capital, the local royals have shown him nothing but indifference in his many times of need.
Topic 2: Are You Just Going To Let Me Go? – Ik-Su, Yona, and Yun
In modern times, we learn that Ik-Su is the one who pushes Yun to leave him and go with Yona. But, rather than directly approaching Yun and Yona at the same time, instead he approaches Yona in a cowardly move. For with him not really wanting to let Yun go, but knowing he is stunting his development by keeping him, he sees Yona’s journey as something which can lead to all Yun wanted as a child. After all, Yun wants books, adventures, to learn more and Ik-Su can’t offer him that. Ik-Su is drawn to helping people until he can’t anymore and seclusion is the only way he can find peace. Plus, at this point, Ik-Su has taught Yun all he knows and has learned from Yun how to take care of himself better. So while they have forged a father and son like bond, it seems they eventually come to the agreement that it is time for the baby bird to leave the nest.
Again, tears were flowing as the two said goodbye and I felt strange that this was the first time, in my short term memory, I actually felt something from this show. Which perhaps is just strange to me since we have witnessed Yona’s father dying, saw Hak as a child fall in love with Yona, and him even renounce his association with his home for her. All of which are tragedies worth crying over, even if for the sake of love. So with this storyline between two people we just got to know causing water works, I can only assume it is because Ik-Su and Yun don’t have an almost generic story.
For Yona’s story really is the basis to many a revenge plot, and Hak’s character has come in many forms, whether romantic or otherwise. However, with Ik-Su and Yun, while a man taking a child under his wing isn’t new, I just feel something is different here that I just can’t put my finger on. Either way, I hope this isn’t the last time the show really packs a punch.
“When you protect someone you want to keep safe, do you always weigh your own life against theirs?”
— “The Chosen Door.” Akatsuki no Yona
Things To Note
What is mentioned in topic 1 takes place 7 years back.