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I am Yoon Yeon Lee. I went from the princess of a defeated country to the queen of a victorious one — was it due to my merits? No, I only made it here because I was prepared to slay everyone, even my favorites, were they to cross me. You've helped me a lot along this road of mine, but I will not forgive you if you deceive me, Chief State Councilor.

–To Yoo Ja Gyeom

Yoon Yeon Lee was the queen mother of Ga Guk during the reign of her son, King Jin Won. Following her consort's death, she masterminded the Jeogwa Revolution, alongside later chief state councilor, Yoo Ja Gyeom. This made her and her son the ruling members of the Royal Family of Ga Guk, beginning her regency as queen dowager until her son turned 20 years old.

HistoryEdit

Jeogwa Revolution Edit

Main article: Jeogwa Revolution
Queen Ahn Young and Yoon Yeon Lee

Yeon Lee confronts Ahn Young

Ten years ago, Yoon Yeon Lee orchestrated a coup d'état, also known as the Jeogwa Revolution, against the reigning queen dowager Ahn Young and Crown Prince Yi Hwi after the death of the late King Jin Hyul. Arriving at the burning palace, she told Ahn Young that she shall escape the repercussions held against her, since everything will be erased in the fire. She confronted Ahn Young and ordered Baek Yoo Shin to kill her. Stealing Ahn Young's yongjam and seeing Yoo Shin idle, Yeon Lee angrily ordered him to chase after the Crown Prince and kill him.[1]

Plot Edit

Compact Heist Arc Edit

7 2

Yeon Lee angered at her son's mockery

At the palace, Yeon Lee is visited by Yoo Ja Gyeom with the severed head of the Right Minister, which was severed by the infamous vigilante Crimson Moon. She ordered the chief state councilor to say something about the occurrence, to which he explained about the Crimson Moon's actions. She opened up about the spreading rumors regarding the song dedicated to the Crimson Moon, reprimanding the chief state councilor. Yi Won bursted in and mockingly sang the song, much to her indignation. As he left, she ordered the chief state councilor to never disappoint her again such as hearing the name "Jin Yeon." She also ordered him to execute the people on the spot who are caught singing the song regardless of rank.[2]

One morning, Yoon Yeon Lee was visited by the chief state councilor and reported that the compact was stolen. However, they have concluded that the Crimson Moon was indeed Jin Yeon since he would not take such risks in order to retrieve the compact. He then pointed out that the compact was merely a scrap of paper and that nine out of ten of his co-councilors were on their side. She then reminded him that those councilors were on their side because the compact was with her, but now that the Crimson Moon has the compact, there was a huge possibility that those councilors will turn to Crown Prince Jin Yeon's side. Having one option left, she decided to join forces with the chief state councilor by marrying their children.[3]

Chase Arc Edit

On the night of the incident in the slums, Yeon Lee went to the palace to meet her son whom she reprimands for being difficult to find and also for his absences during the court meetings. He tells her to go straight to her point in which she tells him that the compact was stolen. He mockingly tells her that they should have been more careful, but she informs him that, since the safety of the Royal Family depended on it, a royal wedding shall take place, to which he agrees.[4]

Revolt Procurement Arc Edit

At the palace, Yeon Lee encounters the chief state councilor clearing the piled up scrolls in the king's chambers. Angered, she reprimands him when, suddenly, the king arrived. He tells them that they should now select the three candidates for the wedding. The king adds that his mother can choose a "loyalist daughter" which will suit her taste, much to her disappointment.[5]

Plague Arc Edit

During the king's excursion to Moon's End Village, Jin Won goes missing and gets involved in an "accident" that almost cost him his life. His guard at the time, Baek Ryung, returns to the palace to organize a search party for the king, but the Queen Mother becomes infuriated upon knowing of the king's disappearance, ordering for her execution. As Heuk Rang slays her on the spot, Yeon Lee questions Bi Yeong Pal Mu's competence, deeming it as a lesser force compared to its predecessor. She then sternly orders Heuk Rang to find the king before she leaves.[6]

Bridal Selection Arc Edit

Yeon Lee reacts to Won's royal decree

Yeon Lee's anxiousness with the king's sudden royal decree

The Queen Mother welcomes bridal candidates Yoo Dan Ah and Hwang Se Ryeon to the palace and compliments them. She explains to them that it is customary for the bridal selection to have three candidates, but unforeseen circumstances have pushed them to elect two candidates during that time. Yeon Lee ponders whose side she shall take: Ja Gyeom's, who has greatly helped her with her previous schemes but whose thirst for power and ambition is highly excessive; or Hwang Se Hyung's, who knows how to be content with his power but whose strength and potential are questionable. They are then interrupted by the head servant, who excuses herself in the midst of the important meeting to hand over a royal decree, stating that he has chosen Hyun Bin as the third bridal candidate.[7] Yeon Lee is infuriated with her son's decision, though left with no choice but to welcome her.

Yeon Lee angry at banquet

The Queen Mother becomes angry at her son's tardiness

At the palace banquet that night, the Queen Mother becomes angry at her son's tardiness. At that point, she thought that her son has become serious with the state affairs, wondering what happened that caused him to act carelessly again for the past month. While waiting for him, Crown Prince Jang Rok Ha of Seo Seo approaches her and jeeringly tells her how dull and idle the banquet has turned. As the Queen Mother tries to disregard the insult, he asks for her permission to allow him to bring out some entertainment, which turns out to be a shadow dance performance. Before she could answer, King Jin Won arrives and allows the performance.[8] Eventually, the king collapses during the performance when he approached the dancing figure, causing the banquet to be stopped.

The next day, Yeon Lee and Ja Gyeom are informed by the royal physician that the king has passed out the previous night due to excessive alcohol intake that greatly weakened his liver, coupled with his unhealthy lifestyle and lack of rest recently. The Queen Mother becomes irritated by the physician's diagnosis, thinking about her son's irresponsibility, and orders the physician to keep the king's condition secret before leaving.

Yeon Lee asks who the dancer is

Yeon Lee asks Ja Gyeom who the suspicious woman is

The chief state councilor recommends putting a pause to the bridal candidacy for the meantime considering the king's condition, but Yeon Lee declines, ordering for the occasion to push through, lest Jin Won might cancel the engagement if there are further delays. In any case, she discusses her concern with Ja Gyeom about the dancer from the previous night. Rok Ha had supposedly brought her from Seo Seo, but Yeon Lee is wary about her uncanny resemblance to a certain "hypocrite" that she once knew. Moreover, recalling that the dancer was in fact his daughter's maidservant who came to the palace, she asks Ja Gyeom who the woman really is.[9] However, he merely answers her quite ambiguously.

At night, the Queen Mother summons Heuk Rang to ask about Jin Yeon. Bothered with her suspicious feeling, she orders the captain to investigate Nabi at once. Before he leaves, he informs Yeon Lee of rumors regarding the forfeiture of Hyun Bin's inherited land in Seo Seo.[10]

QuotesEdit

  • (To Ahn Young) "Ga Guk? Beautiful country?! Your beautiful country comes to an end here! From now on, I, Yoon Yeon Lee's country, will be the only one that remains!"[1]
  • (To Ja Gyeom) "Is that mouth of yours for decoration? Even if it is an excuse, say something!"[2]
  • (Referring to the Crimson Moon) "Crimson Moon? Hmph! You're nothing but a blood-stained rat. I will teach you what happens to those who challenge the sun!"[2]
  • (To Heuk Rang) "I suppose a fake can never quite be the same."[5]

Trivia Edit

  • Her given name in Hanja comprises of "", which means "beautiful", and "", which means "colored glaze" or "glass". Combining together, "Yoon Lee" in her Hanja form may mean "beautiful colored glaze" or "beautiful glass".
    • The character decomposition of "璃" is "王" (, which means "jade") and "离" (, which may also refer to "離", one of the Eight Trigrams that symbolizes fire). Interestingly, both meanings are a play of words on her demise: "jade" may pertain to the Jin Hee Palace, while "fire" refers to the way on how she died.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 0.1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 7
  3. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 13
  4. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 17
  5. 5.0 5.1 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 29
  6. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 38
  7. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 45
  8. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 46
  9. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 47
  10. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 52

NavigationEdit

Characters of Twelve Nights
Ga Guk
Royal Family Ahn YoungHyun BinJin HyulJin JeokJin WonUnnamed Baby PrinceUnnamed Baby PrincessYi HwiYi Sae GiYoon Yeon Lee
Ministers Hwang Se HyungKim Hak GyuSa Hwa HyeonSeo In Seon WooWi Ji HyunYi HaYoo Ja Gyeom
Bi Yeong Pal Mu Baek AhBaek JuBaek LinBaek RyungBaek SaHeuk Rang
Bi Yeong Ship Mu Baek HoBaek Yoo ShinGil Mu JinYi Ha
Deung Ha Bul Myung Baek HoCrimson MoonGil Mu JinNabiSeol HwaSeo In Seon WooWol Young HwaYi HwiYi Jeok
Yu Hyang Ru NabiWol Young HwaYi Jeok
Others ChungHwang Se RyeonHyunMa Mi SongNam Yang HeonSoriWoonYi Ha's WifeYoo Dan AhYoo Dan Ah's Mother
Seo Seo
Royal Family First PrinceFirst PrincessJang ReiJang Rok HaJang RyunSecond PrincessThree Wives of Jang RyunUnnamed Baby PrinceUnnamed Baby PrincessYeong Bi
Others Gwak Ji RyeonMeng Gyeom
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