Roy Mai is a stunning lakorn, and with the script and chemistry between Ateam, it is easily the best Ateam lakorn to date. There, I said it. In Roy Mai, there is no vengeful slap and kiss (which leads to uncomfortable R scene) as we have in Jumleoy Ruk, no wasted yearning and horrible plot as in Namtan Mai, and no suspicious torture and family drama as in Botan Gleep Sudtai. Instead we are gifted with two Ateam’s love story in one drama, how can we ask for more?

As far as the pacing of the story, I am totally ok with it. The pacing is appropriate in creating and bringing in both Suriyawong-Rerin and Siriwong-Maneerin’s love story to the surface. They have such wonderful sweet scenes made more wonderful by their forbidden love, that many lakorns should take note of. Also, the script is written so beautifully that not only are the scenes memorable, but the lines are poignant and sweet. It is one of those lakorns where you can recall their lines verbatim.

At this point Siriwong-Maneerin’s story is developing strongly. They both believe that one another are normal, townspeople, not the prince and princess that they actually were. They are also meeting very frequently in the market and has developed a friendship and crush that turned into full-fledge love. Unfortunately Prince Siriwattana bursts their bubble when they were introduced as Prince Siriwong and Princess Maneerin. Heartbroken, Prince Siriwong gets himself drunk every night. In one of those nights, Princess Maneerin confronts him and tries to take him back to the palace. In this scene we learn a little more about Prince Siriwong’s character and fall a little more in love with him: he is not envious of his brother, he was taught at a young age that he must make sacrifices for his brother- in everything. He is valiant in that he later tries to force himself away from her. But not before he holds her under a full moon, with tears running down his face and tells her “love, though it comes late, it’s still love, isn’t it?”

Suriyawong-Rerin situation prior, he has confessed his love for her and she had taken off. When she came back from the museum, he has been waiting for her at the hotel, he was concerned because she had been gone all day. She looks at him and remembers what she has seen between Siriwong-Maneerin. Suiryawong tells her that he wants to see her home safely (after getting into a brawl with Thanin) He asks her if she would go back with Thanin and if his fortune will end here. And he says the very words that Siriwong said to Maneerin and it was Rerin’s undoing. Overwhelmed, she runs into his arms and they hold each other under yet, another beautiful, stark night.

Rerin continues to try to complete the loom and learn about the story of Princess Maneerin, especially about her love ties with Siriwong. At this point, Siriwong has been warned by his perceptive music teacher that perhaps he cannot stop loving her as a friend. So he tries to distance himself away from her- essentially doing the right thing. But Maneerin was having none of that. She constantly finds him and they get caught up in the cutest, sweetest moments together. Siriwong unconsciously lashes out at her, that he doesn’t want to see her anymore, all because he is so frustrated and devastated that they can never be. But Maneerin reminds him that he has told her that friends do not leave friends.. and she only need to say “Noi” and he will be there. Which brings Siriwong, against his best judgements, to love her even more. Not only are they friends, they are such kindred spirit.

I must take my hats off for the director for the interchanging scenes between Siriwong-Maneerin and Suriyawong-Rerin, especially when they were walking the market of Chiang Mai, to the point where Rerin gets slapped by Wongprajan. I couldn’t tell where Maneerin ended and where Rerin began. Fabulous!

Rerin is starting to get the big picture about the life of Princess Maneerin, that she is in love with her fiancé’s brother, that she does not want to get married, and she is being tormented by the evil Bua Ngern and her maid Mei. In her own life, her psycho fiancé Thanin is in Chiang Mai, determined to get her back, not for love, but for his pride, and she needs to end things with him. She has Suriyawong whom she loves but not yet realized- only that she feels strongly about him, about their bond together through their past life. And she’s still wondering about how this is all related to the loom and what will happen once she completes it.

But be patient, the spirit of Prince Siriwattana tells her, because there are many more terrible things to come.

Suriyawong is a hundred times concerned about Rerin, now that her crazy fiancé is back in the picture. So he follows her around, meaning to protect her. But her actions are not adding up to him and he begins to wonder what in the world she was doing in the basement of the museum for all hours of the day. When he inspects the room, he would see her bag, but she would be missing. And I am left to wonder, Suriyawong is the only person who is in the dark about the story behind Siriwong-Maneerin. I am also left to wonder if he will be appraised of the story or left wondering.. forever? I hope it is the former.

And the festival competition commences! Let’s just say that I will never look at my traditional clothing the same way again. The intricacies of the weaving, the labor it takes to create cotton, and even the whole process it takes to create a material is astounding. Bua Ngern attempt’s to bring down Maneerin has failed on every turn, which will only foreshadow more evil attempts. She has tried to take all of the cottons in Chiang Mai so Maneerin would lose, but in the end, Siriwong champions her and rescues her with more cotton. Her attempts led to a beautiful bee-sting moment. Siriwong finds Maneerin and her maid in the forest trying to collect wild silk-worms, and he scolded her for coming out without protection. He also instigates a fight and pushes her button- reminding her that she will be married. Angry, Maneerin tells him to go away and never come back. As he turns away, she gets stung by a bee and cries for help. Siriwong comes back and sucks the stinger out of her finger. I think I need a fan, and quick.

After she successfully wins the festival competition, her whole goal comes to fruition. Remember when she originally didn’t want to win the competition, but Siriwong said that if she did, he would worship the Buddha relics with her? Well, that has inspired her to up her game and do everything in her power to win. So after winning, Siriwong removes a red ruby ring from his pinky and hands it to her. He says he would like to worship the Buddha relic together, with her. She removes her golden, long stem hairpin from her hair, inserts the ring on the stem and that my friends, have sealed their fate together, for their next lifetime. There is a Buddhism belief that if you worship Buddha together, by means of performing a merit together, then you can be together again in the next lifetime.

Bua Ngern is desperate again. She seeks the out of town sorcerer to bond Prince Siriwattana to her forever. Will this attempt be successful? Suriya is highly suspicious of what Rerin is doing and he follows her. Luckily, he was able to save her from Thanin’s kidnap/rape attempt. So now we have Rerin staying at his house for safety measures. Can she ultimately be safe though? Next episode shall attempt to answer the questions.

The only thing that can be made more wonderful is if Aum and Aff are a true item- which wouldn’t be fair to their significant others at all…. So, I shall relegate to wishful thinking and enjoying the intense, romantic buildup for Roy Mai instead. Pass the popcorn please…

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