Three episodes left, you guys. Its tumultuous finale will air on April 11th, to be followed by 3 special episodes. I think it’s important to step back and reflect upon history and what has happened so far in our story: set in the 16th century, pitting a present day archaeology grad student among people of the Ayutthaya era. A comment from Khun Loong stood out for me, “She came because she needed to come.” What, pray tell could be her purpose in arriving in King Narai’s reign? It couldn’t possibly be to change history because our hero is a fictional character and isn’t impacted by history like Kosa Lek, Kosa Pan, Constantine Phaulkon, or the King himself and his future successors. We also know that Katesurang tries her darnest not to impact history by withholding her situation, and as it stands, things always play out according to history anyway.

For example, Kosa Lek was punished to death for corruption, although he was innocent. His brother, Kosa Pan (Pra Visutsundhorn) became an Ambassador who led the mission to France. This should put us at around 1686 and the Siamese mission to return to Ayutthaya in 1687. King Narai (Ramathibodi) is considered one of the Greats due to his reign’s commercial and diplomatic successes. It was a peaceful and prosperous time, but allowed for enough conflict to keep the story and the romance interesting. For one, King Narai’s greatest downfall is entrusting in Constantine Phaulkon. He’s not a bad guy, just an ambitious and greedy person who wants to open the trading in Ayutthaya port with the West, as well as assisting them in spreading Catholicism. Because of Narai’s favoritism, Constantine became very powerful which caused a discord among Narai’s own royal court, namely from Pra Petracha the Commander of the Royal Elephants Corps, and his son Luang Sorasak. As we see in our story, Petracha and Luang Sorasak is well liked among the rest of the royal court, especially from our hero’s team.

No one cast is painted particularly evil and there are backstories behind who they are, and sometimes, why they’re so angry at the King. Take Petracha for example, he resents the King for playing favorites, especially with a foreigner like Constantine. He’s what they refer to as a traditionalist and wants to reverse any pro-western policies. While it’s hinted in episode 12 that perhaps Luang Sorasak is the King’s spawn but was raised by Petracha instead. This makes sense because according to historians, Narai had a fear of fathering a son (they didn’t explain why) but yet he adopted Phra Piya and made him his successor. Which is why Luang Sorasak is so hurt and upset by this, because he knows he’s a son too but unrecognized as such.

This takes us to present time (er I mean past time..) at the end of episode 12 where our hero Suntorntaywa aka Phor Daed embarks on a mission with Kosa Pan to Paris. It is said that he will be gone upwards to a year and history confirms that they will return by 1687. The following year in 1688, according to history, is the “Revolution of 1688” where Narai falls ill without any chance of recovery in sight. Petracha takes the opportunity to takedown Constantine and the French officers, and established a coup of sorts. The intended successor (Phra Piya/Mom Pi) gets executed, along with Constantine who were both planning to usurp the throne. Narai passes away and Petracha assumes the throne. Wow, did anyone see this coming? I did not imagine that Petracha would be the next King, but here we are. Also, Luang Sorasak becomes Petracha’s successor. History painted these two as ruthless, but so far in our lakorn, every character have their reasons to fight their good fight.

It will be interesting to see how far our show will go, in terms of history. Will the Revolution of 1688 play out?

Which brings me back to Khun Loong’s original point. I think the writer/author wants us to view history, or romance the history of Ayutthaya in a nonjudgmental way, essentially, in Katesurang’s way. As a history buff, as a student whose pursuant of knowledge is bottomless, she wants us to observe the country’s richest history for what it is. This is why Katesurang tries to understand why people do and think the way they do and think in this particular period in time. She doesn’t pass judgement, she enjoys the ride. Due to her positivity and approach in her soul swapping experience, this drove Thai people to become more curious about their own history. Because only until we understand our own history, our own strengths and weaknesses, we can improve upon ourselves. And it doesn’t hurt to laugh about it along the way. (I use “we” in the broad sense).

Katesurang is really a great version to send to any era. She’s clever, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and she’s so loveable that nobody could stand a chance against her charm, especially not Phor Daed, whom funny enough, according to his servant Ai Joi, used to hate her before, but now does not  hate her anymore. If there’s the romantic era in Europe, I think Ayutthaya era is the romantic era in Asia. It is no surprise that many writers pick Ayutthaya as a backdrop to their story, but I must say, there is only one Phor Daed. This man sweeps his lady off her feet, gives her the exact words she needs when she needs to hear it, and so advance in his time. Although he sure likes to tease her about all the ways to punish her if she so much as look at another man, his actions show the exact opposite. Which is one of the reasons why I’m a fan of the writing. Although the era is painted in rose tinted glasses, I appreciate how each characters are written with respect and reverence. They are all likeable, worthy characters. Because even though women have very few choices in this era, the men are given the biggest responsibility to treasure them. Even though the women are “without” power, they actually hold “all” of the power in this story. Also it doesn’t hurt that Phor Daed could kill with his smiles, as evidence by the swooning and #imdead hastags.

Even if Katesurang’s purpose in Ayutthaya is to meet her soulmate in Phor Daed, it’s not the worse thing in the world. They do in fact make the best soulmates ever.

If you want to relive some live recaps that I did on Twitter for episodes 11-12, feel free to keep scrolling.

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