'The King: Eternal Monarch' in episode 12 delves further into how King Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho) was able to trace Tae-eul's (Kim Go-eun) whereabouts so quickly. While in the previous episode it seemed as if he found her after receiving a phone call, it was revealed that Lee Gon had expected Lee Lim to make a move on someone close to him -- Tae-eul -- to negotiate for the piece of powerful flute that Lee Gon possesses. It is while tracking her whereabouts with the help of CCTV surveillance that Lee Gon finds her near the Busan Palace and commands his security force to protect her and save her. He also announced to his world that Tae-eul (Jung Eun-chae) will be the queen thereby putting Prime Minister Koo Seo-ryeong's position in jeopardy.
Initially, though, Seo-ryeong doesn't react to this news officially or off the record and this is strange because her ambition was to become the queen. She has been manipulating the media to make it seem as if she and Lee Gon were in a relationship. Lee Gon didn't deflect the attention, but he didn't confirm speculations either and this is what gave him space to now announce Tae-eul as queen. How he plans on explaining her existence in a world where no records of her exist is something that only the future episodes can explain.
For now though, both Lee Gon and Tae-eul are busy tracing Lee Lim's movements and gathering as much information about their enemy as possible. Three things are not clear though. First, if people from the two worlds continue to travel back and forth any further the time that stops just seconds, will freeze forever. If that were to happen, people on both sides of the gate will end up becoming obsolete. Second, the pain that Lee Gon feels every time there is thunder is something that Lee Lim and many other people also experience but not all. For instance, Tae-eul has been traveling back and forth as well, however, there is no pain in her. So is it random? Or is there a rule that Lee Gon hasn't grasped as of now?
This is something to ponder on. Third, if Lee Lim succeeded in taking the magical flute from Lee Gon, the door to the other universe will shut down forever for him. This will also end his relationship with Tae-eul if they do not succeed in capturing Lee Lim and punishing him. Even as both Tae-eul and Lee Gon deal with these questions and learn more about the interactions between the two worlds, more discrepancies begin to arise.
For instance, how is it possible that Seo-ryeong who was unaware of the existence of the other world ended up at the cafe run by Na-ri. Jo Yeong somehow realizes that the woman is the PM of his world and even follows her only to get shot at by someone. The wound is similar to the one that Eun-seop suffered while defending Lee Gon. Na-ri also has a conversation with Jo-yeong and tells him that she is having a strange deja vu these days where she sees herself with someone who looks exactly like Jo Yeong (Eun-seop).
She also details that the Na-ri that she sees in these scenes has short hair too. Is this a signal of two worlds colliding? Will further interaction result in more destruction than Lee Gon can comprehend? Just when he is trying to contemplate all of this, Seo-ryeong arrives at the palace. She has just returned and did not know that Tae-eul has been announced as the queen. It is when she and the king are speaking about the announcement and her position that the thunder drops again and shockingly Seo-ryeong also has burns on the side of her face and neck as Lee Gon has on his shoulders.
Lee Lim's plans pervade much deeper than we or Lee Gon had expected is what you would think at first. However, when you watch Court Lady Noh's conversation with Tae-eul, we realize that something really is amiss. Turns out Court Lady Noh had come over to the Kingdom of Corea from the Republic of Korea in 1950 when the war had struck between North Korea and South. She tries to gather information about this war from Tae-eul; who is as shocked as all of us at learning that not just Shin-jae, her detective partner, but there are others -- many others -- who have traveled between the worlds.
We will see how Lee Gon will deal with Seo-ryeong's secret next week and how he will react to the truth of his most trusted advisor Court Lady's Noh's secret as well.