Bulgasal: The Immortal Souls Kdrama | Why did Nam Do Yoon Betray Ok Eul Tae?

Nam Do Yoon had a difficult choice to made. Side with Ok Eul Tae or betray him. Why did he make such a choice?

· 7 min read
man doing something on his phone

The 2021 Netflix/TvN Korean Drama Bulgasal: The Immortal Souls made us go through an influx of emotions. The precious cast and beautiful characters are worth praising and falling head over heels.

One of the major characters in Bulgasal Kdrama was Nam Do Yoon, played by Kim Woo Seok.

The Idol-actor from the Boyband Up10tion made us smile, cry and laugh with his emotional acting in the role of everyone’s favorite Nam Do Yoon.

Nam Do Yoon was the close confidant and the only person who Ok Eul Tae cared about.

On Ok Eul Tae’s orders, Nam Do Yoon inserted himself in Dan Hwal’s life at the cost of a near-death incident and kidnapping by a psycho.

If Nam Do Yoon was willing to go so far because of Ok Eul Tae, then why did Nam Do Yoon betray Ok Eul Tae?

man with injuries on his face

It feels strange no? What happened time and again, Nam Do Yoon would side against Ok Eul Tae to even beg for the safety of detective Kwon Ho Yeol Ajhussi, Min Sang Un, and Min Si Ho?

Was it just a bond of previous lives? Or is there something more that made Nam Do Yoon side with Dan Hwal, betraying Ok Eul Tae?

Hats off to actor Lee Joon for the phenomenal role of Ok Eul Tae in Bulgasal, a guy we probably won’t be forgetting in the very long term.

A villain with emotions, which were much stronger than resentment or revenge. Nam Do Yoon is the one character we want to protect, no matter the cost.

Nam Do Yoon and Ok Eul Tae’s Past

man lying on the sofa

Ok Eul Tae’s perspective was known as he knew Nam Do Yoon was the reincarnation of Ah Chan, Dan Hwal, and Dan Sol’s (Min Si Ho) son from 600 years ago.  

It’s an established fact that Ok Eul Tae did want to use Nam Do Yoon as leverage against Dan Hwal.

The only unforeseen thing and unpredictable development in this scenario were that even Ok Eul Tae couldn’t have seen it coming.

His attachment towards Nam Do Yoon and using the excuse to gather intel to see him every time.

Ok Eul Tae was lonely, but what about Nam Do Yoon? Surely, Nam Do Yoon was indebted to Ok Eul Tae for saving his life and helping him cure his blindness.

Ok Eul Tae helped his brother as well but was unable to save him.

He disclosed the truth about Nam Do Yoon’s brother’s death, but that can’t warrant hatred or a sudden urge to betray Ok Eul Tae, his long-term benefactor.

If that were true, he wouldn’t take the risk of almost dying trying to cross paths with Dan Hwal.

Loyalty has a price, but not one’s life. It can be seen that both Ok Eul Tae and Nam Do Yoon were more than in a relationship of “give or take”.

Ok Eul Tae would legit lit up when he met Nam Do Yoon.

His entire aura changes, what about Nam Do Yoon? It’s true that Nam Do Yoon carried the weight of the past and a traumatic history with ill-fated ties.

Ok Eul Tae doesn’t show any hostility despite being aware of the truth.

2 men conversing with each other

Nam Do Yoon and Ok Eul Tae’s relationship can be best interpreted as someone who is friends, best friends even. Maybe the feeling of gratitude made Nam Do Yoon believe undoubtedly and had unwavering faith in Ok Eul Tae.  

However, despite an amicable relationship, there was one thing that Ok Eul Tae couldn't provide Nam Do Yoon - a sense of belonging; a family.

Nam Do Yoon and Life with Dan Hwal

Nam Do Yoon may seem like a character who is cheerful and lacks worries with a carefree attitude; it’s far from the truth.

He used it as a mask to protect himself. Despite appearing strong, even Nam Do Yoon can be fragile.  

Maybe it’s fate or bad karma, but unfortunately in every life, Nam Do Yoon suffered, even before the curse long began. In his first life, he was an orphan.

Nam Do Yoon ended up living with Min Si Ho, the shaman (Lee Hye Seok), and Bulgasal (Min Sang Un) 1000 years ago.

ma with injuries in his eyes

Unfortunately, he couldn’t live life with a happy family. What followed after is a brutal massacre, and the rest is history that we are aware of.  

Even in the previous life of Ah Chan, 600 years ago, he never experienced an ounce of love from his father, Dan Hwal.

Although Dan Hwal didn’t really hate him and only wanted to protect him from the Bulgasal’s cure. Little did he know, that Ah Chan would meet a horrible death.

Nam Do Yoon aka Ah Chan did not experience the happiness of a family because his mother Dan Sol (Min Si Ho) passes away as well.  

In every life, he was robbed blind of the happiness of a loving family (no pun intended).

When he met Dan Hwal in the present timeline, he had a reunion with his previous life people without knowing the deep connections from the past.

Dan Hwal may appear a terrifying monster Bulgasal who doesn’t care about anyone, but he’s the most soft-spoken person in this weird family.

He is kind and genuinely cared about Nam Do Yoon, to the point he asked his source to investigate the mysterious benefactor after listening to his concerns once.  

man talking to his hospitalized friend

It’s funny to see Dan Hwal trying to kick Nam Do Yoon out of his out, but letting him tag along with him, no questions asked.

Next on the family list is Min Si Ho who he first connected in the house. They were closer in the age in this timeline and quickly befriended each other.

Nam Do Yoon was genuinely concerned when Min Si Ho and Kwon Ho Yeol were kidnapped. He immediately contacted Ok Eul Tae for help, and we can see his feelings wavering.

Nam Do Yoon was conflicted with making a choice, at least his decisions were ethical and of the right conscious.

Nam Do Yoon’s closeness with aunt Lee Hye Seok was genuine and he cared about her.

When ahjumma would get upset, Nam Do Yoon was the first person who tried to appease her and made sure that Dan Hwal and Lee Hye Seok reconciled. Unfortunately, it was too late for that.

The dysfunctional but happy family with everyone made Nam Do Yoon experience the happiness of family, getting to feel the care and love of others without anything in exchange.

When Nam Do Yoon was kidnapped, everyone was worried sick for his safety.

Dan Hwal realized his relationship with him and made every effort to find him.  

Min Sang Un went with Dan Hwal to search for Nam Do Yoon despite being the target of Ok Eun Tae’s attacks.

Detective Kwon Ho Yeol happily shared the ride with Ok Eul Tae, the Bulgasal because he wanted to find Nam Do Yoon.

That’s exactly what a family is, to find each other if they get lost. The short happiness that Nam Do Yoon received from this family made his resolve get weaker.

In the end, he decided to let go of everyone because he didn’t want to hurt his newfound family.

Nam Do Yoon was willing to become a sacrifice and went to meet Ok Eul Tae for the perceived betrayal.

Nam Do Yoon had an attachment with the family; Dan Hwal, Min Si Ho, Min Sang Un, Kwon Ho Yeol, and Lee Hye Seok.

His selfless action to protect them at any cost made him betray Ok Eul Tae. Deep down he knew what OK Eul Tae was demanding from him was a huge favor that he can’t return.

the family photo

The power and love of family, although without the blood ties, made Nam Do Yoon want to protect his family, even if he became the sacrifice.  

It’s ironic and emotional because the people responsible for his horrible fate also cared about him in this new life.

Nam Do Yoon’s rationale for betraying Ok Eul Tae was justified. Even when the secretary told him the truth, when Ok Eul Tae confronted him, he was truthful.

Nam Do Yoon disclosed everything because he trusted his Hyung, Ok Eul Tae. Ok Eul Tae understood the gravity of the situation to let him go forever.

Even after getting stabbed by Ok Eul Tae, Nam Do Yoon never once complained or forgot the act of kindness that Ok Eul Tae let him experience.

Nam Do Yoon even begged Dan Hwal to forget everything and to live in hiding. He didn't want to take revenge on Ok Eul Tae for his brother's death or for getting stabbed by him.

Deep down, Nam Do Hyun was still concerned about Ok Eul Tae dying, because he knew one of them won't make it alive.

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls will be a memorable drama forever, and Nam Do Yoon is one of the reasons. Hope you enjoy his character and feel his emotions.

Thanks for reading!