Song of the Bandits Ending Explained: What Happened to the Joseon Independence Fighters in Gando?

Song of the Bandits Ending Explained: The South Korean action period drama series (도적 칼의 소리) released on Netflix on September 22, 2023. It stars Kim Nam-gil as Lee Yoon, Seo Ju-hyun aka SNSD (Girls’ Generation) Seohyun as Nam Hee-shin, Yoo Jae-myung as Choi Chung-soo, Lee Hyun-wook as Lee Kwang-il and Lee Ho-jung as Eon Nyeon in lead roles. Directed by Hwang Jun-hyeok and written by Han Jeong-hoon, the series has been developed by the South Korean drama production company Studio Dragon.

Join Our Telegram Channel

Kim Nam-gil leads the army of bandits eventually formed after the coming together of a group of outlaws with different stories and sides of life. With the show being set in the 1920s, it attempts to offer us a closer to ground depiction of the Korean homeland when Joseon citizens had the face the cruel end of things during the tormenting period of Japanese occupation. Assembled in the lawless land of Gando, (now referred to as Jiando, i.e. the northeastern parts of the People’s Republic of China) aka the historical border shared by North Korea and China, this resilient group of people continue to fight as independence fighters against the Japanese army.

YouTube video

Songs of the Bandits Kdrama Ending Explained Contains Spoilers

Song of the Bandits Ending Explained

Song of the Bandits Episode 9 packs in a lot of action as the final entry first shows the lawless team to have been captured by the Japanese army. Locked up in the local compact penitentiary after a showdown, Lee Yoon’s squad is locked up as they also deal with their severe injuries while concocting a scheme to break out in time, and they do. However, even then it’s not easy for them to leave the premises untouched as a large number of the military men had them surrounded outside the building.

Kim Seon-bok (Cha Chung-hwa) knows the secret of a massive piece of ammunition having been imported from the West, but going out to retrieve it to slaughter the huge army in front of them required a nimble and agiler person who could make their way out unnoticed. Ultimately, Choraeng-yi (Lee Jae-gyun) is recruited to accomplish the task despite him not knowing how to handle a gun. When he finally surprisingly comes across the same, he opens fire on the Japanese crew haphazardly and the machine gun does the trick, leaving a bloody mess behind.

They make their way out to safety and eventually Gwang-il is put on probation for his ignorance and for having let Yoon walk away after his messy run-in with the Independence alliance of fighters earlier. His right hand also get severely injured during the same altercation. And then he’s pushed to return to his hometown, but before making the move, he lays eyes on the “Decimation Campaign” file that detailed out the Japanese army’s new plan of action against the people of Joseon in Gando. He ends up carrying the same with him too, but it’s only revealed quite later to us.

Song of the Bandits Ending Explained (2)
Yoo Jae-myung, Kim Nam-gil and Lee Ho-jung

In the meantime, Choong-soo (Yoo Jae-myung) has an intimate talk with Yoon. He addresses their peaceful change of pace in life and how Yoon should take some well-deserved time off to go do what he wanted to. He takes this opportunity to reunite with Hee-shin (Seohyun) back in the city. And though the team also takes their time off, they find out that bounties have been put on their head.

In a parallel scene, Gwang-il comes back to Hee-shin defeated and claims that he’s a good for nothing man after everything he’d failed in life as a soldier, and so if she didn’t want to get married to him any more, he’d understand why. But, Hee-shin instead decides to go ahead with their union despite her feelings for Yoon. Soon after, when Gwang-il seems to be asleep (but wasn’t), she discovers the document stating the Joseon people’s fate.

Also read: Squid Game The Challenge Teaser Out: Young-hee is Back; Real People Risk Their Lives for Mone

She intimates her old ally from the Independence fighting alliance about the same, and at the same time one of Gwang-il’s spies overhears it all and later reports back to him. Gwang-il, on the other hand, is able to confirm her true identity through this revelation and threatens his man to keep the same a secret, and adds that he’ll decide on his own what he’ll make of this situation. However, the season ends with the scene of his wedding scene with Hee-shin, which means that he decided to keep things quiet, at least for now, unless he has a plan scheming in his head for the future.

Song of the Bandits Ending Explained : Lee Hyun-wook
Lee Hyun-wook

Back to the present for now, Hee-shin spots Yoon in her city after her secret meet-up with the ally. She lends his help to push Yoon away, who relays the harsh reality waiting for him back where he came from. And so realising that it’s not the time for emotions to cloud his judgement, he takes off without meeting Hee-shin, who though races after him eventually to the station but isn’t able to meet him as Yoon too keeps his distance despite spotting her at the station.

What did the Decimation Campaign State?

According to the document stolen by Gwang-il, the Japanese army had crafted another plan to eliminate the bandits and all forms of resistance in Gando. With the plan to kill seditious Joseon people in Gando, the Japanese army was planning to ambush them, and even though the Japanese couldn’t order their men into the Manchuria region since it would result in severing their ties with China, the same was possible now. Hee-shin then confirms that when the Japanese consulate was raided by Manchu bandits aka Ki-ryong’s crew, dozens of Japanese had died, even Chief Inspector Nagano.

Song of the Bandits Ending Explained :Seohyun
SNSD Seohyun

The same incident led the leaders of the two different sides to convene. To address the huge loss on the Japanese side, they settled with the Chinese on the condition that they would led them into Manchuria without objection as long as no Chinese citizen was harmed in the process. So basically, this pretext had all been the design of the Japanese leader to win over this conclusion. He’d hired those bandits to eliminate the Japanese military then on purpose, to manufacture an opportunity for the Imperial army to enter through China and then eliminate the Joseon people.

Finally, this information is all relayed to the crew in Gando, and they’re ready to take on the Imperial Army when they attempt to break out in their sneak attack, which ultimately backfires for them. Meanwhile, Yoon also travels back to rejoin his team, and the season ends on a sight open-ended note.

Songs of the Bandits Netflix series is now available on the streamer. You can read our review for it below.

Also read: Song of the Bandits Review: Compelling Fight for Freedom Combines Classic Western Showdowns With Character-Driven Kdrama Sensibility