Here is my X post for Blogging from A to Z. I’m only…12 days late? >_< Forgive me. This has been the worst end of the semester ever.
Anyway, without further delay, here is my story breakdown of Xia’s music video for “Flower.” I was hesitant to post this because I know for a fact that what I say here does not cover all of the symbolism and meaning in Xia’s video. This is one really complex video, and this is just one girl’s narrow take on it. I would love to hear all of your interpretations of this video in the comments because there is really a lot to say about this.
This story takes place in some far away land, at XIA’s castle.
Some warriors come in to XIA’s presence, appearing very angry.
He had promised them something in exchange for their work, but he did not deliver, making them mad.
They throw a mechanical head at him, presumably the head of something they were instructed to kill by XIA.
He looks at them, unperturbed. He is the king. They are nothing.
Throughout the video we see images of him with material examples of his wealth and power. So much of the video is focused on XIA’s eyes, which are the only parts of his face that allow any expression to come through.
Usually King XIA doesn’t worry himself with these small warriors, but because of the commotion they made and their nerve to challenge him, he stands up and takes action. His subjects need to know their place.
At this point in the song, XIA says “Nobody can help me” while sitting on his thrown, implying that even though he is king, he really is trapped in this life he created for himself. While he has power to influence people to his desires, he can never leave this life. He created this life and no one can help him out of it except for himself.
Since he is Xiah Junsu, the way he displays any form of skill and power is through dance. In his powerful and complicated choreography, he shows just how high and royal he is in his kingdom.
In the middle of his dance however, something stops him completely.
He sees a little girl. It seems as though he is the only one who can see her.
She is the epitome of sweet and innocent. She is clearly different from everyone else in XIA’s world, including XIA himself. She is human, something he used to be. Someone he forgot he once was.
However, the person he is today doesn’t have time to spend in questions about the past. He shakes off the vision of the girl and continues with his life.
The head of the enemy is boiled down to a golden liquid. This is what XIA does with his enemies. He destroys them, and then…
…he drinks them.
This image shows just how unnatural, how un-human XIA’s life has become. No edible drink should be that color.
As he both literally and metaphorically drinks the blood of his enemies, he has a flashback.
Now, I have two theories about this scene. On the one hand, it could be the life he had before all of the power and riches. He used to be a caveman, living in the forest, the lowest of the dirt of society.
Theory Two: While on the outside, XIA’s palace seems to be the epitome of classy and proper, on the inside, everyone in the nobility are really savages. They appear beautiful and clean on the outside, but their morals and the work that they do is dirtier than dirt itself. While they may appear to be noble on the outside, on the inside, they are all animals, barely even human.
Regardless of which meaning is correct, this video is XIA’s struggle with his two personas: the powerful king and the savage. They could be his present and his past or his external and internal.
All the while, this problem is only there because the image of the girl forced him to remember what it was like to be really human.
Back in the castle, XIA is being served a meal. Like the gold drink, this has the appearance of a normal fish dish, but when you look at it more closely, the head of the fish isn’t quite like any known creature. The image is horrifying.
Even XIA is repulsed by it.
This is not food that should be eaten by any human. It is by no means natural.
At this moment, XIA is taken to another flashback, to when he first joined the high life. Instead of immediately becoming king, he was once a warrior of high class. His life once held nobleness, back when he did good.
Right on cue, the little girl comes back. She sits in front of XIA at the table, looking at him innocently.
The more he sees her, the more he realizes just how far from human he has gone. The poisonous drink and food he lived off of fight him back and he throws it up.
While he vomits, the little girl laughs at him, bringing more and more of his humanity back.
Once he finishes vomiting, his skin glows as his non-human qualities slowly leave him. He didn’t realize until this girl showed up just how far he has gone from the man he once was.
Once his body begins rejecting all of the poison of his life in royalty and he starts feeling human again, he flashes back to all of the stages of his transformation: being the savage of the forest, being a noble warrior, and then being an inhumane, heartless king.
The video ends with XIA as he really is inside: a warrior. No riches. No extravagance. Simply a warrior. A warrior alone.
With this image, the video itself goes from widescreen to full screen, implying that this is the true XIA.
So what did all of that mean? Here is my theory: XIA is the supreme ruler of a kingdom of his own creation. He used to be a savage of the woods, but grew to become a high class warrior, who grew and grew into more and more power until he became king. However, he had to make sacrifices of morals, and in turn sacrifices of his own humanity, to get to the power he wields in his kingdom, and the vision of the little girl reminds him of the humanity he lost.
Based on the lyrics of the song itself, I am sure this whole comeback is a jab at everything that SM did to him. He used to be at the top, but being at the top came with sacrifices. Even though he broke away from SM, the company continues to influence and harm him to this day, hence the “Nobody can help me” line.
As a side, I really like that Tablo does the rap. Not only are the lyrics of the rap perfect for the meaning of the rest of the song, but it seems as though Tablo is saying those words to both the audience and to XIA himself. XIA went from being at the top to losing it all, but Tablo went through a similar hardship as well. Now both of them are gaining their fame and credibility back, and this song is proof that it can happen.
As I said, this is definitely not the only interpretation of this comeback. Here are others that I found:
(In that 2nd link, I agree most with the “Living in a hell of his own making” interpretation.)
Question of the Day:
What did you think this video was all about?
#NowPlaying: Dear TV by Tablo. I respect him so much as an artist, for so many reasons, but this song is what made me pay attention to him in the first place. The lyrics are perfect. They are deep, thought-provoking, and beautifully crafted. He is an artist, and you know how rarely I use that term.
Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!