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«Reborn Rich» (2022) Explained

The ending of «Reborn Rich» explained.

ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (雪亮 | 스노 | Yuki)

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Confused about the ending of Reborn Rich (재벌집 막내아들)? Who was Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) and Jin Do Jun (진도준) exactly? Are they one person or two? Were there two timelines or only one? But Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) said he did not time travel, right?

These are probably the questions you have in your mind right now, and in this article, I am going to give you an explanation that you more likely agree with.

As with any explanation I did before, there are guidelines and rules on how we should find a satisfactory answer. This is very important, otherwise, we will be all over the place.

Guidelines

  1. Approach from an in-universe perspective. We need to think as someone who lives in the world of the characters. We need to unlock what was in the author’s mind.

  2. Remember these two important rules in creative writing / fiction:

    • Show, don’t tell. If the storytelling style is to tell, then we are reading a scientific paper or watching a documentary. We need to watch to find the answers.

    • If a scene does not move the story forward, delete it. An experienced writer makes sure every scene is important to the story. This means that we can not assume that some scenes were insignificant. All scenes are significant and a potential clue.

  3. Everything shown is canon. We can not dismiss something shown as false. If an information was included in the show, then it is official.

  4. There is only one timeline, or universe, in this story. Forget about the many-worlds interpretation (MWI), or more commonly known as multiple timelines and parallel universes. This series established in episode 16 that there is only one timeline.

Fixed clues

  1. Episode 16: Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) did not possess the body of Jin Do Jun (진도준).
  2. Episode 16: Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) did not time travel to the past as Jin Do Jun (진도준).
  3. Episode 16: Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) was in a coma state, or slept, in a hospital for one week. He never died. Which means he can not be reborn, or reincarnated, as Jin Do Jun (진도준).
  4. Episode 1 and Episode 16: The history in Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우)’s period (2022 or later), was similar to what we have seen from the vantage point of Jin Do Jun (진도준).
  5. Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) and Jin Do Jun (진도준) met twice. The first one was on a road. The second was when Jin Do Jun (진도준) was assassinated.

These are fixed clues. Any attempt at an answer, or theory, should be able to reconcile these five fixed clues without resorting to lazy writing and writer error.

The answer

It is quite simple. When Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) was in a coma, or slept, for one week, he started to dream the memories of Jin Do Jun (진도준). Since Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) is the one dreaming the memories of Jin Do Jun (진도준), he remembers his own life as Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우).

His dream of Jin Do Jun (진도준)’s memories was not perfect. There were gaps, and as the dreamer, he was also able to do things on his own to some extent. But, as he learned the hard way, events still happened the way it should.

That is it.

FAQ

The English title, Reborn Rich, means he was reborn in a rich family when he was poor

Correct. Literally, that is what it means. However, the show itself firmly established that Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) did not possess the body of Jin Do Jun (진도준), nor did he travel to the past. He also did not die, only people who died have a chance to be reincarnated.

All things considered, there is no question that the title should not be taken literally. Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) was not reborn as Jin Do Jun (진도준). It was Jin Do Jun (진도준) who was reborn as Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우). The title is referring to one’s principles and values, of having a rich a life. It was not about being financially rich, although Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) did become rich eventually.

BONUS: The English title, Reborn Rich, has nothing to do with the original Korean title. The original Korean title translates to: The youngest son of a rich family. This means that the English title is not proof that Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) was reborn rich as Jin Do Jun (진도준). (note: This is about the TV series, not the novel. The TV adaptation is different from the original material.)

Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) and Jin Do Jun (진도준) are in separate timelines

In episode 16, Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) himself said that what he experienced was not time travel. If it was not time travel, then they are not in two separate timelines.

The events in Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우)’s time period were very similar, almost exactly the same, as the events we watched from episodes 2 to 15 from the perspective of Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우), as Jin Do Jun (진도준). Miracle exists. Everyone remembers how Miracle and Jin Do Jun (진도준) were involved in the succession wars.

Jin Do Jun (진도준)’s assassination happened exactly the same from the perspective of the real Jin Do Jun (진도준), Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우), as Jin Do Jun (진도준), and Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) himself.

Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우)’s mother died differently in Jin Do Jun (진도준)’s time, proof that they are in different timelines

Yes, Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우)’s mother died of a heart attack. From Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우), as Jin Do Jun (진도준)’s perspective, she died after committing suicide. However, that in itself is not enough as a proof that there are two timelines.

Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) said so himself, he did not time travel, so there is no new timeline.

It is well-known that our brain manufactures information to fill in the gaps in memories. Or, if we are faced with something unexplainable, our mind makes us see or experience things in an acceptable way.

This was why when Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우), as Jin Do Jun (진도준), changed the history of his mother, she still died regardless. Memories are fixed. His attempt to change it introduced a conflict. To reconcile the conflict, his brain resolved it by ensuring his mother still passed away.

It was at this moment when Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우), as Jin Do Jun (진도준), realised that he can not change anything. Repeatedly throughout the series, he said how things which already happened, still happened as it should be.

But Jin Do Jun (진도준) have future knowledge, which he used for Miracle’s advantage

From the perspective of Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우), as Jin Do Jun (진도준), it did appear he used future knowledge for Miracle’s advantage. But this was simply him dreaming Jin Do Jun (진도준)’s memories, as the dreamer, his own memories as Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) is leaking into the memory dream.

As was revealed in episode 16, Miracle do exist and Jin Do Jun (진도준) was a major investor. The entire Jin clan were also aware how Miracle and Jin Do Jun (진도준) were involved with the succession war. In other words, Miracle and Jin Do Jun (진도준) were successful not because of any future knowledge, rather, it was because they were good businessmen and data analysts.

Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) was not in a coma

It does not matter if he was in a coma, or simply slept, for one week. It was during that one week when he dreamed the memories of Jin Do Jun (진도준).

Jin Do Jun (진도준) did not reincarnate as Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) because they exist in the same time period

The same can be said with Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) being reincarnated as Jin Do Jun (진도준), it is not possible because they exist in the same time period.

However, there is no restriction on when a soul is reincarnated. A person born in 2000 and died in 2022 can be reborn in the year 3300, the year 1100 B.C.E., or even reborn in the year 2000 again. This is not the first time this was used in fiction.

Since Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) did not die, it is impossible he was reincarnated as Jin Do Jun (진도준). But it is possible Jin Do Jun (진도준) was reincarnated as Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우). Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우)’s close encounter with death possibly allowed him to remember some of his past life’s memories, as Jin Do Jun (진도준).

Why was it nobody recognised Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) is a spitting image of Jin Do Jun (진도준)?

A very good question! I can only think of two possible answers:

  1. The Superman trope. Most of the time, Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) was wearing eyeglasses which magically made him no longer a look alike of Jin Do Jun (진도준). Similar to how Superman and Clark Kent magically become unrecognisable.

  2. Every other character ignored that Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) is a spitting image of Jin Do Jun (진도준), because their age gap was somewhere between ten and twenty years. It is possibly a natural reaction.

Regardless, yes, I do agree it is unexplainable why no one mentioned they look alike one hundred percent. Specially when Jin Do Jun (진도준)’s driver mistook Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) as Jin Do Jun (진도준) during the national hearing.

Even the lady Prosecutor did not recognise Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) is a spitting image of her ex-fiancé, Jin Do Jun (진도준), when she saw him not wearing eyeglasses. She only made the connection when Yoon Hyun Woo (윤현우) said the exact same sentences as her ex-fiancé.

On this one, there is no other way than to consider it was a Superman trope, or our human brain naturally dismissed it, or a combination of both.

(This question was asked by Emily Clayman via our Facebook Page.)


・ Cover image: The cover image used in this article is Copyrighted to jtbc.

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