Sun Woo Hwan: The Unexpected Hero of Brilliant Legacy
One of the reasons why Brilliant Legacy amazed me is because how the hero of the story, is not what you expect. So it's not exactly explained to why he became like that until later in the series, when we learn there was that unresolved trauma. All we know is that he has had some hiding insecurities causing him to bully people like that, which led his paternal grandmother, Jang Sak Ja wanting to give the inheritance or what she calls her legacy, her life principles to Eun Sung whose kindness exceeds most of the people in South Korea.
I would admit that yes, Hwan is a spoiled brat because of his mom. This is one of the rarer cases where the grandparent doesn't spoil the grandchild but it's the mother's fault. I mean the earlier episodes makes you want to ring Hwan's neck. He doesn't want to go to work, he is ungrateful for his grandmother's beef soup business that got him all the money he throws, he doesn't know the value of money because he is spoiled, he had many times offended Manager Lee a good employee of the company, he doesn't respect anyone... but that all changes when he meets his "foil", Eun Sung who would be the heir instead of him.
At first, he just hates Eun Sung but can't help but want to reach out to her. So his grandma did give up hope on him because he's appeared to be too obstinate. But later, it's amazing to see how only he starts to get more development than his mom and sister. I was amazed to see how he began to humble himself starting episode 14. For example instead of reacting to his grandma's sad condemnation of him when he wasn't seen, he just sits down and cries realizing he's gone too far. And just when grandma gave up hope on him, he starts to show signs of improvement.
Episode 18 was a lot of character development. I mean, remember Manager Lee and him started out as enemies because of his disrespect towards authority. His wrong sense of entitlement started the conflict but when he's shown to have changed for the better, even Manager Lee said, "I never expected you would earn my respect..." Later, Manager Lee testifies during the company crisis, "Yes he was the one who threw money at him but I've changed my views of him."
One of the best moments of Hwan was when he admitted all his wrongdoings saying, "Yes I was that brat, that's why grandma gave up on me and chose you instead. Because you are her family." And I would say those moments were really, REALLY where he showed he had matured beyond his bratty days. No longer do we see the Hwan who was the same brat. In fact, he had learned to cherish his grandma's company even if it meant losing its rights. But in the end, Eun Sung still becomes an heir to the company ever since she will end up with him.