Drama

K-drama that reference real Joseon Dynasty figures

For all the historical geeks, here is a treat for you. Not all of the historical dramas are based on real prominent figures, but here are a few of the K-drama that took reference of the real textbook history with a modern twist, an alternative ending that never took place.

Mr. Queen (2021)

Mr Queen - Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun
Mr Queen – Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun

Cheoljong was portrayed by Kim Jung Hyun
Queen Cheorin was portrayed by Shin Hye Sun

The 25th King of the Joseon Dynasty was also known as the puppet king that Andong Kim Clan controls. As part of the Andong Kim’s manipulation, the clan married Cheoljong to Kim Mun Geun’s daughter who is later known as Queen Cheorin.

Mr. Queen is a mixture of comedy and fiction touch to alternate the real history. Jang Bong Hwan is a modern-day chef in the Blue House, an accident draws his soul. Bong Hwan woke up in the body of the young queen, Kim So Yong in the Joseon Dynasty.

Mystic Pop-up Bar (2020)

Mystic pop up bar teaser image
Mystic pop up Bar drama

Gwanghaegun was portrayed by Choi Won Young

King Gwanghaegun of the Joseon Dynasty was the 15th King, he reigned from 1608 to 1623. He was caught between the Ming Empire and the Manchus era and tried to maintain good relationship with the Manchus after seeing their military power.

Mystic Pop-up Bar is a remake of a popular webtoon ‘Ssanggap Pocha’ that tells the story of a mysterious pojangmacha (outdoor street food bar found in South Korea) run by Weol Joo (Hwang Jung Eum) and an afterlife police Chief Gwi (Choi Won Young).

My Country: The New Age (2019)

My Country My New Age
My Country My New Age

Taejo of Joseon, Yi Sung Gye was portrayed by Kim Yeong Cheol
Taejong of Joseon, Yi Bang Won was portrayed by Jang Hyuk

The first King of the Joseon Dynasty, he reigned from 1392 to 1398 and was the main prominent figure in the overthrowing of the Goryeo Dynasty.

King Taejong is the fifth son of King Taejo, and the 3rd King of the Joseon Dynasty. He helped his father to overthrow and end Goryeo in order to establish a new Dynasty. Yi Bang Won is the father of the greatest King in the Joseon Dynasty, Kin Sejong the Great.

My Country: The New Age is set around the end of the Goryeo dynasty and transiting into the Joseon dynasty. Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) and Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) turn their swords against one another due to the different opinions of “my country”.

The Tale of Nokdu (2019)

Injo of Joseon was portrayed by Kang Tae Oh

King Injo was the 16th King of the Joseon Dynasty, the era which ended when Joseon was surrendered to the Qing Dynasty in 1636. He was regarded as the weak, unstable, and indecisive king due to the two Manchus wars that broke out and the declining economy.

The Tale of Nokdu is about Jeon Nok Du (Jang Dong Yoon) who is a good swordsman living on an island with his father and elder brother. His closes kin was assassinated and to find the truth and mastermind, he disguises himself as a woman and enters the widow village. There he met Dong Dong Joo (Kim So Hyun) who tried to kill the king using an arrow.

Love in the Moonlight (2016)

Love in the Moonlight
Love in the Moonlight

Crown Prince Hyomyeong / Lee Yeong was portrayed by Park Bo Gum
Queen Shinjeong was portrayed by Chae Soo Bin
King Sunjo of Joseon was portrayed by Kim Seung Soo

Crown Prince Hyomyeong is the father of the 24th King of the Joseon Dynasty, King Heonjong. Real history documented that Crown Prince Hyomyeong died at the age of 20 before becoming the king and Heonjong was born 3 years before Hyomyeong’s death.

King Sunjo of Joseon Dynasty is the 23rd King, he ascended the throne at a young age of 10. He married the daughter of Kim Jo Sun who was the leader of Andong Kim clan. Despite his effort to reform politics, he live in the years of bad corruption and disordered government.

Love in the Moonlight is about Hong Ra On (Kim Yoo Jung) disguises as a man since young and has been living under another identity, Hong Sam Nom. She made a living by giving dating advice to men and one day, she was caught and sold as a eunuch to the palace and the story then begins. 

Splash Splash Love (2015)

King Sejong the Great was portrayed by Yoon Doo Joon

The 4th King of the Joseon Dynasty is the greatest king in Korea’s history. Sejong promoted the use of science, technology and agriculture. But the greatest milestone is the creation of the Korean alphabet Hangul.

Splash Splash Love is a mini-series about a high school student accidentally transported back to the Joseon Dynasty during the drought season. Jang Dan Bi (Kim Seul Gi) escape her college entrance exam. She entered the life of Yi Do (Yoon Doo Joon) who is trying to learn more about maths, science to help advance the country.

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