Historical K-Dramas That Will Mesmerized You
Historical dramas from South Korea have spread and become popular with people around the world since Dae Jang Geum first aired.This is not only about stories, themselves, but also because they give insight into Korean culture. Channel-Korea presents youwith a list of great historical K-dramas that will leave you spellbound. Keep reading!
Jewel in The Palace
Dae Jang Geum (Hangeul: 대장금) or literally “The Great Jang-geum”, is popularly known as Jewel in the Palace. This series is a 2003 South Korean television drama directed by Lee Byung-hoon. Dae Jang Geum aired on MBC from September 15, 2003 to March 23, 2004. This historical drama is the 10th-highest rated Korean drama of all time.
Episodes: 54 episodes
Cast: Lee Young Ae as Dae Jang Geum; Ji jin Hae as Min Jung Ho; Hong Ri Na as Choi Geum Yeong; Im Ho as King Jung Jong.
The story is set in Korea during the reigns of King Seongjong (1457–1494), King Yeonsan (1494–1506), and King Jungjong (1506–1544). The epilogue of the drama was about the reigns of King Injong (1544-1545) and King Myeongjong (1545-1567), with the last scene occurring in March, 1550.
Therefore, The Jewel in Palace was set 500 years ago, during the Chosun Dynasty, when the social structure was both hierarchical and male-dominated. This drama is about true story of a legendary girl, Dae Jang Geum, who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her time. As a girl who was both poor and of a lower social class in the male dominated society, Jang Geum defeated social discrimination and landed herself a position as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then, at her peak, becoming the physician in charge of the king. The king even gave her a special title, “The Great Jang Geum.” This is the story of her life and success, as well her beautiful love story.
The Great Queen Seon-Deok
The Great Queen Seon-deok (Hangeul: 선덕여왕) aired on MBC from May 25 until December 22, 2009. This historical drama is a historical drama produced by MBC as a celebration of their 48th-founding anniversary, and stars Lee Yo-won, Go Hyun-jung, Uhm Tae-woong, Kim Nam-gil and Park Ye-jin. This historical drama about the life of Queen Seondeok of Silla.
Episodes: 62 episodes
Cast: Lee Yo-won as Princess Deokman, later Queen Seondeok; Go Hyun-jung as Lady Mishil; Uhm Tae-woong as Kim Yushin; Kim Nam-gil as Bidam.
The story is set in Silla, which is one of the three kingdoms in Korea (the other two are Goryeo and Baekje). This drama is based on the life of Queen Seondeok of Silla, who ruled from 632-647, and revolves around Seon Deok’s life, the woman who was the first female leader who rule of Silla. Although the drama is is loosely based on historical fact, most of the story is fiction.
The drama begins at the end of King Jinheung’s reign and and continues until the end of Queen Seondeok’s reign. Deokman was one of King Jinpyeong and Queen Maya’s twin daughters but, because of a prophecy, King Jinpyeong sadly had to send his daughter away from the palace with the help of Seohwa, his clumsy but loyal servant. This path was chosen to save Queen Maya from being dethroned by Mishil, whose ambition was to become a Queen. Seohwa raised Deokman as her own child, but events eventually led Deokman into finding her real identity and her twin sister, Cheonmyeon, who ended up losing her life while trying to help Deokman escape. Eventually Deokman, after all her effort, finally becomes the first female ruler of Silla with the help of her trusted friend, Yushin and Bidam, the person she loved.
Dong Yi (Hangeul: 동이) is a 2010 historical television drama series, starring Han Hyo-joo. This drama is about the love story between King Sukjong and Choi Suk-bin. The drama aired on MBC from March 22 to October 12, 2010.
Episodes: 60 episodes
Cast: Han Hyo-joo as Choi Dong-yi (Choi Suk-bin), Kim Yoo-jung as young Dong-yi, Ji Jin-hee as King Sukjong, Lee So-yeon as Jang Hui-bin, Bae Soo-bin as Cha Chun-soo, Park Ha-sun as Queen Inhyeon
This historical K-drama is set in the late period of the Joseon kings and shows the story of Dong Yi (Choi Suk-bin), a person who come from the lowest class. She is a slave who becomes a top ranking mistress. Although she has dark past that was full of challenges, she successfully managed to become the best version of herself.
Dong-yi became an orphan after her father, who is the chief of the sword fraternity, and a corpse handler and brother, who are members of the fraternity, were killed after they were under suspicion of killing the nobles. Dong-yi became a maid working in the Bureau of Music. She had an incredible mind in solving difficult cases.
She meets the King, who signed as a court judge when solving a case. The King adores with her and treats her like an ordinary person, eventually falling in love with her. She also gained the trust of Queen Inhyeon.
Dr. Jin (Hangeul: 닥터 진) is a 2012 drama series, starring Song Seung-heon in the title role of Dr. Jin, a 21st-century neurosurgeon who travels back in time to the Joseon Dynasty. This drama aired on MBC from May 26 to August 12, 2012.
Episodes: 22 episodes
Cast: Song Seung-heon as Jin Hyuk; Park Min-young – Hong Young-rae (1860) / Yoo Mi-na (2012); Lee Beom-soo – Lee Ha-eung; Kim Jaejoong – Kim Kyung-tak; Lee So-yeon – Choon-hong, Jin Yi-han – Hong Young-hwi
Jin Hyuk is a talented neurosurgeon who was born into a family of doctors. His success rate in surgery was 100%. He had the ability to analyze any situation quickly and had extremely steady hands, both of which made him excellent at his job. On the other hand, he also has a cold personality and lacks compassion. He had plans to give his girlfriend a ring, but unfortunately his girlfriend was in an accident which left her in a coma.
Jin Hyuk mysteriously travels back in time to 1860 in the Joseon Dynasty, after doing an operation on a patient’s brain. He begins to treat people in that era, with all its insufficient medical devices and medicines, and he found a new way.
Jumong (Hangeul: 삼한지-주몽 편) is 2006 historical drama, also known as The Book of Three Han: The Chapter of Jumong. This drama is aired on MBC from May 15, 2006, to March 6, 2007.
Episodes: 81 episodes
- Cast: Song Il Gook as Jumong;; Han Hye Jin as So Seo No; Kim Seung Soo as Prince Dae So; Hu Joon Ho as Hae Mo Su; Oh Yun Soo as Lady Yoo Hwa
Jumong was the founder of Goguryeo in 37 BC, and this drama is about his life and rise to power. It shows the story of him as a prince, into his adulthood when he was building the kingdom. Jumong is considered a time-consuming drama to watch and also has limited romantic scenes.
King Su-ro: The Iron King
Kim Su-ro, The Iron King (Hangeul: 김수로) is a 2010 television series on the life of Suro of Geumgwan Gaya, starring Ji Sung, Bae Jong-ok, Yu Oh-seong, Seo Ji-hye, Go Joo-won, Kang Byul and Lee Pil-mo. It aired on MBC from May 29 to September 18, 2010.
Episodes: 32 episodes
Cast: Ji Sung as Kim Su-ro/ Suro of Geumgwan Gaya; Park Gun-tae as young Su-ro; Bae Jong-ok as Jeong Kyeon-bi (Queen); Yu Oh-seong as Shingwi Ghan / Tae-gang; Seo Ji-hye as Heo Hwang-ok; Go Joo-won as Ijinashi; Won Deok-hyun as young Ijinashi; Kang Byul as Ah-hyo; Lee Pil-mo as Seok Tal-hae; Shin Dong-ki as young Tal-hae.
This historical drama is based on the life of Kim Su-Ro, a man who unified 12 small countries to create the state of Geumgwan Gaya in Southeastern Korea during the Three Kingdoms Period. Kim Su-ro has fierce temperament, charisma and intelligence. He fought in political events and competitions for the throne against his half-brother and lifelong rival, Ijinashi.
Hwang Jini (Hangeul: 황진이) is a Korean drama broadcast on KBS2 in 2006. The series was based on the tumultuous life of Hwang Jini, who lived in 16th-century Joseon and became the most famous gisaeng in Korean history. The lead actress, Ha Ji-won, won the Grand Prize (Daesang) at the 2006 KBS Drama Awards for her performance. This historical drama aired from October 11 to December 28, 2006.
Episodes: 24 episodes
Cast: Ha Ji-won as Hwang Jini; Shim Eun-kyung as young Hwang Jini; Kim Young-ae as Im Baek-moo; Wang Bit-na as Bu-yong; Kim Jaewon as Kim Jung-han; Ryu Tae-joon as Byuk Kye-soo; Jang Keun-suk as Kim Eun-ho; Jeon Mi-seon as Jin Hyun-geum, Hwang Jini’s mother; Lee Shi-hwan as Yi-saeng; Kim Bo-yeon as Mae-hyang.
This drama is about Hwang Jini, a gisaeng (a female entertainer). Hwang Jini was left at a temple by her mother, who did not want her to become a gisaeng. It is not only about her journey to become gisaeng, but also her love story from having a broken heart to finding new love.