Jumong


Reviewed by: sukting

October 28, 2012

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword

Jumong is a historical drama which was aired as MBC 45th Anniversary Special Drama. Originally set to be 60 episodes long, MBC decided to extend it to 81 due to its popularity. Gojoseon has fallen to the Han Empire of China. The separate city states have to submit to the Han Empire. This drama portrays the life of Jumong Taewang, (founder of the kingdom of Goguryeo) on how he struggles to unite his country.

Story/Introduction on characters – the drama is long, so is the cast list. What to do –they introduce more and more men on the way.

1. Song Il Gook as Prince Zhu Meng
He is the third son of Jin Wa. However, in reality, he is Xie Mu Su’s son. He isn’t as courageous as his father and doesn’t learn martial arts. His two elder brothers look down on him for being a coward. He is with Fu Rong during attending a majorly important ceremony instead of attending to his royal duties. This leads to her being kicked out of the palace and insulting his adoptive father, the Emperor. After that, he accidentally starts a fire in the Buyeo blacksmith workshop, betraying its existence to the wary Han nation and bringing major dishonor to Buyeo.

Thus, he is stripped of his title as a prince and expelled from the palace. Still, his two brothers are not satisfied. They send assassins to pursue and have him killed. Learning that his brothers regard him as a thorn in their flesh, he starts to work hard. He plans to make his own sword but the furnace is ruined due to Ling Bu’s interference.

As a result, he is chased out of the palace. From here, he gets to know the three men and Xie Mu Shu. He regards Xie Mu Shu as his teacher and is bitter over his death. Upon knowing his parentage, he seeks to reunite Damul army. The old oracle knows that he is the only person besides Xie Mu Shu who can achieve the aim. On the way, he gets the bow (which he himself pulls the rein which no other person can do it), an armour and a mirror. He needs these three things to be recognized as the ruler of the states.

A rivalry breaks out between Dai Su and Ling Bu, who are both vying to be named Crown Prince. Ling Bu makes an attempt on Dai Su's life, but Zhu Meng saves Dai Su and thus earns his trust. When Jin Wa is imprisoned in the palace by Dai Su, Zhu Meng eats the humble pie to help Jin Wa to return to power. Zhu Meng gets the help of his three ex-bandit lieutenants, commandeers a group of refugees that were to be sent as slaves to the Han nation, establishing his own settlement in the mountains.

After he sets up Damul army, he doesn’t wish to return to Buyeo. King Jin Wa doesn’t understand why he must do this and falls out with him. He is in despair to lose his mother and family. Luckily, Zhao Xi Nu is often by his side. Over the course of the following three years, the new Damul army(led by Zhu Meng) and Gyeh-ru (led by Zhao Xi Nu) work to unite the nearby settlements under one banner.

The kingdom of Ko-Kuryeo is finally established. Zhu Meng becomes the nation's first king and Zhao Xi Nu its queen. However, Liu Li’s return cause the two to part and he is in sorrow, having to see her leave his side. Il Gook shines in the role on the person who goes through lots of ups and downs in life. The way he wins over his ten subjects through his skills and sincerity is also convincing.

2. Han Hye-jin as Lady Zhao Xi Nu
She is the only daughter of a trader and often disguises as a man to go on merchant trips. Her dream is to unite Gyeh-Ru clan. She knows martial arts and spars with Dai Su when she first meets him as he tries to get fresh with her. That doesn’t offend him as she wins his heart.

She saves Zhu Meng when he is nearly killed in quicksand. He saves her back when she is kidnapped by Dao Chi. She starts to like him and lets him work in her trading group for him to learn the ropes. Lu Mei Yi can tell that she can be a king if not being a female. She is very strong-willed and doesn’t follow traditions. She replaces her father to lead the trading group and when Dai Su forces her to marry him, she chooses to marry You Tai instead, making use of the chance when Dai Su marries Xue Lan in the palace.

She has two sons but later becomes a widow. Many will wish her to be the ruler when the war ends but she gives the chance to Zhu Meng. She is too blinded by her hatred towards Song Rang to want to stage a war. Zhu Meng chooses to display his bravery in front of Song Rang to drink poisonous wine in front of him and also approaches every tribe leader himself to persuade them without sacrificing too many men.

When their followers are still not appeased to quarrel on who should rule the state, she marries Zhu Meng. For ten over years, they have been happy till Liu Li returns with Su Er. Knowing that there will be conflicts, she chooses to leave with her sons. What a change from her usual demure ways in ‘Get strong, Geum Soon’. She is very convincing as the gentle and witty character.

3. Kim Seung-soo as Prince Dai Su
He is the eldest son of Jin Wa but is jealous of Zhu Meng as his father often neglects his mother. He wants him dead but is dismayed when the killers can’t kill him. He admires Zhao Xi Nu and often finds excuses to look for her. Knowing from Fu De Fo that Xie Mu Shu will affect their country’s fate, he brings men to kill Xie Mu Shu. He even gets Xie Mu Shu’s head to Liang Zhuo to declare alliance with him. Even though he doesn’t like Xue Lan, he still marries her, planning to marry Zhao Xi Nu as his concubine. However, Zhao Xi Nu rather chooses someone who cares for her and not a ruthless person to be with.

After knowing that Zhu Meng is his love rival and also he defeats him repeatedly in war, he tries to confront him every now and then. He seizes power from Jin Wa but being violent in nature, he is later disposed and Jin Wa gets back to power. When he goes on exile, he still cracks plans on how to deal with Zhu Meng. He later returns and helps Jin Wa to fight against Zhu Meng. When Jin Wa abdicates the throne due to poor health, he still wants to pit against him. Sadly, he often ends up being the loser. He is a bit stiff in some scenes in the beginning but improves in the end.

4. Jeon Kwang Ryeol as King Jin Wa
He counts on Xie Mu Shu to fight with him and both are close friends. He falls for Liu Hua and marries her even though he knows that she is pregnant with Zhu Meng. She is the only person he loves. He treats him as his own to want to give him the best. He doesn’t even mind passing the throne to him. He feels remorseful towards Xie Mu Shu and wants to make up to him. He doesn’t realize that Dai Su makes him a sinner instead. Still, he lets him off.

He is actually a selfish and despicable person. He wants to tie Liu Hua by his side. When knowing that Zhu Meng becomes a threat, he keeps Su Er and Liu Li as hostages after trying to lock Zhu Meng and his men up. Being soft-hearted to think of their old ties, he releases them later. Even an illness of changing half of his face dark hasn’t changed him. (He looks like Chung Mou Yim). When they try to escape with Liu Hua, he kills Liu Hua in a rage. He regrets his mistake and indulges in drinking.

Seeing how Zhu Meng expands his power makes him resigned to the fate that Puyeo will be conquered by him in the end. He stays in a village after leaving the palace and later dies in the hands of a Han assassin. This causes the reluctant Dai Su to combine forces with Zhu Meng to avenge his death. He is another best actor in this drama besides Il Gook. From a chivalrous man to a coward, he plays his part well.

5. Oh Yeon-soo as Lady Liu Hua
She is the princess of He Bai Tribe and she is against cruel treatment. Luckily, Jin Wa saves her from being punished but her heart stays with Xie Mu Shu even though he causes her whole tribe to be wiped out. She is willing to have a simple life with him in the wild. She witnesses how Xie Mu Shu becomes blind but stops herself from acknowledging him so as to bring up their son. She has thought of him to be dead and only meets him for a while many years later before she learns that he is killed.

Her heart dies and she returns to the palace as a living corpse. Zhu Meng later learns from her about his parentage. Her gratitude to Jin Wa makes her stay by him but later seeing how low he is to remain in power, she doesn’t want to stay in the palace anymore. Especially when Xue Lan tries to harm Liu Li and she is no longer tolerant of this. However, she loses her life and dies in Jin Wa’s arms. She is also another talented actress who delivers her lines well.

6. Kyeon Mi-ri as Queen Yuan Hou
She is Jin Wa’s wife and is often neglected by him as he goes on war frequently. Still, she doesn’t blame him for not being with her when their sons are born. However, she can’t stomach him for showering all his attention on Liu Hua and Zhu Meng. Thus, she wants Dai Su to works hard to be the crown prince. This woman is totally biased to neglect Ling Bu and only wants him to become a follower.

7. Song Ji-hyo as Lady Li Su Er
She is Zhu Meng’s wife and is the daughter of a village head. Liu Hua dotes on her as their experience is similar. She knows that he loves Zhao Xi Nu but stands by him. She becomes a hostage in Buyeo and has a son, Liu Li. She is successful in running away from Jin Wa.

But She is disappointed that Zhao Xi Nu marries Zhu Meng so she focuses her attention in bringing Liu Li up without telling Zhu Meng. She is poor but has not thought of approaching him till Buyeo holds a martial arts contest. She gets Liu Li to participate and thus create a chance for Zhu Meng to acknowledge him through the sword. She is in poor health when Zhu Meng brings her to the palace and he tries his best to cure her. She has improved in her acting from ‘Goong’.

8. Park Tam-hee as Lady Liang Xue Lan
She is Liang Zheng’s daughter arranged to marry Dai Su. She truly loves him but also knows about his obsession with Zhao Xi Nu. She is equally ambitious and attempts to manipulate Dai Su after their marriage. Life is tough for her when she is childless and she has wanted to harm Liu Li when Yuan Hou compares her with Su Er. After that, she wants to seize him to become her son but Yuan Hou doesn’t like the idea as he resembles Zhu Meng.

She hates Zhu Meng for killing Liang Zheng. Wanting Dai Su to be the ruler soon, she poisons Jin Wa but Dai Su doesn’t want to leave himself a bad name and tells her to stop. She then concentrates on dealing with Zhu Meng instead, wanting him dead.

9. Ahn Yong-joon as Liu Li
He is now 15 years old and has never seen his father since his birth. After seeing Zhu Meng marrying Zhao Xi Nu, Su Er brings up Liu Li alone. He grows up to be witty and is very good in martial arts. Zhu Meng gives her a broken piece of the sword to Liu Li for recognition in future and she buries it in Buyeo palace. He has not wanted to acknowledge him as he thinks he has deserted them.

Zhu Meng keeps his baby shoes all this while and this appeases him a little. Thus, Liu Li returns to the palace as a prince. However, he prefers to be with the swordmakers and not mingle with the others. This is exactly like Zhu Meng in his younger days. Zi Qing sets fire and kills many. Zhu Meng is in anguish, thinking that he has lost his son. He only goes out to get the culprits and he is delighted. Liu Li gets to read on Zhu Meng’s past and is in better ties with his father. He later becomes the crown prince to help him settle affairs.

10. Kim Byeong-ki as Yan Tuo Ba
He is Zhao Xi Nu’s father. He is also the ruler of the Gyeh-Ru tribe. He is a shrewd trader who wants power. But he is also a righteous man. He decides not to turn Xie Mu Shu in for a reward, as he has protected his caravan and his daughter from harm right after she is born. He trains Zhao Xi Nu hard to be his successor. He is a kind man who thinks the best for his men.

11. Jin Hee-kyung as Lu Mei Yi
She is the leading sacred lady of Goguryeo. Her prediction powers are supreme. She can forsee that Xie Mu Shu is a three-legged bird so she wants him dead. Jin Wa’s father then informs the iron guards to capture Xie Mu Shu and he is thrown off the cliff after being shot by arrows. Even so, she still thinks of the bird only flying away – that means that he is not dead. True enough, he is found by a general.

Knowing that his time is not up yet, she imprisons him for 20 years in her prison. She only confesses the truth to Jin Wa after he escapes from it with Zhu Meng. She brings Liu Hua to meet Xie Mu Shu but never expects Fu De Fo to follow her to know this to kill Xie Mu Shu later. She is in love with Jin Wa and have no regrets saving him from a serious arrow injury although he expels her from the palace.

She observes Zhu Meng and finds him a fine man. After serious thought, she decides that Zhu Meng is the rightful ruler and turns to support him since they can’t go against fate. She creates the 3 legged bird flag for Zhu Meng. Even though Fu De Fo holds her hostage, she refuses to tell Zhu Meng to give up his dream and dies by Fu De Fo’s sword.

12. Lee Jae-yong as Fu De Fo
He is Goguryeo’s prime minister. He never trusts Lu Mei Yi as she opposes killing Xie Mu Shu. Thus, he takes matters into his own hands. He also worries that Zhu Meng will ruin Buyeo and so supports Dai Su. After seeing how ruthless Dai Su is, he supports Jin Wa again but on the condition that Zhu Meng must give up his dream. When Zhu Meng refuses, they become enemies.

He is powerful but his family is poor as he concentrates on helping to rule the country. To make sure that Buyeo survives, he encourages Dai Su to work with Zhu Meng but also with the Han empire. Zhu Meng is smart not to trust Dai Su totally.

13. Heo Joon-ho as General Xie Mu Su
Xie Mu Shu is a member of the Ko-Jo-Seon Imperial family. He joins forces with Jin Wa, in order to counter Han savagery, creating the Duo Hu army. This is a band of soldiers who are to defend Ko-Jo-Seon refugees. He is injured after a skirmish takes place against Han soldiers. Liu Hua finds him and nurses him back to health.

However, due to Jin Wa’s father’s mistrust, he is tortured to become blind. Although he is imprisoned by Lu Mei Yi for many years, he doesn’t lose his skills. He imparts to Zhu Meng upon knowing that he is bullied by his brothers. Zhu Meng becomes a sharp archer and fighter like him to be able to shoot arrows with his eyes closed. He is overjoyed to know from Liu Hua that he is his son and leads him away from the two princes, sacrificing himself.

14. Won Ki-joon as Prince Ling Bu
He is as evil as Dai Su and helps in his misdeeds. He controls the military but still has to report to Jin Wa. He is very reckless and foolish. He is sore when Yuan Hou keeps telling him to give up and only gets her in-laws to help Dai Su. He wants to be the king but he doesn’t have the ability.

He is forced to live in Chang An and later becomes a rich merchant. Still, he hasn’t given up the dream of being the emperor and returns after many years. Of course, he fails again and Dai Su has to rescue him – but in exchanging Ling Bu’s wealth. He acts in the same evil way as in ‘The gourmet’. No improvement.

15. Bae Su-bin as Si Long
He is Yan Tuo Ba’s advisor. He is very calm in making decisions. Zhu Meng wins a battle as he invents kites to bring bombs to the enemy camps for explosions. He is girlish but is witty. Later, he is better in martial arts after leading some trips. He is adamant that Zhao Xi Nu should be the ruler and Fei Liu must be the successor even though Liu Li is present.

16. Lim So-yeong as Fu Rong
She is once Lu Mei Yi’s disciple. As Zhu Meng tries to get fresh with her, she is banished from the palace and is forced to work for Dao Chi to save her siblings. Dao Chi is also obsessed by her beauty but she often avoids him. Zhu Meng kisses her forehead when she risks her life to save Xie Mu Shu and him. She is heartbroken upon seeing Zhu Meng in low spirits over Xie Mu Shu’s death. Knowing that Zhu Meng never loves her and Wu Yi loves her, she leaves silently with her younger siblings.

17. Yoon Dong-hwan as Liang Zheng
He is the governor of Xuantu after surrendering to the Han empire. He is Jin Wa’s friend from young but he is very ambitious as he works for another master. He forces Jin Wa to give in to him. Jin Wa is peeved that he has to close down the weapons unit due to his pressure. He never stops watching on his moves and they become in-laws. He is bitter of losing to Zhu Meng in battles as he underestimates him. For the final defeat, he still persists to work for the Han empire. Zhu Meng has no choice but to kill him. Credits must be given to this actor who tries hard to speak many lines in Mandarin.

18. Oh Uk-chul as Lord Huang Zi Qing
He is Han empire’s prime minister’s relative whom Ling Bu befriends in Chang An. He later becomes Liao Dong’s governor. He has designs on Su Er when she escapes from Dai Su but she escapes again before he can do anything to her. The refugees nearly kill him but Zhu Meng uses him to exchange other refugees. He can never forget this humiliation.

19. Ahn Jeong-hoon as Ma Li
He is one of the bandits that Zhu Meng knows. He nearly kills Zhu Meng after robbing him. When he learns that he is a prince, he decides to follow him. He is beside him although Zhu Meng fails sometimes. He is witty and becomes the left royal adviser. He is firstly a coward but later isn’t afraid of death.

20. Lim Dae-ho as Xie Bao
He is another bandit but is more righteous as his father works for Xie Mu Shu before in Damul army. It seems to hint something between him and Si Long. He becomes the imperial bodyguard.

21. Yeo Ho-min as Wu Yi
He is the third bandit who likes Fu Rong. That is why he regards Zhu Meng as a love rival. He is reckless and easily manipulated by others. Seeing how Zhu Meng risks his life to save him, he starts to admire his ability. He learns through the hard way to become mature and alert. Wu Gu once has disagreements with him and have a fight. Wu Gu loses to him and calls him big brother since then to be very close. He becomes the left general.

22. Park Kyeong-hwan as Ma Xi
He is the brothers’ uncle – the queen’s brother. Ruthless but supports the brothers, especially Dai Su. Like his sister, he often tells Ling Bu to give in to Dai Su.

23. Jeong Ho-bin as You Tai
He is Yan Tuo Ba’s bodyguard. He guides Zhao Xi Nu in doing business and is puzzled over her change towards Zhu Meng. Zhao Xi Nu treats him like an elder brother and he shields her from being hurt. Ru Mei Yi has noticed that he will not live long as there is a gloomy cloud on his face. He likes Zhao Xi Nu all along and marries her although he knows that she loves Zhu Meng. During the fight with Song Rang, he is killed.

24. Lee Kye-In as Mao Ba Mu
He is a royal palace weapons maker. Zhu Meng learns from him how to make a sword. He protests against Dai Su from taking weapons from him and worries for Zhu Meng when he is thrown out of the palace. He gets along well with this little prince as he is innocent and friendly. His choice is correct indeed as he helps to make powerful armour and sword after guessing the Han empire’s secret.

His only regret in life is unable to bring the women out of the palace. Conscience pricks him after knowing their deaths. Seeing some youths loitering on the streets, he takes them in. They contribute plenty of ideas in many weapons. Thus, when Liu Li is back, he transfers all knowledge to him.

25. Park Nam-hyun as Luo Lu
He is Dai Su’s follower. He is the one who wants to kill Zhu Meng on Dai Su’s command. He nearly succeeds for the first time if not for the three bandits. After Zhu Meng leaves, he takes over his post as the chief guard. He is loyal to Dai Su but doesn’t want to betray Buyeo.

26. Kwon Yong Woon as Wu Song
He is Wu De’s elder brother (not related) and is Zhu Mong’s first teacher. Zhu Mong improves fast and shows his ability against Dai Su for the first time to defeat him in front of all officials. He is in charge of Xie Mu Shu’s prison. He doesn’t know his identity then and is the only person who makes the escape when the brothers lead their soldiers to kill Xie Mu Shu. He later realizes who Zhu Meng is and becomes Mao Ba Mu’s bodyguard to ensure his safety.

27. Jo Myeong Jin as Wu De
She is Liu Hua’s maid who asks Wu De for help when Liu Hua wants someone to guide Zhu Meng. She is sure that her brother will not reveal Zhu Meng’s identity even though he knows it. Zhu Meng begins training in swordsmanship and martial arts under Wu Song after this. She helps Liu Hua and the others to escape and is reunited with Wu Song after faking her death. Wu Gu also shows interest in her besides Wu Song and they compete to get her love.

28. Jung Han Bin as Ji Pi
He is short so many find it unbelievable that the tall You Tai is his son. He takes charge of the bodyguards for their goods. He is peeved when the three bandits keep making him angry. However, he often makes sure that his mission is accomplished without fail. He is devastated when You Tai dies and concentrates on taking care of his grandsons.

29. Ha Yong Jin as Dao Chi
He has once controlled the bandits and Zhu Meng work for him. They betray him due to setting Zhao Xiu Nu free. He still has Fu Rong under him and works with Ling Bu to sell weapons to others. He is a ruthless man who is against Yan Tuo Ba all the time. He conspires with Ling Bu to overthrow Dai Su. He often wants to get fresh with Fu Rong. Dai Su kills him after knowing their scheme to kill him.

30. Kwon Eun Ma as Ma Yu Lin
She is the new oracle chosen to replace Ru Mei Yi as she comes from the same hometown as the queen. Her powers can’t be compared to Ru Mei Yi and Dai Su often belittles her. Unlike Lu Mei Yi, she is also timid as well. Bad luck befalls her when she is preparing for a praying session to curse Zhu Meng as Dai Su also senses that the end is near. She is struck to death by lightning and all believe that is the end of the regime. That is indeed the highlight of the drama besides the killing the Ru Mei Yi.

31. Yoon Seo Hyun as Han Dang
He is Wu Chi’s henchman who is always up to no good. He often ill-treats Fu Rong. He thinks that Zhu Meng is dead but is dismayed that he is still alive. He is later killed together with Dao Chi.

32. Son Ho Gyoon as Hei Chi
He is the big general who is faithful to Jin Wa. He is as powerful as Fu De Fo. He admires Zhu Meng but has no choice to go against him under Jin Wa’s command when he refuses to dissolve Damul army.

33. No Hee Ji as Shao Ling
She is Ru Mei Yi’s apprentice and is peeved when the oracle is changed. Thus, she is always against Yu Lin. She leaves Buyeo to join Ru Mei Yi. When Ru Mei Yi dies, she takes over her duties. Zhu Meng goes to her for advice.

34. Jeon Ha Eun – Ma Li Xia
Although she is young, Ru Mei Yi believes that she possess the power to tell the future so she grooms her to be her other successor. Her instinct also never goes wrong.

35. Baek Hyun Seok as Yan Cai Ling
She is Yan Tuo Ba’s younger sister who is a widow to return to help her brother. Her husband is killed during a trading trip and she bears a grudge till now. She is a spitfire and everyone is scared of her except Mao Ba Mu. She is interested in him but only for a while. She is adamant that her son, Can Xiu must take over the trading leader position.

She has never wanted Zhao Xi Nu to be the leader all along. Thus, she wants to overthrow her so that she can be the ruler herself. Yan Tuo Ba finds her a threat when she instigates Fei Liu to start a rebellion and banishes her out of Jolbon.

36. Ha Yong Jun as Dong Xian
He is Liang Zheng’s man. Fluent in Mandarin and is also a martial arts expert. He is often sneaking into Buyeo to look for information.

37. Kim Yong Hee as Xue Zhuo
He is Rui Su Er’s father’s follower who has been eyeing on her all the time. Zhu Meng kills him for killing Rui Su Er’s father and also betraying his clan. This man works with Dai Su to harm Zhu Meng but fails.

38. Son Seon-geun as Wan Hao
He is once Xie Mu Shu’s follower. Although aged, he helps out in the army in recruiting all the refugees. Zhu Meng is sad when he is killed in the war against Liang Zheng but promises to continue to work hard.

39. Park Jong Kwan as Song Rang
He is often against Zhao Xi Nu and Yan Bo Tuo to want to be the leader of the Jolbon tribe. He later submits to Zhu Meng after admiring his courage.

40. Kim Won Suk as Song Zhu
He is also Jin Wa’s faithful bodyguard. He is once imprisoned by Dai Su for helping Liu Hua. He listens to Hei Chi and has to go against Zhu Meng too although this is not his wish.

41. Seo Beom Sik, Song Gei-heong Kim Min Chan as Wu Gu, Mo Ju and Zai Si
The three are also bandits living in the mountains. Zhu Meng uses his wits and skills to defeat all of them. They follow him faithfully from then. Wu Gu is the right general, Mo Ju is the right advisor while Zai Si is the royal treasurer as he knows how to control finances well.

42. Jeong Ho-bin as Fu Fen Nu
He once works under Dai Su. Dai Su uses his family to force him to assassinate Zhu Meng. He has no choice but to do it. Zhu Meng catches him but lets him go to get him to lie to Dai Su that he has killed him. Fu Fen Nu is touched on how closely-nitted Zhu Meng is to his men.

Thus, he keeps tabs on Dai Su’s moves and alerts Zhu Meng. After settling his family, he betrays Dai Su to be with Damul army. The others doubt him initially but later welcome him with open arms. He becomes Fei Liu’s master in martial arts.

43. Yoon Yong-hyeon as Fu Wei Yan
He is a pirate who is also an experienced sailor. Zhu Meng seeks his help to get medicine and food overseas with Zhao Xi Nu when Jolbon is trapped by Buyeo. He is reminded on how his father joins Damul army and how he gets killed brutally without a grave. Yearning for a stable life, he also joins Zhu Meng. He becomes the food collector to make sea trips but also gets involved in battles when he is around.

44. Lee Jae-seok as Prince Fei Liu
He is Zhao Xi Nu’s elder son. He is proud and arrogant although he is intelligent. His self-confidence is shaken when he loses twice to Liu Li in martial arts. He is adamant to keep his crown prince position and often competes with Liu Li. Seeing how their sons quarrel with each other worry their parents.

45. Prince Wen Zhuo
He is Zhao Xi Nu’s younger son. Unlike his elder brother, he prefers to be with Mao Ba Mu to learn weapon making from him.

46. Kang Eun Tak as Can Xiu
He is Zhao Xi Nu’s cousin. Unlike his ambitious mother, he prefers to be a subordinate as he admires his cousin’s ability. Zhu Meng chooses him to be the chief of guards but he fails to prevent Zi Qing’s men from killing their weapon makers. Thus, Zhu Meng stripes him of his title and locks him in jail as a punishment. Even Zhao Xi Nu agrees with this and this causes Cai Lin to stage a rebellion.

Interesting facts

The ratings went from 37% to 52%. The average was 41%. It was filmed on location at MBC Dramia located at Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si in Gyeonggi-do Province. Where other historical dramas such as Dong Yi, The Moon Embracing the Sun and Queen Seondeok were also filmed

Below are the awards won – taken from Wikipedia :
Won 2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards: Daesang (Grand Prize)
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards: Best Screenplay Award (Jung Hyung Soo and Choi Wan Kyu)
2006 MBC Awards: Grand Prize (Song Il Gook)
2006 MBC Awards: Top Excellence Award, Actor (Song Il Gook & Jeon Kwang Yeol)
2006 MBC Awards: Top Excellence Award, Actress (Han Hye Jin)
2006 MBC Awards: Excellence Award, Actor (Kim Seung Soo)
2006 MBC Awards: Best New Actor (Won Ki Jun)
2006 MBC Awards: Golden Acting Award, Actor (Heo Joon Ho)
2006 MBC Awards: Golden Acting Award, Actress (Oh Yeon Soo)
2006 MBC Awards: Director of The Year (Lee Joo Hwan)
2006 MBC Awards: Writer of The Year (Choi Wan Kyu & Jung Hyung Soo)

Nominated 2006 MBC Awards: Drama of the Year
2006 MBC Awards: Top Excellence Actress (Oh Yeon Soo)
2006 MBC Awards: Popularity Award (Song Il Gook)
2006 MBC Awards: Popularity Award (Han Hye Jin)
2006 MBC Awards: Popularity Award (Lee Gye In)
2006 MBC Awards: Best Couple Award (Song Il Gook and Han Hye Jin)

China banned this drama as it portrayed汉武帝 to be a totally violent person who encouraged mass weapon productions. The Hans were also shown as cruel and cold-blooded. They took refugees as prisoners, expunging them by using powerful iron weapons on them. This was untrue to history.

Most favourite character
Zhu Meng, he has shown how to be a good ruler and how hard he starts from scratch even though he faces plenty of opposition.

Most hated character
Dai Su, he is persistent to get what he wants. Unlike Zhu Meng who has to slog, he just enjoys the fruits of labour by inheriting the throne. A close second is Ling Bu, this man certainly doesn’t know how to face the fact that he is not of king caliber and often needs Dai Su to rescue him.

Conclusion

As a Chinese, I certainly do not like to see this and can understand why mainland Chinese threaten to boycott the drama. Disregarding the fake details aside, the plot is intriguing with one development after another. I enjoy watching the war scenes on how each side try to outsmart one another. The love and hate relationship is complicated and yet genuine.

This drama is worth every single minute of your time. Il Gook and Hye Jin have not failed their mission to be the leads. Their love scenes are the greatest highlight besides the growing process of Zhu Meng. Credits must be given to the supporting cast too as they hold the drama together.

Sukting’s ratings:

On acting : **** (Scale of 5)

On story : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On song : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)



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