A new drama comeback for Ha Ji Won in the small screen, Empress Ki is creating a buzz in drama world. The last time I saw her was in Secret Garden where I truly saw her as an actress. I did watch her in a saeguk before, Hwang Jini but it was a long time ago I can't remember well.
Empress Ki is in my list to watch but because it aired at the same time as the other drama I follow, I decided to wait for the right time or maybe free time for me to catch up. But I do know some friends I follow in soompi are all recommending the drama. Then I read how the drama has been reaping success in terms of high ratings. Now, my interest really perked up and decided to take a peek! Which turned into a marathon!
I finished 9 episodes in just two nights!
First impression? Actually, no more surprises for me to see that the story is compelling considering the viewer's taste. And it's a historical drama, so for me saeguks have a unique appeal that always satisfy me as a viewer. This alone can make me glued to the monitor however long the story is.
Okay, besides starting on Empress Ki, I did not read any synopsis or reviews about the story. So basically I am clueless as to what is in store for me. I do not even know who is exactly the lead guy here. But I don't care, I go on for chemistry even if at the end, my pairings won't end together. :))
Some highlights of the story so far...
Anyway, the drama is about a woman who disguised herself as a man in her young age to survive. They were from Koryo era, slaves and because that time Yuans are still overlooking at Koryo, activities, trading, even the King of Koryo has no absolute power over his people and his territory. [I hope I am explaining right here..lol. to make it short, Koryo is under the wings of Yuan power]
During that time all women, young and old are to be sent to Yuan [modern Beijing] to be classified as slaves or concubines. Ki Nyang and her mother were ones of those captured and imprisoned. But here comes a young Prince [ Wang Yoo / Joo Jin Mo] seeing what was happening before his eyes. Dang Ki Se [Kim Jung Hyun] son of El Ti Mur a minister in Yuan was the leader of rounding up the slaves. A vicious young man who feared no one. He was working with Wang Go [Lee Jae Yong] a high ranking official who fancy being the next King of Koryo. He is a traitor as much as a coward in front of Yuan.
To continue, when night time came, Wang Yoo opened the prison gates and let all the captives run away. Ki Nyang and her mother run but soon they were chased by the soldiers and Dang Ki Se's men. He pointed the arrow on her mother, she tried to save her but she died. Along with her they rolled down the ravine and was lost to the eyes of the men chasing them.
Next scene showed a young boy living off the streets of Koryo. He was called Seung Nyang. Years later, he has his own group of men fighting to get as many as slaves away from the Yuan. But in order to sustain the group, they work for Wang Go and hide his illegal activities. He became a trusted person for Wang Go. No one knew he was actually a woman. His skills are remarkable. He fights well, and can shoot an arrow with precision. A skill that saved him from being harmed by enemies.
In one of Wang Yoo's wandering outside the palace, he met Seung Nyang. He was then monitoring who was behind the tons of salt being sneaked in the territory considering it is illegal to do so. Seung Nyang helped him to outwit Wang Go but circumstances changed when the King abdicate his throne for him. Wang Yoo became the new King.
An exiled Prince [Ta Hwan] from Yuan arrived. The interesting part was that he is not the typical prince who is skilled, tough and confident, but rather the opposite. He was so afraid for his life, of El Ti Mur and knew any minute his life will end. Guarding and securing him is Wang Yoo's task to protect his people from Yuan. He assigned Seung Nyang to keep his safety.
In his working as one of the trusted people beside the King, Seung Nyang found her real father, the General Ki. Knowing him is enough. But soon came the time for both of them to face off, but Seung Nyang retained his identity.
I think Ta Hwan made the drama fun to watch with his easy going character, foolishness and most of the times fear of the unknown. Both Seung Nyang and Ta Hwan somehow enjoyed their company. He trusted Seung Nyang with his life. He taught him how to be brave just for a moment.
But the pull of attraction were evident in both the King and Seung Nyang. Even though he did not know him as a her, he feels something for her enough to be jealous over Ta Hwan. When Ta Hwan made his journey back to Yuan, he did not know what happened to the King and Seung Nyang. The King lost his seat and Seung Nyang was discovered for her identity. Dang Ki Se tried to make her his concubine but failed. The King was sent to a camp while Nyang was sent to Yuan inside the palace.
At this point I already caught up with the current episodes and suffice it to say that her existence inside the palace is not totally unknown to Ta Hwan but he knew her resemblance to the man he consider as friend, only friend in Koryo. he suspected but no reason yet to believe his suspicions.
I want to bite my nails everytime Wang Yoo is being shown on the screen ans seeing his struggles to succeed and be free of the villains. Speaking of villains, Yeom Byung Soo [ Jung Woong-In] really gets me irritated, mad, annoyed and just want to kill him. Ahhh....why oh why such villains get to live despite facing near deaths?! I guess to make me grit more my teeth and hate him more while he continue to graze the screens. I wonder who and when will be his final moment! I really appreaciate it if he will die being tortured first like what he did to General Ki. What a hideous man!
As for Dang Ki Se, I am interested in his character. He is attracted to Nyang and will she be his fall? Another character that I like to see develop is Baek An [Kim Young Ho]. He is still not sure who to serve and fight for? Is it El Ti Mur or Ta Hwan. A bit tricky on his personality.
Well, the main three characters have different agenda. For now, even though I know where Nyang's heart belongs, I find her and Ta Hwan cute together. Perhaps I believe, there is a chance for Ta Hwan to develop his courage. I think he is playing the fool he was because of fear, because of lack of knowledge but mostly because of self preservation. But given the chance I think he will change and become ruthless as the story progress. I don't see him being the same gentle King. My question is, will he stay kind even if he become a strong King? Or will his desire and love for Nyang make him a merciless King?
When love is at stake, anyone can be very jealous, callous and vindictive. I think Ta Hwan just interest me much because his character is not yet fully disclosed. A lot can happen. While Wang Yoo is the rightful King of Koryo who is sympathetic to his people.
I am forgetting the character Batoulo. She is a woman disguised as the leader of Turks. I think she is Princess Kyung Hwa [Yoon Ah Jung]. I wonder if she and Wang Yoo will have some love lines here.
For now, this is my thoughts about Empress Ki. I am not sure if I will continue to update about the drama, but certainly I will continue to enjoy it.
photos via google