Hong Gil Dong

Hong Gil Dong (2008)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 3,114 users
Reviews: 10 users

Based on a fictional book about a Robin Hood in Korea, Hong Gildong, this drama is very loosely based off of that book and the time it was set in.
Hong Gil Dong was the illegitimate son of a high ranked minister. A local monk took him under his wing and taught him martial arts. Hong Gil Dong was inspired to fight for the injustice in this society that divided people into read morenobles and ordinary citizens whereby the former enjoyed all the privileges due solely to their birth.
The heroine, Heo Yi Nok, had just returned to Korea from China with her grandfather. They made their living by putting on shows and selling their special brand of medicine in the marketplace.
Lee Chang Hwi had been told since he was young that he was the rightful heir to the throne which had been usurped by his half brother. He had also returned from his exile in China and was plotting to overthrow the emperor.
The three got entangled in love, hate, loyalty and betrayal and only one side can win.

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31 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jun 16, 2011
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
I just marathoned this drama and I loved it. Wow can Kang Ji Hwan act his pants off! Typical of the Hong Sisters, this drama starts off looking like a comical farce but develops into a much richer, more dramatic story fairly quickly. I liked how they start out before the legend of Hong Gil Dong has begun and show you how it all started. Hong Gil Dong goes from a layabout read more wastril to reluctant hero to deserving of his legend and a true hero to the people. Kang Ji Hwan is so good at playing a carefree and careless rogue on the outside who is boiling with sadness, rejection and abandonment on the inside.

There is the central theme of the Gil Dong legend running through out, a series long plot to restore a displaced king and lots of love triangles all around. (love quadrangles?) In the mix, there are several short plot stories and baddies for Gil Dong to fight as he gathers his "band of merry men", rights the wrongs he sees, tries to protect those he loves and begins to suss out the worthiness (or lack thereof) of a future king.

The fusion sauguk element is fun. I wish I was even a little adept at Korean language and culture so I could truly appreciate the popculture and slang built into the language of the characters.

It's swashbuckling, over the top and a lot of fun. The writing is clever with some twists you just don't see coming and game changers that keep you moving along with the 24 episode tale.

I recommend it very highly.
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15 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 27, 2012
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
A tale of heroism and love, this fusion sageuk (the setting and the costumes are set in Joseon-era times, yet the jokes and such seem more modern) shines with a lot of warmth, humor and love.

Kang Ji Hwan was quite lovely as the main character and his acting stood above the rest of the cast.

The plot moves quite well, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. By the read more last third of the series, however, I started to feel that the plot was getting a bit repetitive and not as engaging. The ending was a bit predictable to me, but, it was still touching and hopeful.

But all in all, a quite satisfying and suprisingly meaningful drama.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (16)Recommendations

Both of them focus on Hong Gildong's life....but "Hong Gil Dong" is drama which has been written by Hong sisters while "The search for battle" is a movie.
Recommended by 5fangirl
- Both focus on Hong Gil Dong's life although the story is diffrent
-Both have cute female leads who are supportive to male lead
-Both male leads are heroes who fight against cruel king
-"Hong Gil Dong" is com-rom but later story turns into sad and serious while "Rebel: Who Stole The People" is serious and melodrama
- I personly love the "Rebel: Who Stole The People" more but both of dramas are interesting.
Recommended by 5fangirl

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Comments (38)

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  • Reply
    Cherry Quin Jul 19, 2017

    Did KJH died?

  • Reply
    EmpyreanConqueror Apr 5, 2017

    I am a sucker for happy endings, I am thinking whether to end it at ep 5 because of how people said the ending is sad. Can anyone comment the ending for me with the spoiler ticked. I cannot get over sad endings that's why.

  • Reply
    May Oct 6, 2016

    I really want to watch this because the story line seems good but I just can't do it and I'm only 2 episodes in. The "comedy" is just too ridiculous.

  • Reply
    pammo1949 Apr 27, 2016

    Enjoyed this drama (having started to watch over 2 years ago and dropping it). Finally decided to watch, I was put off a little by the slapstick comedy intermingled with the seriousness of the overall message. The flow of the drama is smooth and consistent and as a marathoner of K dramas I found this easy to watch multiple and continuous episodes without taking long breaks in between. The acting is good and you are conflicted in many episodes deciding what is right or wrong decisions for the characters so there is a challenge for the viewers. I would recommend this drama because once you get funny the serious is serious and worth the time.

  • Reply
    Syranus Apr 26, 2016 - edited

    Hong Gil Dong (2008)
    = This is hilarious, real comedy.
    = I don't like the flying it seems like I'm watching a 1990 action scene. LOL!
    = The girl, Heo Yi Nok, is annoying. She tends to overact and really stupid. Or retarded?
    = Dropped at episode 4. This is overrated.

    • Reply
      TeenMaleModel Faces Oct 29, 2016

      aggreed to entry 1,3(skip her senes faster) . but canNOT agree dropping(im currently at ep 12) .
      havent watched this kind of comedy since long age so it was good to me. DONT drop it . this is not that bad

    • Reply
      Syranus Oct 31, 2016

      I'd possibly give it a try if I ran out of PTW. ;-)

  • Reply
    Bibekzzz Feb 7, 2016 - edited

    why is background music of modern kpop???

  • Reply
    mrwyoo Jan 27, 2016 - edited

    Might be a spoiler about the ending!!

    the ending is not what it seems like. the first two episodes of the intro (been so long since I watched it, I can't remember anymore) are actually a hit on the ending. Iljimae is like that too. you just need to think a little. Back then I was also confused. (been 5 years now since I watched both of them.)

  • Reply
    Ehlaina Dec 15, 2015
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    WhiteLilly Dec 7, 2015

    The ending sucked. Period. It did not fit the drama mood at ALL. Totally disappointed.

  • Reply
    SuTienChow Oct 8, 2015 - edited

    The first part of the drama didnt match the ending TT__TT
    I watched the whole drama thknking that everyone was gonna be okayy...°^°

    • Reply
      Wendy Dec 9, 2015

      That's exactly what I thought.

  • Reply
    7Har Oct 1, 2015

    The ending.......................... I did not like it at all -_-

  • Reply
    OppaHasLongLegs Aug 15, 2015 - edited

    my gosh... the first few mins of ep 1 -_- i cant take it no moreeeeeee

    • Reply
      Syranus Apr 26, 2016

      And remember the flying. Uhggg!

  • Reply
    BeKaiLLe May 5, 2015


  • Reply
    BeKaiLLe May 5, 2015
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Lavendova Apr 7, 2015 - edited

    One of my favourite drama, I watch this second time already ; 3
    Ending is sooo sad :( I cry like a little kid.


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 2, 2008 to Mar 26, 2008
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 3 min.


  • Score:

    8.0 (scored by 3,114 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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