Six Flying Dragons

Six Flying Dragons (2015)

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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 2,251 users
Reviews: 18 users

A fiction historical drama about the ambitions and success of six characters based around Lee Bang Won.
Lee Bang Won was the third king of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea and the father of King Sejong the Great. He helped his father King Taejo establish the Joseon Dynasty.

  • Native title:

    육룡이 나르샤
  • Also Known as:

    Yookryongi Nareusha; Roots of the Throne;

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87 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 23, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Is there any difference? Is there any difference?
I’m asking the world, on deciding life and death
Is there any difference between politics and swords?

These words, from the song “Muiiya,” a Six Flying Dragons OST, emphasize the human cost of both politics and the sword. Six Flying Dragons, as a drama, does the same when it implores the viewer to contemplate the possible outcomes of choice and the effects of those read more choices on relationships and society as a whole. If anything, Six Flying Dragons attempts to answer this question without limiting the answer toward one argument. As a result, this drama and its writers Park Sang Yeon and Kim Yeong Hyeon effectively communicate the answer to this vital question through the display of its narrative and characterization.

Six Flying Dragons’ narrative ponders the above questions by its creation of characters and actions that test the functions of relationships and its lack of limitation of the characters to a particular faction of good and evil. Characterizations are layered and multi-faceted; for example, Lee Bang Won’s early desire for justice masks a desire for recognition and power. One is surely good, and the other is dangerous, but they both exist within the character. Similarly, in Jeong Do Jeon, one can argue that desire for the people masks desire for recognition and power. Where history tries (and goes back and forth) on the bad/good spectrum of these two characters, Six Flying Dragons delivers realism--the reality, of course, that all humans possess a bug which may swallow them whole. It renders choices, not fate nor relative determinism, as the progenitor of results, effects, and conclusions while maintaining neutrality in its tone.

The narrative achieves this as a whole by offering twists and turns on a grand scale. Tiny, even miniscule character introductions turn into important aspects of character and scene later on; conversations between characters that are seemingly benign hold importance at the right moment. Between betrayals and loyalty, is there any difference? may be the question asked here; the question may also be Between two forms of government, is there any difference? Six Flying Dragons, then, explores these subtexts throughout its frames, urging the viewer to contemplate them as well.

Another way that the narrative urges viewers to explore these notions is through its cinematography. The cinematography of Six Flying Dragons colors and frames the narrative in much the same way that the characterization does. Through use of light, dark, colors (in particular, the deep scarlet of blood), the viewer sees the overt versus the subvert. Overt actions are more splashed in light; subvert or covert actions cloaked in darkness. In doing so, Six Flying Dragons plays on the eyes of the viewer at times, asking us whether the subvert cannot be seen in the overt and vice versa. Between light and dark, is there any difference?

The crispness of character aspect and portrayal not only resides in the narrative, but also in the acting of Six Flying Dragons. With a stellar cast at the outset, one could argue that potential for this drama’s outcome was high, but it would be remiss to leave it at that. The cast of Six Flying Dragons supersedes any previous notion of greatness accorded to it; they crash down the barrier of greatness and replace it with excellence of the highest caliber.

While extending regard to the entire cast of Six Flying Dragons, the focus of the show, and the most compelling character-wise, is its main cast. Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won and Kim Myung Min as Jeong Do Jeon bring depth and mindfulness to each of their characters. They allow the viewer to see all aspects of their personality. Yoo Ah In, in particular, plays Lee Bang Won with such nuance that the viewer sees the inner motivations of Bang Won’s heart clearly and sees the influence choices make even in expression and emotion. Kim Myung Min does the same; the viewer sees a man whose concern for the people gets lost a bit in the desire for political recognition. The phrase, “You are the same as me,” is a common and apt theme when it comes to the characters, and in their brilliant acting, one can see how this phrase manifests itself throughout the narrative.

Along with the two protagonists (as I refuse to name either an antagonist), Six Flying Dragons peppers the narrative with great acting. From young men to hardened warriors, Byun Yo Han (Ddang Sae) and Yoon Kyun Sang (Mu Hyul) provide insights from those who are not political but honor bound and how choices made by others affect them. Shin Se Kyung (Boon Yi) ignites a fire and demonstrates the plight of the people in politics--how, between love and loneliness, is there any difference? Jung Yoo Mi (Yeon Hee) shows the importance of standing up for values in light of all other desires. These are just a few of the many great performances Six Flying Dragons introduces into the dramatic world.

As the narrative and action set the drama, music sets the tone. In Six Flying Dragons, the music glorifies an already-rich narrative with lyrical power and earth-jolting strength. This OST is quite simply one of the best. A favorite, surely, is the song “Muiiya,” a song with so much meaning that pervades the narrative and asks the viewer to contemplate its short lyric for far longer than the song. One cannot get enough of the sound of Six Flying Dragons. If I could rate the OST, I would give it a 10, hands down.

Despite its 50 episode length, I need to rewatch this again. There remains much more for me to glean from the drama’s depths, much more for me to contemplate about character, much more for me to study about politics and choices. From someone who could not watch a long drama until last year, I could not get enough. I could go another 20 or 30 episodes if only to see more of this drama’s richness and characterization.

Overall, Six Flying Dragons provides me with the overarching question, Is there any difference between politics and swords? My answer to that question...well, I will let that remain a mystery to the for the new viewer. Instead, I will sit here in the grey, where these questions keep being pondered. Instead, I implore the new viewer to ask themselves these questions while watching and see if they can find a conclusive answer as well.
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38 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 22, 2016
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
I really can't write about this drama without mentioning the writers ''Park Sang Yeon'' & ''Kim Yeong Hyeon'' and the wonderful team who worked on it. As soon as I heard about this drama I was so excited, I did not care about the cast who'll be part of this big project, only those two names I mentioned earlier I knew I would be in for another incredible and memorable journey and I read more was right. Indeed it's as great, thrilling and passionate as Tree With Deep Roots and Queen Seon Deok both also written by these two writers, I consider them as the best Korean historical dramas I ever watched and of course SFD is third in the list for me.

It's not in my habits writing reviews for a Korean drama, actually it's the 2nd I write but this time I had to, because it was such an exciting and incredible experience. I want to always remember the emotions I went through while watching this drama, I really screamed, smiled and cried a lot (well did not cry that much but some scenes were so touching and lovely which had me in tears) I already feel very empty now we're already in the end. I'm wondering when I'll be able to watch and find such a gripping and fascinating long Korean period drama ?!

I started SFD while it was airing but I had to stop cause I knew waiting each week for only two more eps would be a pure torture for me, so this was only three weeks ago I decided to properly marathon it and aigoo those three weeks went way too quickly. This drama is simply addicting, once I finished an episode I felt the urge to watch the next one, it leaves you no choice but to go watch immediately what's coming.

Maybe now I should tell how this drama managed to captivate me like that and how every ep killed me, first reason is all those references from Queen Seon Deok and Tree With Deep Roots, and I bet all people who watched those two fantastic dramas are/were feeling the same, I was always so impressed and reminiscing about the quotes and characters of these dramas, simply yes I was speechless and always thinking those two scriptwriters are real geniuses to make me going crazy and happy like that. Secondly it's all those political intrigues, the way Sambong and Bang Won were portayed here, how they could manipulate people and control them the way they both did and most of all their ability to read in their opponent's minds, I admire both them for that. I love smart moves and political intrigues in dramas and this drama had all of that. And third reason is that I always wanted to watch a drama which would show how Joseon Dynasty was established and here it was so wonderfully explained and done.

When I think about all the cast I have no words because all actors were so into their characters and we could feel how much invested they were for this long historical drama, they delivered such a electrifying , sincere and wonderful performance, I literally fell in love with all of them, just maybe from my point of view I did not like Seo Yi Sook 's acting (Moo Hyeol's grandmother) it's very personal and I just did not find her very convincing, otherwise all other actors did so well, zero complaint about them simply the opposite, they were all phenomenal.
Of course first I have to comment about Yoo Ah In and Kim Myung Min's awesome's portraits, they were totally the characters they played ''Lee Bang Won'' and ''Jeong Do Jeon'', it did not feel like they were acting, it was simply really as if they were in front of me, like I was seeing each one of their every actions and moves.
Frankly speaking I'm not so fond of Kim M.M but I will never ever forget his flawless performance here, one word : grandiose. As for Yoo Ah In, his facial expressions, words, moves gave me goosebumps, he was too imposing and magnificent. I think I said enough about these two amazing actors, they would definitely not leave you indifferent.
It's hard for me to choose a favorite character cause I think the writers here wrote them so perfectly, there's no one I love more than the rest, well maybe Gil Tae Mi because he added so much fun to this dark and very tense atmosphere, he was so cool, skilled, sometimes stupid and hilarious even when he was about to kill some people, I just couldn't hate him ! Another one I liked a lot was Lee Bang Ji and I personally do think his character was so well written , I'm just a bit too sad he did not have (in my humble opinion) as much screen time as other dragons, in some scenes I was completely missing him and was wondering where he was and what he was doing, I love him because his care for his sister and his loved one was so sincere, beautiful and pure, he did not want to involve himself into politics and all what he did was only because of their dreams and ideals, he lives for them, that's how unselfish his love is for both of them, I can only admire him!
I would like to write some words about other dragons and characters however I think I already said too much, just I will say these things : Cheon Ho Jin as Lee Seong Gye did an awesome job, he never fails to surprise me, I don't know much about Lee Seong Gye and did not read anything about him except that I know he was the first king of Joseon and from what I saw here in SFD he really had a tragic and sad life.
Boon Yi I like her a lot and especially her relationship with her brother which is so beautiful genuine and filled with so much tenderness, I always have a thing in drama for brother/sister's bonding and in this one it was simply just so touching, I was always so happy when they were only together on screen, discussing, eating playing together. Boon Yi is a very caring, brave and smart girl, I really appreciate that she never gives up on her dreams and till the end she believes in it and simply wants to be happy with her family and people.
Moo Hyeol I love him so much in the first place ( eheheh TWDR yeah) so badass, unselfish, generous, strong and sweet at the same time, I always found his way of fighting so cute and funny but in the end he had to grow up and become mature, it was very painful to see and Yoon Gyun Sang did a really great job with his Moo Hyeol's portrayal. I also wanted to say I loved all these supporting characters as well especially Ha Ryun, Yoon Rang (very charismatic woman), Lee Bang Woo, Lee Ji Ran, Jo Joon, Gil Seon Mi and Hong Dae Hong and for sure the drama would be totally different without them <3

Needless to say the sceneries, settings, colors and costumes were so gorgeous, every costume fitted perfectly for each character, I particularly loved Boon Yi's dresses so simple and yet very eye-catching, suited her personality so well, I also loved her hairstyle <3 I would say the same for all other characters' costumes especially those Yoo Ah In, Byun Yo Han, Cheon Ho Jin, Gong Seung Yeon, Park Hyeok Kwon and many other wore, very colorful and elegant .
The Ost was really great and the ballads were always used in appropriate moments though there weren't to my taste, I loved BGM more and songs Muiiya and Cheongsanbyeolgog (I think it's the title) more. In any case the ost was wonderful so no complaints from me.

I'll end this review with those four fantastic quotes, I had shivers all over my body when those sentences were said.

-''The King is just this country's flower. The Roots have to be this land's scholars, confucian scholars and officials"
-''If you want to fool your enemy, you'd have to fool those around you including yoursel''
-''How can betrayal be a sin ? In this turbulent times, believing someone is a bigger crime ''
-"Since the world began, the weak have always been stepped on by the strong. Even a thousand years ago, even a thousand years from now! The Strong steal from the Weak. In this world the only truth is that the strong take and swallow the weak ... this is only the constant truth"

I would probably rewatch this drama as it brought me so much feels since the very first second, Political dramas are generally too heavy for me but I always found Political Historical dramas to be to my liking as I've already seen many and I noticed the writers always manage to make them so interesting and appealing especially when the characters are so well written like it's the case here.
Highly recommended, it's the first time for me to watch such a long drama and to not feel the length, 50 eps of pure awesomeness and if you want my opinion I did not see the time passing.
Last but not least, this is one of the most intelligent dramas I watched and I would recommend for people who haven't wacthed Tree With Deep Roots nor Six Flying Dragons to start with SFD first and then watch DR.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (12)Recommendations

Both are epic sageuk dramas about the life of a historic/legendary hero from Joseon dynasty. If you loved Yoon Kyun Sang in SFD Rebel is the drama you need!
Recommended by Luna_
Both dramas are directed and written by the same director/writers and Deep Rooted Tree serves as a direct sequel to Six Flying Dragons.
It follows the story of King Sejong who is Lee Bang Won (King Taejong)'s son (he appears in the last episode of SFD).
Since the two dramas are written by the same writers, many characters are interrelated such as Moohyul and Lee Bangji who are actually made up characters. Also, Mokya, Parkpo, etc. who are supporting characters in Deep Rooted Tree made special appearances in the last episode of SFD.
I highly recommend watching DRT where you can see the older and the more mature Moosa Moohyul.
It's really heart-warming to see recurring characters and you'll end up missing SFD but then again, you'll fall in love with the new ones from DRT.
P.S. Although Shin Sekyung appears in DRT, she takes on the role of a different character :)
Recommended by hongtaku

Comments (1318)

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  • Reply
    yankumicho Jul 17, 2017

    Currently re watching and nearly through episode 21. Still intriguing, engaging, and intellectually stimulating.

  • Reply
    DaynSales Jul 13, 2017 - edited

    Is this show heavily focused on political aspect?

  • Reply
    Pinocchio Jul 12, 2017

    This show is just amazing even if it has so many eps

  • Reply
    Viktormani Jul 7, 2017

    Yoo ah in is magnificent in this. I made an account just to comment on how his performance is. It's beautiful, i recommend everyone to watch this!

  • Reply
    Alekwang Jul 3, 2017 - edited

    I tried watching this drama a year ago but I put it on hold after 7/8 episodes. I might rewatch it from the begining and give it another chance. What do you guys think?

  • Reply
    Mimi Jun 26, 2017

    Love the interactions between boon yi n bang won so far its hilarious

  • Reply
    Mimi Jun 24, 2017

    Love shin se kyung

  • Reply
    noelhoi Jun 22, 2017

    just marathoned this drama in 2 weeks... them bittersweet feels, such rollercoaster of emotions. so many love-hate relationships. definitely the most intelligent drama i've ever seen, and that's coming from someone who doesn't really like political historical drama. I came here after watching Rebel btw. YGS <333 and Han Ye Rui so captivating even little screentime.

  • Reply
    manicmuse Jun 20, 2017 - edited

    I may be too stupid for this drama. Or too american. Maybe too stupid american. My brain can't keep up! lol

  • Reply
    lattebean_ Jun 8, 2017 - edited

    I feel like I'm the only one finding this drama really boring.. I decided to watch it to the end and it feels like my personal mount everest. Really really hard to watch and I make progress like couple episodes a day. I usually like to watch historical dramas with action and fighting scenes. And even though I'm more of a romance drama fan, I don't mind if there isn't much romance in these historical dramas but this... didn't hook me at all. And Yoon Gyun Sang is one of my favorite actors but it still didn't make it interesting for me. Only character I absolutely love is Bang Ji and I feel like I'm only watching this because of him.

    • Reply
      Jay Jun 11, 2017 - edited

      I might be the same, I love watching historical drama and in fact enjoyed every one of the recommended historical drama: Rebel, Nirvana in fire, Empress Ki, Moon Lovers, General and I, etc.

      Some of those have romance, some not so much so I don't think it's because of romance either.

      After thinking about it, I think the main reason it feels boring is because of one thing it lacks compared the majority of historical drama or even drama in general. The story, at least in the beginning, is completely devoid of any emotional tension or angst, and while those are usually bad things, some people do watch drama for the intensity and dramatic effect that it creates.

      There's also no feeling of revenge from the main characters and the story feels more like an epic adventure to establish a nation, which is very different from most historical drama where the scope is less on the nation and more on family/friends. Personally, I can't watch a historical drama if it doesn't have any notion of revenge, which seems to be the case here where characters are very mature and never think about taking revenge whenever something bad happens, instead they try to change the system or something. Keep in mind, I didn't finish the drama since I couldn't get into it.

      Ironically this is one of the best historical drama because it tries to accurately depict the real events in history whereas most other historical drama usually take a small part of the history and blow it up.

    • Reply
      lattebean_ Jun 12, 2017

      Yeah I agree with you. I also loved watching for example Rebel, Moon Lovers and Princess Wei Young. I like those kind of dramas with action and tension. I just feel like in this they concentrate too much to tell every single little detail. Maybe they could have managed to make this interesting to all if episode count would be a little lower and that way would have made the story a little more intense.

  • Reply
    Maham Tanveer Jun 7, 2017 - edited

    please someone tell me if this is a happy ending? atleast if the couple ends up together? please answer in a spoiler tag. thank u

    • Reply
      Jaylan Jun 8, 2017

      same question here hope some one 'll help with quite clear answer

    • Reply
      WhiteGoldMVs1 Jun 9, 2017 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Wednes Jun 5, 2017 - edited

    I'm only on episode 5 but I was sold from the very first episode. Loving every moment and every character of it to the point that I can't express in words and still sound coherent... /ugly sobbing

    PS. It's a pity that it's already farewell to the childhood characters. I grew so attached to them. It's so rare for me to enjoy childhood scenes this much. It's a first actually. :'(

    • Reply
      chelleey Jun 6, 2017

      same! i just finished episode 5! its sooooo gooooooood already!

    • Reply
      Wednes Jun 6, 2017

      Episode 8 now, moving on steadily!

    • Reply
      souldoc70 Jun 6, 2017

      It keeps getting better! Believe me u will definitely keep chasing every episodes

  • Reply
    Ma-ri May 31, 2017

    I'm still not over this ㅠㅠ

  • Reply
    Narco May 28, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    GuinevereVigeeLebrun May 27, 2017

    Este drama es perfecto ♥ Un dos mejores epicos que vi


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Oct 5, 2015 to Mar 22, 2016
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    60 min.


  • Score:

    8.8 (scored by 2,251 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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