Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 8.7/10 from 8,147 users
Reviews: 63 users

*There are 2 versions of the drama, read the FAQ thread for more info*
When a total eclipse of the sun takes place, a 21st century woman, Go Ha Jin, is transported back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea. She wakes up in the body of 16-year-old Hae Soo, an aristocrat living with Lady Hae, her cousin who happens to be married to one of the sons of King Taejo. read moreShe soon befriends several of the princes, who find her carefree and exuberant attitude refreshing. Although she knows she should not get involved in palace intrigues over the succession to the throne, she inadvertently becomes a pawn in the struggle, as several of the Princes fall in love with her. ~~ Based on Chinese novel “Bu Bu Jing Xin” by Tong Hua.

  • Native title:

    달의 연인 - 보보경심 려
  • Also Known as:

    Moon Lovers; Time Slip: Ryeo; Daleui Yeonin - bobogyeongsim Ryeo; Moon Lovers – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo; Scarlet Heart: Goryeo; Scarlet Heart: Ryeo;

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Find Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo a little confusing due to its 18 imporant characters? We got you covered!
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Summer edition of "What's next?" previewing all the Korean dramas coming out this summer.

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138 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 1, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Moon Lovers and I go wayy back. When Scarlet Heart first came out back in 2011, it was all the rage. At that time I was into my second year of drama-watching and I hadn't watched anything much besides Korean dramas. But I remember a bunch of my online friends strongly recommended me to start Scarlet Heart. In fact, 5 years later, I still haven't been recommended a drama like that, with read more such intense passion and by so MANY people. But sadly, I never got around to watching it. I was really uncomfortable with the language, the historical setting, the bald-look of the princes (okay, I SAID IT, I'm sorry, I was shallow). But somewhere, at the back of my mind, I had made this little tale that the drama is going to be made into a Korean drama one day, with all these hot actors as leads and I'll just wait it out and watch it then. And okay, a remake is pretty logical because they go around making a lot of remakes but when they announced this, I swear I got goosebumps. Like "I don't believe this--this what I have been dreaming of all my life--someone please pinch me--I should star in the next Final Destination movie now" sort of goosebumps.

So yes, saying that I was excited for Moon Lovers was putting it very mildly. I was exhilarated. Ecstatic. A lot more words with an E. And they made us wait even longer by making it a pre-produced drama and waiting a whole year before it actually came out.

But the best part? It didn't disappoint one bit. I mean, after such high expectations, it is only natural to feel a little let-down just because of all the hype you've been experiencing. But Moon Lovers actually ended up surpassing all my expectations. The drama was perfect from the beginning till the end.

Coming to the plot, it was extremely well-paced. I mean, for dramas it is rare to find such consistently well-paced dramas. Sometimes the beginning is not that good and sometimes the plot dies down after ep 12-16. But here, you never feel like there is too much or too little. It is really hard to skip anything. You just don't want to. Another important fact is that because an older version is already out there, viewers are prepared for a possibly sad/tragic ending. Even if you come without knowing anything about the parent story, the vibe of the show itself whispers the possibility of an un-fairytale-like outcome. There is an intense and gloomy feeling in the show.

The characters are the strength of the drama. I mean, can we talk about the fourth Prince? He is going down in history as one of my favorite characters ever. Firstly, he is so sexy. I mean, you simply can't get enough of him. I have never really been into Lee Jun Ki before but after this, I plan to check out all his dramas. I have seen a couple of his shows but I never realized he was THIS good. The character of Wang So is so complex and so hard to deliver. And yet, Lee Jun Ki plays him so effortlessly, becoming one with the character. What is even more surprising is that he is such a cutie in real life (lol). I really don't know anyone more perfect for this role. I mean, Kang Ha Neul's character turned to the dark side too but it was nothing compared to Wang So. Wang So was simply..addictive!

Coming for Hae Soo. IU faced a lot of flack for her poor acting skills but I felt she was good in her role. I mean, she wasn't as good as Jun Ki or Ha Neul but she did really well. You could feel her transformation from a 21st century person to Goryeo lady to a woman with a lot of scarring experiences. In her previous works she has only done cutesy roles. I really enjoyed her work in this, she showed her versatility as a serious actor. The 13th Prince. He was gentle and kind and the most perfect friend. I loved his chemistry with Woo Hee. It was surprisingly great!

Wang Eun was a big baby but he was a sweetheart too. I wouldn't say Baek Hyun is a good actor but he was given an easy role and it was handled well. Ji Soo was a delight to watch! So far I have loved him in all his roles (I think I have watched everything he has starred in). The rest of the cast was really good too. My favorite among supporting characters was General Park. His acting was so on-point even though he only starred for a few episodes. I liked his daughter too. Ji Mong was a delight to watch. And court lady Oh Sang Goong, I loved her! I can really go on and on about the characters - the good ones and the bad ones, all did well. The acting was so good here, I just couldn't get enough of it. I cried with them and laughed with them.

The music. OH MAN, the music. I love each and every song. This hasn't happened to me since Dream High (I think). I really can't pick a song that I like more than the other.

I am definitely DEFINITELY rewatching this. I know for sure.

The biggest tragedy that comes out of this drama is that the Korean audience could not fully appreciate the perfection that this drama was. The ratings were so low there. Thankfully, it did well everywhere else and made up for it.
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63 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 1, 2016
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 5.5
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
The Good:

I'm having trouble coming up with things for this one. I think very often it's easy to overlook a drama's strong points because its flaws are so obvious. It is especially so for Moon Lovers. And so I'll acknowledge that this review perhaps isn't really that great of a reflection of the quality of the drama.

Firstly, I think the drama did a pretty good job in executing several parts read more of the story, particularly when the supporting characters die. I think that's partly due to the actors' portrayals, and partly because the writer seemed to have gotten his grip on at the right moments. It would have been great if the writing was more consistent throughout the drama. If the drama managed to relay such poignant emotions more frequently I wouldn't have felt as detached from the story. In any case, I think those scenes were possibly the most awesome scenes in the drama.

Next, Lee Jun-ki. I'm certainly biased, but I think he delivered his character well, especially during the more emotional scenes. I can't elaborate more since I don't want to spoil the story. I also appreciated his cleaned-up look after he became emperor. It was about a thousand times better than that side-swept fringe hairstyle. I'm not that fond of his acting as a "blood-thirsty" emperor however. I like how his expressions changed, but imo he overacted a little when trying to portray Wang So's darker side. I also think Hong Jong-hyun was pretty good in his role as well. All in all, I don't think the acting was deserving of all the criticisms it was subjected to. I won't deny that there are some jarring scenes here and there because of "not-so-great" acting, but on the whole it was pretty watchable as far as I'm concerned and the actors did improve.

Lastly, the romance. I don't think the chemistry was great. However, there were certain scenes which were really cute. I'm personally not a huge fan of lovelines actually, but people who like to watch romance scenes will like it. It's a pity that a couple of scenes were cut from the international version, and you have to scour the Internet to look for the SBS version.

The Bad:

I think they got the OST choices very, very wrong. I'm personally not a fan of rap songs, and I don't think rap songs have a place in a historical drama anyway. The music was really annoying in some of the scenes because of this. Also, the fact that there were English lyrics in a couple of others as well. However, I did give a high score to the music because:
1. The "dadada" song was really catchy, despite the fact that it's not very suitable for the drama.
2. I also liked My Love by Lee Hi and Wind by Jung Seung-hwan.
3. Im Sun-hye's Will Be Back was really really really good. Not something I'll listen to in my spare time, but I felt it added value to the drama.
And seeing how they phased out the more unsuitable songs towards the end, I'm alright with giving them a higher score.

Many people have also complained about the directing. I have to say, I was actually overwhelmed by it at the start. I loved the shot with Wang So riding away from the eclipse. It was beautiful. Till I realised that that's perhaps the only redeeming scene. A lot of close-ups were wholly unnecessary. I don't mind that the director likes to take close-up shots, but I think it should be done in moderation, and only when it's contributing to the drama. The poor directing and editing knocked a lot of points off this drama.

Also, this may seem like a minor point, but despite it being a high budget production they didn't invest a lot in calefares. I understand that they wanted to put focus on the main characters, but does it make sense that no one is on the streets when Wang So and Hae Soo sneaked out? It just seemed too "cold" because there were only the two of them.

The Ugly:

The writing really let the drama down. I was actually looking forward to more political intrigues, a stronger heroine, better character development in general, and more cohesiveness.

I don't know what the writer was thinking of when he/she first starting conceptualising the characters. They had to dig into Kdrama tropes and hand Wang So a parent issue right at the start. Was that necessary? Was it necessary to give him a scar too? I think the writer was trying very hard to plant conflicts, but it didn't work to plan. And because of the scar, they made the female lead a cosmetics saleswoman. Not very useful in the ancient times. In fact (minor spoiler), it's was awkwardly hilarious that at the end they spoke about how Goryeo was very advanced in terms of cosmetics and tea culture. Riiiiiiight. Furthermore, Hae Soo wasn't the female lead I expected as well. I wanted a stronger, smarter, more independent female lead. Plus the fact that all the princes were crazy for love made them seem like really superficial characters.

Characters aside, I also have qualms about how they choose to leave out certain scenes. A lot of scenes are left to the viewer's imaginations, and that made the show really incoherent. At the very least they should have added in some of the more important scenes. How Wang So got the throne and all was pretty poorly thought out. The time skips weren't handled well as well (though the same can be said of the Chinese version). They were just there to advance the story so that the next scene can be played out, but the characters didn't really grow or change. Side plots such as the Baek-ah and Woo-hee story line was also choppy and they were given what I'd consider a slipshod ending that didn't make much sense.


The drama is just disappointing. I expected a lot from it, but I don't think the fact that it was a pre-production did anything for it, nor the fact that it was a high-budget production because that totally didn't show. I think it may be worth a look if you like any of the actors, but that's about it.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (23)Recommendations

1. Lee Jun Ki is the male lead of these two dramas so if you're a fan of him, you should check this out.
2. both are historical dramas and the characters of Jun Ki both have complicated background. In Iljimae, his dad is called the traitor of the country while in moon lovers, his mom hated him a lot. And family is the main key thing to his decision. Revenge.
Recommended by LinhNguyen
both are set in historical period.
both the male main character “Wang So” are cursed princes destined to become king.
Recommended by Alessandra

Comments (5096)

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  • Reply
    Roby 6 hours ago

    I loved it, even if it's so sad and I hated it for that :p but I give only a 9 because of the ending, they could've done so much better

  • Reply
    mickey 6 days ago

    ok welp i need season 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    AneMi 7 days ago - edited

    The story was already told by the Chinese! All that matters about this drama is Lee Joon Gi and -Gesture Of Resistance- soundtrack, which is awesome!

  • Reply
    DreXam 8 days ago - edited

    I really wonder how Korean saguk dramas turned to that level of badness ! really I miss the days when the real saguk dramas were there ( Queen Seon duk , Deep rooted tree, legend , Six flying dragons , Jumong ,Empress Ki,Jewel in the palace, Dong yi etc...) now saguk dramas are a mess ! only focused on that damn idols who do not know how even to act X__X .. I am really disgusted with this ( moon lovers) drama nobody is good in acting and the drama itself is really not worth to be watched yuuuk really OVERDID and even the little brains will not accept how the drama is twisting !!!!

    • Reply
      DreXam 4 days ago - edited

      Ok you deserve it woooooooooooooow moon lovers drama is fantastic it is the 8th miracle of the world.. done? you're satisfied ?

      please STOP It I am fed up with all that comments

    • Reply
      SooSoIsPerfection 4 days ago

      Moon lovers really is a fantastic drama,otherwise there wouldn't be several petition's for a second season!!!!! I told you in my first comment,that I'm a SHR defense squad.....You should learn to actually watch the entire drama before you leave comments-.- Because everyone doesn't feel the same as you...Anyway I hope you learn from your mistakes....Have a good day!!!!

    • Reply
      StarlightGumiho 3 days ago - edited

      No one cares if you like or dislike the drama an opinion is an opinion but when you come on here causing drama and insulting others, people will tell you to stop. Almost everyone here would have been respectful to your opinion and discussed your issues with the drama civilly, but your were disrespectful and childish to everyone that replied, no matter if they were rude or respectful. All they get from you is 'Ooo well you must love the drama so much, go marry it or you should be getting paid or ooo are your feelings hurt?' or something to that effect. You sound like a brat. No one cares you hate the drama, no one cares about your opinion because you voice it like a brat, you are welcome to hate the drama and think it's the biggest poop since time began, that's FINE, just stop causing childish drama about your opinion in the drama comments. If you want to talk about why you disliked it in a respectful manner I'm sure others would be happy to converse with you otherwise just leave.

    • Reply
      Zouzou_Minetty 2 days ago

      Dude lol... Except for the HaeSoo story. Everything was faithful to actual historical fact. Wang so actually married his sister ! (goryeo area hello).
      I studied about korea's history, and we talked about Wang so and his father and all his brothers. So it'S not the drama that you didn't like but maybe just this goryeo's king. (no worries he was horrible in real life).

    • Reply
      rutuja 2 days ago

      gwangjong was not a horrible king in real life.he was peoples king,he started civil service exams in korea so that commeners had a chance to good life.he executed the filthy nobles who were feeding on commoners and royalty and improved the quality of commeners life.he executed one brother and two nephews because they were conspiring against him

  • Reply
    Hi5Me 9 days ago

    This was a hidden gem, true Gold. The chills and goosebumps from the ost the to the story, trully trully remarkable. And the ending was brilliant and not cheesy. Especially the last portrait.

  • Reply
    Swe 11 days ago

    Still waiting for season 2!!!! :(

  • Reply
    CarlaSantini 11 days ago - edited

    Wow, 5065 comments? Dang, indeed a very discussed drama from last year!

  • Reply
    SpicedSugah 14 days ago - edited

    Dramafever is getting the Director's Cut with extended scenes.

    • Reply
      martyfairy 13 days ago

      Will they get the final cut scene too by any chance?

    • Reply
      SpicedSugah 11 days ago

      Don't know, but it has scenes that the original International version didn't have.

  • Reply
    joyje 16 days ago - edited

    This is my 2nd costume korean drama. It was a nice experience watching the drama. Liked the OST as well.

  • Reply
    Melanie 17 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Raincat 16 days ago

      But it really is tragedy, how it can have happy ending then?

      Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Political, Romance, Tragedy

    • Reply
      Melanie 16 days ago

      I'm just now seeing Tragedy was in the genre..whoops. But I'm still heartbroken and their journey itself was tragic enough. There's no rule saying that tragedies can't have "happy" or at least complete endings.

    • Reply
      Raincat 16 days ago - edited

      There is iron hard rule that tragedy CAN'T have happy ending.
      Everybody learns about it in school already. :D

    • Reply
      Melanie 15 days ago - edited

      Okay and I've seen tragic love stories that have at least had agreeable endings, I don't care what's seemingly learned in school dear :DDDD And my opinion isn't going to change on how I perceived the ending, so why are you still replying?? ♥️ Oh and ps: making fights with nearly everyone in the comment section isn't a good way of spending your time.

  • Reply
    RodJun828 17 days ago

    Just finished watching. Added to my favorites. I will definitely re-watch this soon

  • Reply
    Sarah 18 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Shaza 18 days ago - edited

    In short, does this drama has a sad ending: like one of the two leads die? or an empty ending like Iljemae?? (please check your answer as a spoiler, I don't mind spoilers but others do)

    • Reply
      KdramaLife 18 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Raincat 16 days ago - edited

      In drama description, up here, is written:
      Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Political, Romance, Tragedy
      - Do you know not sad tragedy?
      - Iljimae : Historical, Romance, Drama

      This isnt spoiler, it is public, everyone can read genre(s)..

    • Reply
      mrwyoo 13 days ago

      may be a SPOILER

      but iljimae didn't have an empty ending, the answer was given in the drama, I think a couple episodes back. It has been years and I may not recall things clearly but he doesn't die, the sword which the king had in his hand was the of iljimae's teacher (the assassin he got fighting lessons from) he said something along the lines. '' the sword is not for me to kill'' so the sword wasn't sharp.

  • Reply
    MizTK 19 days ago - edited


    • Reply
      MizTK 16 days ago - edited

      Raincat, I'm definitely sure I made myself clear. Is reading comprehension lacking in schools or something? The script was bs, the acting wasn't that great. It was only popular due to LJK- who I do like. Drama preference is subjective, just because I like A, doesn't mean I like B. Girl bye. Just because someone doesn't have the same opinion as you about something doesn't make them a troll- so get out of your feelings. This is MY OPINION, if you have yours that's great, but quite frankly idgaf about it. Have a nice day :D !

    • Reply
      Raincat 16 days ago - edited

      1. You wrote here nothing more than "yawn" and "wasnt that great" - it barely can be seen like opinion. So i asked your actual opinion, like we learned in school express it.
      2. I see now that that you are just rude. sry. for asking but Im still glad that between insults you still wrote about your actual opinion.
      3. I made joke about trolling...if you look you can see there " ;D" ...bc someone called you troll here before. I wanted give you chance show that you arent troll but actually have opinion. sry. for that.

    • Reply
      SooSoIsPerfection 15 days ago

      Thank you that's what I would like to know-.- This drama was amazing and so heartbreaking....All I can say they must be a DOTS fan or that Moonlight of the cloud fan-__-

    • Reply
      MizTK 15 days ago

      There was absolutely no need for you to question why I said yawn. None. You just feel pressed that someone else has a different opinion than you do- like I said earlier you'll be alright. One man's trash is another's treasure. If you feel differently, make your own post. CharityRich, I'm not a fan of those dramas either :). By your post can I conclude that you're a "hater" as well. If you guys feel the need to continue the discussion, do so by making your own post. Lastly, it's a drama, get over yourselves. Once again, have a nice day :D !

    • Reply

      No I'm not a hater!!! I know for a fact that Dots,and that Moonlight drama fandom for some reason hate SHR-.- I assumed you may have been a fan,or maybe you're Korean....Korean fans for some reason hate SHR as well-.- No need to be so rude jeez-__- BTW if you don't want people replying to you,then you really shouldn't say yawn,cause bruh you're gonna get comments!!!!!

  • Reply
    LinhNguyen 20 days ago

    I've watched it over and over again without being bored and yes, it still makes me cry TT


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Aug 29, 2016 to Nov 1, 2016
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    60 min.


  • Score:

    8.7 (scored by 8,147 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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