The Great King, Sejong

The Great King, Sejong (2008)

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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 76 users
Reviews: 1 users

Born as the third prince, Chung Nyeong, was far from ascending the throne. His early years were turbulent as Korea faced political tensions from both within and abroad and facing abduction as a boy to make matters worse. Eventually, the young prince finds himself living in a private residence outside of the palace and experiences the everyday life of commoners until he is a young man. Later on his ascension to the read morethrone, Chung Nyeong (now called King Se Jong) stabilizes the newly born country and gives rise to the blooming culture of Joseon. In the process, he invents Hangul, the Korean writing system.

  • Native title:

    대왕 세종
  • Also Known as:

    The Great King Sejong ; Sejong the Great ; Dae Wang Sejong ;

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15 people found this review helpful
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Jul 27, 2015
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
If the wild historical liberties of fusion sageuk are grating on you, The Great King Sejong is a refreshing alternative. Hewing relatively closely to fact, it generates its dramatic power through complex characterizations and thoughtful explorations of moral quandaries. Sejong’s reign may have been lauded precisely for its lack of drama, but the writers find plenty of conflict to build engaging story lines around, as they explore the challenges of ruling with read more benevolence rather than terror. They do an excellent job exploring how political systems stymie or support progress, as they build a compelling argument for governing to the better angels of our nature. That being said, this is not a fast show to watch. There are no love triangles, gorgeous warriors with great hair, gravity defying ninja moves, or epic cliffhangers. Many of the best acted and most intriguing characters are the various grey-haired ministers in their matching robes and odd hats, who for once are given compelling personalities instead of serving as indistinguishable agents of repression.

The first half of the show is particularly strong, in part due to outstanding performances by Kim Young Chul as Taejong and Choi Myung Gil as his embittered queen. Taejong may be monstrous, but he’s also powerfully human, and the show loses some of its spark when he exits the scene. The second half is weaker, perhaps because the series was cut down from 100 episodes to 86. This causes pacing issues, as some events are rushed through while drawn-out moments of pathos feel unearned due to a lack of dramatic set-up. Subplots get dropped and major characters disappear without acknowledgment or comment. It also means that Sejong comes off as far more serious than perhaps he was, as the show leaves out such “frivolous” elements of his life as his love of music and his passionate relationships with his concubines. In general, the show is more comfortable in the elegiac than the celebratory mode, but its tendency to emphasize loss sometimes deflects attention from just how extraordinary Sejong’s achievements were. It may be difficult to do great things, but there is great joy in such success as well.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (1)Recommendations

Splash Splash Love is the abridge fictional version of this in 2 short episodes the meaning and motives behind the creation of Hangul will changed because of a time traveling girl. If you like watching toned down "fictional historical" this is the show. This show is about King Sejong as well.
Recommended by Surplush Shopper
Both are happening in the same time frame. In both Kim Sang Kyung and Kim Yeong Cheol are playing the same characters, Kim Sang Kyung plays king Sejong and Kim Yeong Cheol - king Taejong. In The Great King Sejong Jang Yeong Sil is an important supporting character, while in Jang Yeong Sil he is the main character.
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Comments (13)

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  • Reply
    Bongsookie Jul 27, 2016 - edited

    Holy crap 86 episodes?! Was thinking of watching this and A Tree With Deep Roots before watching Six Flying Dragons to catch the references....but 86 episodes is way too long...

    • Reply
      Chan Xing Aug 8, 2016

      You should watch Six Flying Dragons first as that is the prequel, so that comes before Sejong's reign.

    • Reply
      3ngin33r Sep 28, 2016
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    lunatepe May 24, 2015 - edited

    It is also available on dramacool with subtitles, if you don't want to download.

    • Reply
      irilight Jan 4, 2016

      alas, the moved to and took it off :(

    • Reply
      irilight Jan 5, 2016

      oh... Thank you so much.... :) For some reason, I did not find it...

    • Reply
      NHK95 Mar 1, 2016

      have you watched it? how is it?

    • Reply
      irilight Mar 1, 2016

      Sorry, not yet. No time right now. But I heard good things about it from friends. It also appears that it may be airing on KBS World under their classic section. I may wait for that and watch on KBSWorld.

  • Reply
    Halfsleeper May 22, 2013

    You can also find this on

  • Reply
    Powster Apr 15, 2013 has this show. I have watched 44 episodes and enjoyed each of them but the current part is kind of boring so put it on hold a bit.. Might just skim through 1-2 episodes fast to get passed it.

  • Reply
    Mirichan Oct 22, 2012

    Why doesn´t anyone write a review to this here? *~*
    I want to know if I should really watch it...

    • Reply
      kikkichan Apr 10, 2013

      i guess its cuz no ones watched it, i can't even find it on DramaCrazy!!


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 5, 2008 to Nov 16, 2008
  • Aired On:

    Saturday, Sunday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    50 min.


  • Score:

    8.2 (scored by 76 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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