A Tree With Deep Roots

A Tree With Deep Roots (2011)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,345 users
Reviews: 11 users

Early in his reign, King Se Jong accidentally causes the death of his in-laws and their slaves in an attempt to save them from his brutal father, King Tae Jong. Two young slaves, Ddol Bok and his friend Dam, survive but neither knows the other has. Ddol Bok blames the king and vows to kill him to avenge the deaths of everyone he loved. He spends several years becoming a great warrior. read moreDam, who has a photographic memory, becomes a court lady called So Yi, but she feels so guilty about her role in the other slaves' deaths that she is mute.
Ddol Bok returns to the palace under the name of Kang Chae Yoon in order to kill the king. However, he becomes embroiled in the mystery surrounding the deaths of several Hall of Worthies scholars. The deaths were caused by a secret society called "Hidden Root," which was created long ago by followers of Jeong Do Jeon, with the goal of giving more power to ministers and less to the king. King Tae Jong killed Jeong Do Jeon and all of his family except his nephew, Jeong Gi Joon, who is now the leader of Hidden Root and lives in disguise not far from King Se Jong.

Add Cast Show More Cast (47)Cast

View allNews & Articles

Charismatic Killers in Korean Dramas and Films: Part 1
Let's take a look at some hot bad guys/girls...
Actors Over 40 Who Never Cease to Amaze: Special Edition
These are the actors over 40 I only had a glimpse of and if I ever had time I would like to check them out.

Write a Review More Reviews (9) Reviews

30 of 31 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Dec 25, 2011
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 10
Without spoilers, this is going to be a hard review to write, but I figured since no other reviews were written for it, I would give it a try. I used to not be a fan of sageuks, but recently I have been proven wrong, and this is one of those that did it.

In terms if writing, the story was well written. I kind of kept you guessing, and the cliffhangers read more were killers. The way the characters were written was brilliant, as well as the way history and fiction were mixed. It kept you coming back for more. Granted there was your typical backstabbing and plot making, but it fit in with the story, so it didn't seem out of place or to be to much.

In terms of acting, brilliant. Each actor portrayed their characters to the point you actually believed they were the character, not an actor playing someone. I have to say I was very impressed by Jang Hyuk, yet again, and after seeing two sageuks of his, I have a hard time picturing him playing any other type of role.

The music, I would have liked to have heard more traditional instruments, but all in all it wasn't bad.

I will definitely be watching this again. I was thinking that with 24 episodes that it would get boring, but never once was I bored. Give it a try.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Oct 5, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
This Drama was heavy, heavy, heavy. For a sageuk themed drama, with the glamour of a King and his followers... this had a fantastic story to tell.

Before checking this out, you, the viewer need the proper mindset before committing yourself into watching this drama (unless you are already into this kind of drama). Why? Because this is too far away from being romcom or light. There are witty scenes where you read more find the "funny" but not so much, because it would be obliterated in a second by the realism of the situation the characters are in. Watching this drama was heart racing, mind boggling and most of all tear jerking if you get to finish this in one go.

It was also frustrating being in the perspective of the king - because a person with so much wealth and power could be so helpless at the same time. *sigh*

My favorite character here was King Sejong - Han Seok Kyu's portrayal of him was so convincing that my heart was moved every time he does or say something. His decisions throughout the drama was really something, because it amounts to the lives that revolve around him, one mistake means the death of someone and one right thing could lead to the abundance of the entire nation. His role was really something and his acting was so deep into the character, I tend to forget that he was only acting about the agony of a king who cherished his people.

Then here comes the King's person: Kang Chae Yoon and So Yi.
These characters were portrayed by high fantastic artists - Jang Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung. Their roles were vital and important for the success of the king's plan and well... the ending was very dreary but there's that sense of fulfillment despite everything they have gone through. All in all their characters made this drama an unforgettable one.

The music isn't that catchy or is something that would stick to your head forever, but it does add to the drama. As for the re-watch value, I would not want to re-watch this lest I want to depress myself or stress myself all over again, but over all this drama is still dear to my heart. I loved this drama and would highly recommend it to those who love watching sageuks involving historical documentations.

Tree With Deep Roots - will move you, haunt you and make you change your outlook about your given language. Because this drama depicts history and the people who sacrificed a lot to make things possible.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Make a Recommendation More recs (7)Recommendations

The Princess' Man is historically the sequel to A Tree With Deep Roots. Some of the same characters will make an appearance. Both great sageuks that will be worth the watch. However, The Princess' Man is more of a Romeo and Juliet romance.
Recommended by silvermcv
A tree with deep roots tells a story of King Sejeong the great. He is a son of Lee Ban Won. Two dramas will give you an complete story about founding of Joseon and invention of Hungul characters. Both dramas consist of well written stories and you'll never regret of watching them.
Recommended by AnjuLakmini

Comments (39)

  • Login or Register to post comments
  • Reply
    LeeJaeShin 8 days ago - edited

    I want to watch this but I hate Jang Hyuk. He seem a bit overacting to me when I saw him in Fated To Love You. Is he good in this?

    • Reply
      kura2ninja 7 days ago

      His acting is good in this. I'd say that Jang Hyuk is a decent enough actor. He did overact in "Fated to Love You" and "Shine or Go Crazy", but admittedly, he's playing goofy characters in both dramas. I'm only on episode 6, but as far as acting goes, everyone seemed to be doing a good job.

    • Reply
      LeeJaeShin 7 days ago


    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar 4 days ago

      Fated to Love You was a zany comedy, so I think he was supposed to overact. However, this drama and Midas both prove he has range and can do more than just yell and be hilarious.
      (Although, if you ask me, he's more amazing in FTLY than anything else)

  • Reply
    ryubin 18 days ago - edited

    gonna watch this after Six Flying Dragons

    • Reply
      sov 11 days ago

      Same! We can think of it as a continuation since it takes place after King Tae Jong (Lee Bang Won) and Jung Do Jeon's era, haha.
      But it'll be somewhat awkward to watch Shin Se Kyung with a major role again in this drama. Her acting is decent enough to watch but she always sticks to just one acting style :o

  • Reply
    silvermcv Nov 20, 2015

    I just finished this drama and I have to say this is one of the best historical dramas, I have seen
    sageuk at its best. The main actor that plays the King is amazing.

  • Reply
    DragonAlien Aug 24, 2015 - edited

    This drama is pure love. ♥
    I still haven't found any historical drama better and more intelligent than this and I've seen so many of them.

    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Aug 26, 2015

      Guess I'll stay away from historical dramas, then? I have nowhere to go but down now... :(

    • Reply
      DragonAlien Aug 26, 2015

      Oh well maybe you'll like some other drama more cause there are a lot of people who didn't like this one. We all have different tastes, for me personally this one is the best. ;)

    • Reply
      anastassia Dec 29, 2015

      try nirvana in fire. no 1 spot of top show here in mdl @DragonAlien @ArvisJaggamar

      a very intelliegent drama it is!

    • Reply
      DragonAlien Dec 29, 2015

      I know, Nirvana has become my all time fav. drama definitely so @Arvis you can try that one and Six Flying Dragons- both are brilliant. SFD isn't over yet but it is magnificent drama.;)

  • Reply
    ArvisJaggamar Aug 17, 2015 - edited

    This was a 9/10 right up until the end. Now it's an 8/10. Still definitely worth watching, but there are more satisfying dramas out there.

  • Reply
    gumix Jul 12, 2015 - edited

    I'm not a big fan of shin se kyung... But because of her face I always wanted to see her in a historical drama. Is her acting good in this drama or better said the role suits her?

    • Reply
      babis3 Jul 15, 2015

      This has been the first drama I've seen shin se kyung playing in, and although she looked younger the the other actor that was supposed to be her age, I remember I felt that I'm glad they've cast her anyway because I really liked her acting. So I guess my answer is yes she's playing very well here. On the other hand I never watched fashion king which I think gave her her bad reputation. And I quit "When a man loves" after a few episodes although I just didn't like the story, I was fine with her acting. So the thing is I never disliked her, so I can't tell you that her acting here is really good in comparison, but I think this drama is worth watching for so many other reasons so I would have recommend you to give it a try even if you wouldn't like her acting at all.

    • Reply
      gumix Jul 20, 2015

      Thank you very much! I'm not sure if i like her acting or not..i just think that when i saw her the roles she played weren't made for her... whenever i see her even if it's just a picture i imagine her in a role as an intelligent woman, that kind of character that doesn't says much but thinks a lot not in a role as a shy teenager in a romantic comedy. So basically because i assume she is made for historical drama i'll watch this drama haha

    • Reply
      babis3 Jul 21, 2015

      An intelligent woman that doesn't say much kind of describes her character in this lol. So you'll be able to check your theory after a few episodes. If it's ok with you, I would like to hear what you'll think after you'll see her in this :)

    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Aug 13, 2015

      She's pretty much everything you're describing, man. I can't imagine anyone not liking her in this. She's fantastic.

  • Reply
    Katsura-AA Jul 10, 2015

    One of the best dramas ,I enjoyed every minute of it

  • Reply
    catch_me Dec 9, 2014 - edited

    the Best king I have ever seen in a historical drama
    his acting is awesome!
    I liked his personality ,  he Incarnation the king as a human , not like a mountain steadfast wise against storms etc
    an amazing drama , I enjoyed every minute , every one in the cast done a great job and they deserve every award they have ..

    • Reply
      xxATxx May 10, 2015

      does this have a funny moments and happy ending?

    • Reply
      akisame May 23, 2015

      If you're looking for something light-hearted then you shouldn't watch Deep Roots.

    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Aug 13, 2015

      It DOES have funny moments, but they are few.

  • Reply
    mahae Sep 25, 2014 - edited

    from the first ep, it started out really angsty and the motive for ddol bok's revenge or rather the king he targeted was the wrong person ... not to mention the manipulations resulting in innocents' death ...it's too much for me to handle

    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Aug 13, 2015

      It gets WAY better. Those first few episodes were really rough and my wife almost quit the show. But the bloodshed and torture almost completely disappear as you go (and then come back briefly in smaller amounts toward the end). It's kind of an important part of the storytelling, though.

  • Reply
    rainruma Sep 25, 2014 - edited

    Very Very Very interesting drama .... ... not just b/c it provides lots of food-for-thought about society and history etc... But also .... b/c the elements of History , Mystery , Politics and Romance are all intricately woven together so very well !!!...

  • Reply
    HAVA-RAVA May 23, 2014

    Just started and watched first 3 episodes. Would watch more but have to sleep as I've been awake soon 24 hours...

  • Reply
    ChoiSima Apr 28, 2014

    I just started watching this drama .. and i didn't know Song joongki was part of it xD !! omg i spazzed hard when i saw him !! missed his baby face ? !!
    anw the drama sounds so epic :D i'm sure i'm gonna enjoy it

  • Reply
    WEPserioja Feb 13, 2014

    good one

  • Reply
    PickyMcpickleton Nov 20, 2013 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Nov 9, 2015
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      PickyMcpickleton Nov 9, 2015 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Nov 11, 2015 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      PickyMcpickleton Nov 13, 2015 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Nov 16, 2015
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    DiaNine Oct 15, 2013 - edited

    For those who watched this and are wondering... Yes, the Korean alphabet (Hangul) is as easy to learn as they make it sound.

    • Reply
      MaRinaLuli Jun 1, 2014 - edited

      Arabic is only 28 letters and is really easy to write :)

    • Reply
      Ginger Jul 30, 2014 - edited

      yeah but in Arabic each letter has 3 forms and different sounds...the pronunciation is really hard...some sounds are just "impossible" to learn if it's not your mother language!

    • Reply
      ArabianBeauty Aug 6, 2014 - edited

      I learned the arabic, greek & Korean alphabet and tried to learn the Japanese, but was to lazy. But I think Korean is indeed the easiest out of them. And I'm not born with Arabic as my mother language. As ginger said pronunciation is really hard.

    • Reply
      rainruma Sep 25, 2014 - edited

      After watching this show ... I taught myself the Hangul alphabet .... It was Easy !!! ... I can easily read it ... but writing is a bit more challenging , especially if I try writing what I hear only ...
      I would love to learn Japanese or Chinese ... but it seems like a daunting task , especially Chinese ... the Japanese sounds seem simpler for a tone-deaf person like myself .....
      Arabic alphabet is not too difficult , even w/ the 3 forms of each , b/c same rule applies to all.... although the grammar can be daunting ... but structure is still close enough to Latin or Germanic languages , that it is still easier for a westerner than East Asian languages .....
      especially Chinese , which I find very confusing , not only due to structure , but also the noun/verb/adjective confusion ... Japanese is a bit more specific , so not as confusing.


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Oct 5, 2011 to Dec 22, 2011
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 9 min.


  • Score:

    8.4 (scored by 1,345 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


Recently Watched By