A Tree With Deep Roots

A Tree With Deep Roots (2011)

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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,447 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.

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33 of 34 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.
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16 of 16 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.
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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 Hwarang

Comments (67)

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  • Reply
    katerina Mar 31, 2016

    Now that am done with 6FD(still in depression over this) i will jump into this bandwagon, hope its as good as everyone says

  • Reply
    mesuzuITA Mar 29, 2016

    I rewatched this for the 3rd time. I keep coming back. I LOVE It. such a good drama.

  • Reply

    I just finished it - and even though it was mostly fiction (besides King Sejong making Hangul & such) it was a pretty good story - kept me engaged throughout most of the story - I was going to give it a 9 but the last half hour or so of the last episode made me slightly disappointed so I think I'm going to lower my rating to a 8.5. I didn't really care for the younger actors episodes (first 3) I only liked Song Joong Ki's role there really... and I didn't like all the "fake flying" fight scenes they put in earlier in the drama - I started to enjoy it more around episode 10+ somewhere where it managed to keep my attention and I marathoned it within a couple days :) *Keep in mind this story is mostly FICTION* it even says so on the episodes when you watch them lol - it's not 100% based on actual history. :P I would definitely say you need to watch Six Flying Dragons before you watch this one to have a good understanding of the characters and events portrayed in this drama - even if this drama was made before SFD lol - If I had attempted to watch this drama before SFD I am pretty sure I'd be super lost. Overall a pretty good story with a few flaws.

    *Oh and I must say - this is definitely the best role SSK has ever played - I thought her acting was VERY good in this one!*

  • Reply
    Mimonimo Mar 26, 2016 - edited

    I just finished Six Flying Dragons ... Is A Tree with deep roots related to SFD?

    • Reply
      mesuzuITA Mar 29, 2016

      It is the story of Lee Bang Won's son. You'll see and hear familiar names. It is a good drama to watch. I just rewatched it for the 3rd time after finishing SFD xd
      Also you can watch Queen Seon Deok. It is another epic saeguk, my personal favourite of all times. The man called Bidam mentioned in SFD is in Queen seon Deok.

    • Reply
      Mimonimo Mar 30, 2016

      Thank you so much .

  • Reply

    I think I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and join you all in watching this drama now that I've finished SFD today! :D after this I think I'm going to be tempted to move onto Great King Sejong & Jeong Do Jeon (although I don't know how I will be able to handle not hating JDJ after watching SFD lol)

  • Reply
    LeeJaeShin Mar 24, 2016 - edited

    Time to watch how great Lee Bang Won's son.

    • Reply
      Mimonimo Mar 26, 2016

      I just finished Six Flying Dragons ... Is A Tree with deep roots related to SFD?

    • Reply
      MinaVIP Mar 31, 2016

      Yes it is considered the sequel to SFD. It is done by the same writer team as well.

  • Reply
    yankumicho Mar 23, 2016 - edited

    Watching this now after watching SFD! XD

    • Reply
      Mimonimo Mar 26, 2016

      I just finished Six Flying Dragons ... Is A Tree with deep roots related to SFD?

    • Reply
      yankumicho Mar 26, 2016

      Yes. A Tree with Deep Roots is a continuation of the events of SFD in history. This show was made before SFD, but is in the same universe according to the writer.

    • Reply
      Mimonimo Mar 26, 2016

      Thank you for replaying :)

  • Reply
    MinaVIP Mar 23, 2016

    It's so cool to see eveyone go to this drama now that SFD has ended x'D hahaha let's spamm ~ <3

  • Reply
    Rosie Mar 23, 2016 - edited

    This drama makes more sense to me now I have seen 6FD

    • Reply
      Sayuri Mar 24, 2016

      Me too :) I dropped this a while ago, because I couldn't understand a thing what they're talking about and thought that it was really boring... And now I just need to hear the names Moo Hyul or Lee Bang Ji and I'm screaming inside lol.

    • Reply
      Rosie Mar 24, 2016 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    BeKaiLLe Feb 26, 2016 - edited

    lol. I can't watch it now since i have watched Six Flying Dragons.

    • Reply
      mesuzuITA Mar 29, 2016

      Why? It is supposed to be the story after SFD. Lee Bang Won's son story.

  • Reply
    LeeJaeShin Feb 5, 2016 - 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 Feb 6, 2016

      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 Feb 7, 2016


    • Reply
      ArvisJaggamar Feb 9, 2016

      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
      Rosie Mar 23, 2016

      He is more toned down in this drama. I know what you mean he does overdo it in a lot of dramas

    • Reply
      LPA 5 days ago

      I absolutely love Jang Hyuk. He is such an amazing actor, but I do have to admit that I did not like "Fated to Love You" so much as the character he portrayed was way too eccentric. I loved him in Shine or Go Crazy though, as well as his other dramas. He has so much charisma!
      Also, if you want to watch a great sageuk (historical drama), I recently found a real gem called "Jang Youngsil." It's about disovering the stars and science and how superstitious people were at the time even though the king tried to change things. I know it's showing on Viki.com. It really is a must-watch. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    ryubin Jan 26, 2016 - edited

    gonna watch this after Six Flying Dragons

    • Reply
      sov Feb 2, 2016

      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
      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
      mesuzuITA Mar 29, 2016

      You might wanna try Queen Seon Deok. It's a masterpiece too.

  • 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.


  • 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 1,447 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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