A woman from Goryeo marries Emperor Huizong and becomes a powerful Empress of the Yuan Empire, Empress Ki. The series depicts her loves and political ambitions as she is torn between the two countries.
Also Known as:
Hwatu; 화투; Qi Empress; Battle of Flowers; Gi Hwang-hu
At first, I was skeptical about it. Wanna know why? IT'S A FRIGGIN' LENGHTY DRAMA! To watch a 51-episode historical drama requires full time and dedication to finish it. And yes, I indeed took the challenge. Thanks to those who convinced me and of course to the helpful reviews as well.
Empress Ki, I must say, is a very compelling, powerful and controversial historical drama. I am always deeply enthralled with every read morescene with every scene that leaves you in awe and keeps you wanting for more. I suggest you (future watchers) dramathon it and don't skip a single episode nor a single scene.
Story - I love how the story of EK started and ended. Not the usual save-all-the-main-characters-protagonists kind of plot. I love killings, and I think these killings were the most highlighted parts of the drama aside from the intriguing plot. If you know what I mean. I was overwhelmed by it to the extent that I didn't look for any flaw. And mind you, when I'm really enjoying a particular drama, I become LESS OBJECTIVE. (You might disagree with me on this, but it's actually true.) It only means that I am satisfied about it. There was just one thing though that I got confused about. So if ever you happen to read this one and have watched the drama already, my profile is waiting for your comment to ask me what was it about. But, nevertheless, it was an EXCEPTIONAL sageuk. One thing that I loved as well was the turn of events. They were really unpredictable. I like unpredictable things.
Acting/ Cast: Every actor in this drama did a stellar job in portraying each character. I have not seen any actor acting with an expressionless face nor overrated acting. Again, if you know what I mean. Ha Ji Won's acting here was outstanding. She has that MAJESTIC BEAUTY. Joo Jin Mo did great as well. Just like how much he was great in A Frozen Flower. I mean, his acting. LOL
Ji Chang Wook - My first time seeing him in a drama. He did a great job in acting esp in crying scenes. He was the best. Actually voted for him in the MDL 2014 poll for best actor.
Baek Jin Hee - portrayed the Tanasiri character very convincingly. I hold her dearly to my heart. *whispers* I have a girl-crush on her. Hihihi ^^
Jin Yi Han / Tal Tal is a bonus here.
Lee Mun Shik / Bang - ahjussi, I will never forget how well you played in Iljimae and also here in EK. For the comedic parts, I salute you.
Jun Gook Hwan / El Temur - I never hated him even though how ruthless he was.
I loved all the villains in this sageuk except for one. His name is Yom. Yom the Scum.
Music - OST overall is pretty brilliant. Gosh, the feels... I especially liked Xia's I Love You.
Given the chance that I'd want to watch this again, I WOULD.
And finally, watching EK is an adventure which will be with me forever. It felt surreal when I finished it. I can't even start a new drama after watching it. No drama can surpass the roller coaster ride of emotions I felt in this drama.
P.S: Don't get surprised by its long episodes, it's totally worth watching!
Let me first give a little background on my undying and irreplaceable love for Ha Ji Won. Secret Garden was my second korean drama and still remains my all-time favorite. While it is undeniably Hyun Bin who stole the show in Secret Garden, I realized how much I came to love and respect Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won's character). Then I picked up King2Hearts while it was airing and 2 episodes read morein and I had fallen head-over-heels in love with Hang-Ah. I think she's the only female character I have ever had a girl-crush on. So, it was pretty expected of me to pick up Empress Ki eventually.
Although I don't watch 50 episodes dramas easily, I do pick one up once in a while if it catches my interest. So I started this drama just to watch Ha Ji Won in action again and also because I was in a mood for a historical drama. But honestly, all I was expecting was an overrated drama with a poor, exaggerated plot and brilliant acting. Boy, was I wrong.
Empress Ki is undeniably the best drama of 2013. And this is coming from someone who has watched I Hear Your Voice, Master's Sun and Man From The Stars. The plot is so well-paced that you won't feel like stopping even for a moment and won't feel like skipping a single scene either. The plot evokes such trouble for all protagonists but yet you sit in relief knowing Nyang is there. Watching, observing, plotting, winning.
Nyang. She is the best thing about this drama. She is behind-the-scene most of the time and she defeats her opponents before they even know who they are up against. The girl can plot and fight. She is the perfect one-man army. I haven't seen a more wiser character than her. Coming Wang Yu, he is perfect too. From the beginning you know Nyang and Wang Yu aren't meant to be since she's destined to marry the king of Yuan and become Empress Ki. But even then you can't help rooting for him from time to time and falling for his charms and his sincerity towards Nyang. But the King of Yuan isn't someone you can take for granted. Even though he's a bit of a coward and a puppet played by many, he is still very cute and likeable. Honestly I think he's a naive soul stuck in the horrible politics of the palace with no one to rely on and with no option but to fight not just for his throne but his life. I really loved his devotion for Empress Ki in all circumstances. All supporting actors were simply brilliant and were nowhere beneath the main cast. My personal favorites were El Temur (because I loved seeing him go down!) and his kids (who doesn't love seeing a bitch being tortured!). I also loved the servants of Goryeo and all the eunuchs of Yuan. Tal Tal and his uncle were also amazing. Some characters I loved because they were lovable but some characters I loved for their cruelty.
The music was great and the production was simply breathtaking. From the clothes to palaces and the forests, everything they shot was so beautiful and historically rich.
Coming to the historical significance, many historians complained that the drama portrayed Empress Ki as a national hero where in fact she was a traitor who tried to make her brother sit on Goryeo's throne. The drama has been repeatedly been accused of exaggerating facts and misguiding people (especially young ones, who are not much aware of Empress Ki) into idolizing empress ki.
Although I cannot comment on the historical facts, I would ask people to watch this with an open mind, without trying to find empress ki from history in the character of Nyang. She might not be the same person but the character that has been written is truly worth a watch.
I would recommend this drama to everyone. If you've never watched a 50+ eps drama, this is a good place to start. If you've never watched a historical drama, this is a good place to start. Definitely Ha Ji won's best portrayal so far. She deserved all those Daesang awards she got for this.
Both characters are bad-ass. Sungnyang and Seolnan can both fight really well. They're both the best of the best. In addition, they are both strategic and always 5 steps ahead of the enemy. There's romance in both too!
I read some comments on gooddrama at the final episode. Its sad and tragic ending. I am still watching though coz of JCW as well. Anyway I don't like sad endings but i think its worth it. Hope you don't give up on this drama because of that. :)
I've just started to watch Empress Ki. As a non-saeguk watcher I was there only for my Ji Chang Wook crush but after watching first two episodes I remember how Ha Ji Won is an awesome actress. And I loved this drama right away.
This drama requires a lot of free time, better watch it on your holidays or a weekend when you dont have anything else to do. Because it's so good you cant just watch one or two episodes a day on the evening or you'll die of frustration, also this drama will not only take your time but it will give you heartache, joy , frustration, angst and tears, so many tears.. After you watch this you will probably look like shit and cant think straight for 2 days. At least for me it had a great impact lol enjoy I have warned you enough xD
Oh my good, I'm at the start of Ep 23 and about to explode! Can this story get any more ridiculous?? I seriously don't know if I should continue to watch this.....The overall story is good, great even, but the directing and the script are really painful at times. I don't know why she would marry the emperor or even consider marrying him. He's a whiny selfish little brat!
im not very fond of this drama but it was a good watch. i think the start of the drama for me was from ep.25.the episodes before that was just a no but its how the whole plot starts so i have no complains. and yea one thing aswell is the last 10 episodes. i feel like they wanted to make the drama longer and add bits and pieces. the ending was disappointing
give the computer plug to someone close to you... or switch off the internet sever.
It needs a lot of determination.
oh and you should do it this second because you can't stop watching this midway, so you decide this instant, otherwise bye bye future.
not really good, these days even people with good grades struggle to find a job.
Wow, so many brain wars in this drama :D I am almost finishing it but I don't want this to end!! Can't believe how all episodes are so tensed! There wasn't any single episode that I could watch while being relaxed and I love it!
man, sometimes they're really sexist in this, the whole 'I've never seen a girl endure such pain' comment got to me. I mean dude has probably never witnessed childbirth because i'm pretty sure the pain of an arrow is nothing compared to a live human being clawing its way out of your vadge. Other than that sexist douchehog i'm pretty much in love with this drama
They're not being anywhere as sexist as how they were at that time, women were basically worthless. I find it weird how Nyang isn't punished in any way for posing as a man, in reality she would most likely have been killed, but its just a drama...
yeah, I was wondering about that too cause in other historical gender bender's they seemed to emphasize the dangers of dressing as a man more. oh well, its a drama and its lack of realistic factors is what makes it appealing
only on the 3rd episode and already addicted. Although, I'm still a little confused about who exactly the shady A-hole with the creepy sideburns is. all I know is that mr.goatee-sideburns just needs to chill.