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
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 for his throne. 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.
You see 51 episodes? And you instanly thought it's too long for me, right? But, don't let the number of episodes pull you from not watching it. I had to admit I was like that to the moment when I actually start watching it! From the first episode you will feel thirsty to know how the things will develop and you'll want more and more to know. And when you finally reach read morethe last episode you will feel the emptiness and you will try to find a similar drama like this, but you'll not find it. Why you may ask?
This drama is based on fictional history of Empress Ki. Well, to be precise drama follows the life of a girl from Koryeo who becomes the most powerful woman of a Yuan Empire and her loves as she is torn between two countires.
The amazing cinematography, love triangles, acting, OSTs and a million feelings while watching it make this drama one of the most beautiful sageuks I've watched so far! ! No skip-watching, no boring scenes... nothing, just enjoyment and excitement through the whole drama!
Acting was more than spectacular! From the main actors to the supporting ones everything was perfect.
Ha Ji Won once again proved how powerful and brilliant actress she is! Every scene was like a piece of a cake for her and that's what made me like her more and more! She succeed to show the viewers a role of a girl who's left with nothing and no one to lean on to the girl who becomes the most powerful woman of a nation.
The acting as it was Ji Chang Wook's is rare, really rare. I haven't seen in a while such an amazing acting! It made me fall in love with him. Wow, I really don't know how to describe it, but if you watch it you'll know what I'm talking about. Ta Hwan a ruler of a Yuan Dinasty, the strong and great man is hard to play and he pulled it off brillianty. His acting left me spechless, just a praise and the fact that he became one of my fav actors!
Joo Jin Mon plays a hero, a protective man, king of Koryeo. I didn't like his role that much, but I can't say that he's just ordinary actor. He knows what he's doing and he's doing it very well.
Jin Yi Han who plays Tal Tal and Yoo In Young who plays Yon Feisu are my fav supporting characters. It was a pleasure and enjoyment watching their acting skills!^^
One of the most beautiful OSTs! The OST's where a happy scene makes more happier and the OSTs where a sad scenes make more sadder to the point where you find yourself crying and feeling their pain... that's how amazing OSTs are! :D
I'll rewatch it for sure! Just need to find a time! Oh, what the heck when the story is this good, you will forget about a time and you'll find yourself constantly clicking the next episode! So, yeah that's how SPECTACULAR this drama is! You just need to start it and then you'll see what I'm talking about! :D
I agree that "Queen Seondok" has many more similarities to "Empress Ki"... but the reason I recommend "The Princess' Man" is b/c both are the closest to perfection ...
---Both r extremely well-crafted (w/ a strong female lead ) in terms of Directing, Acting, Cast, Plot,Costumes, Music, Character-Development, etc....
--- They r most similar in that they both are an 'Epic Romance'.... of all the dramas, these 2 have the most palpable passionate loves.
--- Both have a fast moving plot...well balanced b/w romance/revenge/action/intrigue...
--- Both have Unforgettable characters!...
--- Both female leads are courageous and righteous and tough .... (although, Ki was also involved in the action)...
--- Both females were in disguise when the men met them...mistaken identities....(One was dressed as a guy, the other as a Princess)
--- Both have political intrigue about ascension to the throne...
As stated before they remind me of each other b/c the first 22 ep. of "Empress Ki" are so Perfect, I thought it would surely surpass "The Princess' Man" ..... However, the second half of "Ki" was full of inconsistencies... Although still intriguing to watch - it lost that perfection !!! ...
"TPM" only faltered once - I felt the kidnap scene at the river's edge was weak - but the rest was Amazing ...
Honestly I prefer Korean Historical movies more than Dramas ... I don't like Joseon...It's not interesting for me not at all...and also I never watch dramas more than 30 eps (there are only few exceptions) but I LOVE GORYEO.... and it was the reason why I started it yesterday ... after watching 10 episodes I still think that 50 ep it's too much but it's not boring yet...I will watch ..
I have only two favorite characters for this moment Bayan and Tal Tal... >_< best couple of drama..
I'll watch development of Goryeo and Yuan princes characters...
ok...I really don't like what they did to Ta Hwan's character - he is a complete mess in the 40+ episodes - going insane, delusional, he did a 180 to what his character was before...honestly...I don't even like him at the moment...will he ever stop? I liked how his character was before he started to listen to Bayan - but after...he is completely unattractive (Tal tal has gotten much more attractive though)...*sighs*
the queen dowager is such a hypocrite! earlier in the show she wanted her son to go with the koryo girl ms.Pak, then she approves of another koryo girl 'Nyang' - and at first likes their baby but she like does a 180 by episode 37!! she now thinks koryo girls are scum?!! what a hypocrite!!! >_<
I always saw it as that "sure she disliked koryo women but she let lady Pak have Togon's baby since she was just a concubine. But with time she saw that Nyang wasn't just a concubine she was a woman who had power over Togon. She could influence people and that made the Queen Dowager see her as a threat. Nyang was from koryo so that was just an extra minus for her basically. But I think the most important thing was that Nyang was seen as a threat because of her influence on Togon :) that's how I saw it. "How care a koryo scum who can only be a servant have influence to be an empress" that kind of thinking ^^*
I was shocked to see this at the top. It took everything I had in me to stomach the nine episodes I watched. I mean it REALLY TOOK EVERYTHING. With each passing episode of Ha Ji Won's doe eyed looks, main character dick riding, stereotypical and retro villainous laughs and Ji Chang Wook just being every Ji Chang Wook role, I could feel my patience being stretched thin, this story literally gave me a headache by like episode seven. I professed if someone made me sit through another episode, I might literally go rampant in the streets. Plot was all over the place and comically bad. Villains also suffer from atrocious planning and some of the worst political decisions ever. If you are a sucker for logic, stay away. I warn anyone who values a decent plot to stay away. Especially you some of you folks on my friend's list. you will not like this.