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.
it's hard to overlook some of the action scenes. i mean the enemy soldiers will be right there and everybody just stands there not making a move. then the prince and seungnyang run away over the wall like nothing?? not very realistic or at least it's laughable and takes away from the drama for me :/ also i like the koryeo king better, he is perfect with her.
This drama was really great for the first half , then the writers went CRAZY ,to please the audience who wanted more of the emperor they cut down the role of joo jin mo and changed the script , and as much as i love ji chang wook, his character here was SO HORRIBLE ,selfish childish and the the writers kept going and going until an ending that made NO absolute sense , such a dissapointment...
Right after watching it, I would want to write a review but the reviews above pretty much said it all. Just for the sake of saying something, as I always do. I could have given it a 10, if and only if, they will change the ending. It was at its peak when it reached 40's and I was so excited to reach the end, and then I was like: "what the hell?!" The worst ending of 2014! LOL P.S: Jin Yi Han, Nice Meeting You! :) I didn't like knowing he was killed at the end...BUT good thing it was like 10mins before the actual ending. I just love his character.
thank u so much....i will start it tonight...:)
u know when u start a drama for an actor...and if that actor doesn't seem good in that drama even if the drama itself would be perfect...but u kinda will be disappointed...
I try to watch this drama not just for JCW...it will be better this way...:)
but still hope he plays a lot...i really miss him after healer. :D
also not a happy ending...
This drama has moved my heart out and made me cry for the first time in all korean novela ive watch, i dont like watching the old style story but this is the first i cant get my eyes blink while watching this drama, every episode is interesting, i love all the characters and the role they have. but at the end of the story i was very disappointed. many of all korean drama although they have a good story but they have a very poor ending story, and that what makes the rating go down. empress KI the story is one of a kind but very poor in making an ending.
It makes me upset when I read comments about how they skipped. the parts with the king because he was "ugly" and how they only watch the parts with the emperor because he is good looking. I felt as if the emperor was th bad guy in this. He did things only a bad person would do out of pettiness and jealousy. He was a coward, whereas the king was brave, strong, loving, and couldn't keep happiness. It's really shallow to disregard someone just becaus o looks. I thought both was hot. But anyway. The acting was great. Even though I didn't like the emperor, I know the actor was playing a role and I still love him. Towards the last few episodes, I dropped it an just read the synopsis. My heart couldn't take anymore.
I couldn't fully hate the emperor, but I couldn't fully love him either. Same for all the characters. However, out of the main cast, his role I hated the most. Yes he suffered, but so did the others, it's how you move on and build yourself up that counts.
I think he grew the most out of all the characters. In the end, he became a strong emperor and did everything he could to protect his family. He kept taking the poison so he could find all the betrayer and protect his family. When the drama started he was just a child 17. I agreed they all suffered but they all had different experience and they were different people. I think he had a lot to learn and he was very gullible and innocent which ultimately let to his downfall. But he had lived such a sheltered/spoiled life, he was always treated as an idiot they never taught him basic stuff such as reading/writing. I kind of hated most characters by the end but I still had a soft spot for Tahwan. I know I am very biased towards him because I always saw him as a child who wanted to love and be loved by those he cared about and in the end everyone just kept using him to reach their goals.
I haven't finished yet - I'm watch episode 29 now~ But I can't understand people who say the Emperor is evil. He's immature... Yeah, but come on! He didn't betray Nyang in the beginning to betray her! He did it because he would've been killed. He's the only character in this drama so far that I feel like I can relate to. Yes, I do like Wangyu but I can't feel for him. =P Tahwan's character though... So far almost everything he goes through I can so relate. In the beginning EVERYONE was telling him to do something different. If he didn't do what the Regent said? Probably he'd be dead and there'd be no drama. =P Not saying he isn't selfish, but come on... He's been royalty all his life... He was raised to be selfish. I guess you can't understand it exactly if you haven't been through stuff like him...not trying to be rude in saying that btw... But seriously... He wasn't taught growing up how to protect himself. He wasn't taught anything useful pretty much at all. XP So when he was yelling at the water (I forget the part exactly sorry) I SO FELT FOR HIM. Because my life is like that too. =P So many people tell me to do different things with my life... But NOBODY teaches me how to be my own person. I know in the end I'll only have myself... But nobody tells me how to be okay when that time comes. And in the past few (or more) episodes I still feel for him telling Nyang to just forget revenge and live a chill life. =P Like wow... Omg... That's so something I'd say in that situation. Now I'm freaking out because I think the Emperor is so like me..? like in too many different ways... wow... Now I have to go rethink my life because of all the hate comments on the Emperor. LOL But I do agree with you that's silly to like a character only because of looks. =P Though I can't feel anything of Wangyu's character... He is pretty epic. XD But if I did love the characters for looks only... I'd like Tarashiri better than Nyang. XD
I have recently just finished Empress Ki and I feel the same way. I love Queen seo deok it touched me in a way that empress ki couldn't.
Personally mid way I struggled watching Empress ki but was addicted to Queen seo deok. Empress ki is still a great show though to watch, really I just continued for the beauty of Han Ji Won and her scenes.