Empress Ki

Empress Ki (2013)

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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 3,889 users
Reviews: 45 users

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.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Hwatu; 화투; Qi Empress; Battle of Flowers; Gi Hwang-hu

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68 of 75 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Dec 22, 2014
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
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 more scene 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

Special Mentions:
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!
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50 of 55 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Aug 21, 2014
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
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 more the 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
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Make a Recommendation More recs (22)Recommendations

In both dramas the mc goes through a lot of struggles before actually becoming empresses
ex. power struggles, revenge, jealousy, concubine bs, death of own child, love triangles
The costumes for each dramas are beautiful though EoC has a bigger range cuz of more production money.
Both show how the women obtain power and be independent.
Recommended by nicolapelocan
-Both are high quality historical dramas with solid plot. (Nirvana in fire has better plot.)
-Both dramas are about getting justice/revenge.
-Both have strong, smart main heroes.(main heroes uses their brain instead of their fists.)
-Both have a little romance. (it is not the main focus and Empress ki has more.)
Recommended by HistoryFan

Comments (352)

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    someone spoiled the ending for me when I havent watch it at all!!! T___T im debating as to whether I should still watch this or not? help me :((( I dont want to go on a FeelsTrip but I want more of Ji chang wook :((( ugh

    • Reply
      Ranie 2 days ago

      I think if you will find out why the outcome of this story is like that then you will be fine with this ending. In my opinion this was Ji Chang Wook's most impressive role yet ^_^ Every episode is worth watching :D

    • Reply
      haejinsunbaebabe 2 days ago

      Thank you for replying!! I needed that! Ill trust your words unnie! :D

  • Reply
    dinamet7 22 days ago - edited

    Would like to emotionally prep myself here... does this drama come with a supply of onion chopping ninjas? (Aka, will I cry a lot? I tend to get pretty emotionally involved in stories.)

    • Reply
      bona 22 days ago

      Depends on the characters you'll end up liking, I didn't drop a single tear watching it but it was very good i do recommend it whole heartly.

    • Reply
      ryubin 18 days ago - edited

      it is a very long drama, I remember crying more towards the end, it's true that it depends on the characters you'll like. there are things that will make you cry if you do get emotionally invested in kdramas

  • Reply
    JayRandom 26 days ago - edited

    I'm not sure if the ending followed closely the historical context, but it was very unique in a way. The character development in this drama was amazing, they didn't just develop, they matured into complex characters. It feels like a long journey and near the end, unlike most dramas that will just let go and give an ending that attempts to please all viewers (usually a happy one) OR kill off every character for no reason.. I won't spoil the ending, but it is a great one, there is a purpose and follows along nicely with the rest of the story.

    The plot is hardly perfect, there were many times when the story did not capture me, but overall, it never loses sight of itself, even despite it's length (51 episodes). You get a lot more from watching this than pure entertainment, in fact, some may find it bad because it sacrifices entertainment for substance and a deeper story.

  • Reply
    Sayyy Apr 24, 2016 - edited

    Though the rating and reviews are nice I'm still not sure if I can watch this one, because I don't think I can watch Ji Chang Wook with another girl (leading lady). I really love him as "Healer" and his chemistry with Park Min Young is really awesome.

    • Reply
      Jasmine 28 days ago

      HELLO SAME HERE LOL. I actually don't really watch historical dramas but I was thinking about watching this just for Ji Chang Wook after watching Healer.

  • Reply
    Sara Apr 23, 2016 - edited

    Is it worth the watch? I mean..51 episodes..T^T

    • Reply
      Sobi 30 days ago

      if you like melodrama and revenge then yesss it's worth the watch :)

    • Reply
      Jojo 12 days ago

      it was my first long and historical drama, and i have to tell you, you'll forget about the 51 episodes thing !! it's so GREAT it's no.1 on my top list

    • Reply
      Sara 8 days ago - edited

      I appreciate your replies, probably will watch it (hehe) thanks!

  • Reply
    Simiii Apr 15, 2016

    Though this drama sure has a couple of weak points and some plot developments that didn't really appeal to me, I have to say that this is probably the drama that left the biggest impression on me, out of all the dramas I have watched in my life.
    I finished this in January and haven't watched it since then, but today I decided to listen to the soundtrack again (the soundtrack itself is just AMAZING) and while I was listening to the main theme I remembered all those scenes that I loved and all those feelings that I had while watching this drama and I almost started crying again because I remembered the ending. I don't usually watch sad dramas but this one was so worth it. I also think that most dramas have a very weak ending but this dramas ending is so powerful.
    I can only recommend this to everyone, even people who are not into historical dramas!! (it was my first historical kdrama)

  • Reply
    WarrenHawley Apr 14, 2016 - edited

    Just finished this. Excellent series. I think it lost a little momentum after episode 34 or something, no spoiler but those who watched it should know what I mean. However, it was still great after this HUGE event it's just the conflict or tension after never reached that which came before said event. It didn't tarnish it in any way. I would recommend it to anyone!!

    • Reply
      radhz_dramalover 9 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      WarrenHawley 9 days ago - edited

      Oh my yes, it's outstanding. It was just the first 34, 35 episodes that person was the central antagonist, once he's gone there is a feeling of job done. Yet it went on and tried to create new tension and somehow, ONLY MILDLY, didn't quite reach is exhaustive tension preceding. It makes sense that there would be more, besides she hadn't yet achieved Empress yet. We all have naturally terrible events and life will still go on. It's just that this build up was like the end of 'The Moon Embracing the Sun' only 'Moon' ended after the climatic end event. Empress Ki continues on.
      Now having said all that, it is STILL extraordinary!!! Ha Ji-Won was simply stunning to me. After Secret Garden, I never could have thought she could be this excellent and regal - she was so adorable in Garden. Definitely watch. I would rewatch all 51 again for sure.

  • Reply
    Andie Apr 5, 2016 - edited

    I've been thinking of watching this drama because of Ji Chang Wook... does the main girl end up with his character?

    • Reply
      shannaro Apr 5, 2016
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    GoDokMi Apr 3, 2016

    It was my first time watching a drama with more than 22 episodes and I wasn't very sure if should watch this one, and now I'm just sad that it ended.

    I really loved it! ♥

  • Reply
    Mia Mar 31, 2016
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Diamond Mar 28, 2016

    Your feeling will fly everywhere and you will die... Do not say I did not warn you!

  • Reply
    InfiniteArtx Mar 26, 2016 - edited

    How heavily does it focus on romance and does this have a really bad love triangle (as in there is no obvious male lead)? And if not, who does she end up choosing?
    I don't mind spoilers but make sure to press the spoiler button so others won't see it ^.^

    • Reply
      shannaro Mar 28, 2016 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      InfiniteArtx Mar 28, 2016

      Oh okay, Thank you so much for replying!

    • Reply
      Zun Apr 4, 2016

      do u know any more historical romance dramas?

  • Reply
    Ayaki Nakahashi Mar 22, 2016 - edited

    Just finished watching this drama...BIG DISAPPOINTMENT... Really wanted to like this drama due to all the rave, but it is clearly overrated... Even though this is fictional, i saw a big similarity in plots between this and a real part of Chinese history about Empress Wu (not that she came from Goryeo, but the whole going through hardship and becoming a strong, powerful Empress.) I just had to watch it because i loved a Chinese drama i've watched about Empress Wu long ago that impressed me so much that this pales in comparison. This drama wasn't bad by any means, i still gave it a rating of 7.5, which is still pretty good. Maybe i just expected too much from this drama because of all the well-known cast members, the funds involved, and all the praise saying that this is the BEST...

  • Reply
    DonToronto Mar 20, 2016 - edited

    I like Ha Ji Won's dramas, but I barely managed to make it till EP 22. Some episodes were unprofessionally edited which can be observed in day/night differences between fragments. This drama gave me a big stress :(

    Update: finished drama despite all the small errors that bothered me, absolutely loved every minute of if not mentioning tears of sadness and happiness at the end. Now, I don't know what to do with my life...

  • Reply
    hugedramafan Mar 18, 2016

    I have only seen EP1 and I was hooked by this drama *_*


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Oct 28, 2013 to Apr 29, 2014
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 5 min.


  • Score:

    8.8 (scored by 3,889 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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