Why is this very different than the Chinese version?To answer you simply, this is not a remake of the Chinese version, this is an adaption of the novel. In addition, not all adoptions have to follow the original story exactly, they may focus on different aspects and that is why there is a difference. And of course this is set in Korea, not China, so you have to expect differences.
Is this show historically accurate?Like what Naksken said, "They've fit a fictional Chinese novel into the facts of Goreyo's history. So, actual characters from the past, with a fictional story, and a fictional female lead." Moreover, the princes are real and living in 900s, in what is know as the Goryeo Dynasty. So the thing about killing all the princes and becoming the successor is from the novel, not a historical fact.
Why does this show have low viewership rates in Korea even thought it is popular overseas?I seriously don't know. But I interpreted it this way:
Why did 3 episodes air in the first week?SBS had an empty slot, that is why.
.... show is much better. Why are you watching this? Why is it popular on MDL? You are just watching because of the idols? Or because of the bathhouse scene (Episode 1)?Isn't it just a personal preference? Can't people watch what they want? And if they are just watching it for the idols or the bathhouse scene, it is their choice. Everyone should respect people's preferences.
How are the princes ranked?It is by who is born first.
Does the 13th price have the same name as the 8th price?The answer is yes and no. Their Hangul name is spelled as 왕욱, which is romanized as either Wang Wook or Wang Uk. However, bear in mind that this was an era where Hangul still wasn't invented. Therefore, they used to use the Chinese character, or what is called Hanja. And here is where the difference appears. The 8th prince's name is written as 王旭, while the 13th prince's name is written as 王郁. Middle Korean had tones, therefore their name is not only written differently but also pronounced differently.
The king has multiple wives/queens, was that really normal back then?Yes, it was normal, and it was not just done in Korea, many kings from all over the world usually had multiple wives. You might find it weird because in our current time polygamy is not frequently seen. But it was a common practice by nobles back then to further increase their power or create unity between kingdoms.
The king has many concubines, was that really normal back then?Yes, this was also normal and a common practice by nobles. Men, if they could afford it, sometimes kept one or two concubines as sexual playmates and friends (Source). Moreover, don't be mistaken, concubines are not married to the King, so they are not his wives. They are different from the queens.
Was incest allowed back then?Most people have seen this show's relationship chart and were baffled by it. I know how you feel, I was surprised too. But we have to bear in mind that this is a story from the past, where there were not many restrictions placed on royal family members. Royal family members did marry their sibling in the hope of keeping their bloodline pure and farther increase their family power.
Why is there 2 versions of the episodes?To explain it simply, this show was pre-produced, meaning that all episodes were shot in advance and edited. Moreover, before this show was aired in Korea, it was sold to multiple countries to be simultaneously broadcasted. Therefore, the overseas broadcasting channels, who bought the rights to this show, have already subbed the episodes and they air them at the same time the episodes are broadcasted in Korea.
What are the 2 versions?The original international version and the SBS re-edited version.
How to know which version I'm are watching?It is simple, just look at the top right corner and if there is an SBS's logo, you are watching the re-edited version. Plus, usually, the original version starts with a song, while the re-edited version starts at the lake shot with the 15+ age restriction.
Are there many differences between the 2 versions?No, there is not much difference except for a few extra scenes and some music difference. However, I suggest you choose one version to watch and then watch the extras from the other version. All the extra scenes timings will be included below.
The SBS version has some untranslated lines, why is that?If you notice some missing subs, that means you are watching the SBS re-edited version but with the originally sold overseas episodes' subs.
BlueberryCheesecake asks: I have a question regarding the historical fact. I've read about goryeo and found out that the crown prince and the third rule for sometimes before the fourth take the throne. But I couldn't get any more facts about their relationship. Hence, they always portray the fourth as a lonely and painful youngsters in all drama (this and shine or go crazy) Is it just a coincidence or the fourth is really such a person? Could you tell me anything about this historical background story?So far, I was stopping myself from reading any historical facts, in case they ever spoil the show. However, because I want to answer your question, I did do a little reading, and all I could find is that Wang So was known, later in his life, for squashing his political rivals and creating an atmosphere of fear within the political realm at the time. However, since Wang So's childhood of being exiled from the palace and shunned by the royal family is almost the same in this and shine or go crazy, I think it might have been true.
BlueberryCheesecake asks: I don't know because I don't know much about Korean speech level. But, why does Joseon speech sounds more archaic than this one? The speech on this drama sounds so casual and I understand it better than when I watched Joseon-period drama.I have not read any explanation from the production company about the type of speech but some people were complaining about it. Let us get out fact first, Middle Korean (중세국어) corresponds to Korean spoken from the 10th to 16th centuries, or from the era of Goryeo to the middle of Joseon. In addition, there were tones in Middle Korean, just like Mandarin Chinese. However, in this show, we hear them speak almost modern Korean.
rainruma: Maybe you should also post link on the Ryeo main page.It already is, you can find it in the "Recent Discussions".
Ruby: Does anyone know where i might find a translated version of the novel? Only seem to be a few chapters floating around the internet.