Early in his reign, King Se Jong accidentally causes the death of his in-laws and their slaves in an attempt to save them from his brutal father, King Tae Jong. Two young slaves, Ddol Bok and his friend Dam, survive but neither knows the other has. Ddol Bok blames the king and vows to kill him to avenge the deaths of everyone he loved. He spends several years becoming a great warrior.Dam, who has a photographic memory, becomes a court lady called So Yi, but she feels so guilty about her role in the other slaves' deaths that she is mute.
Ddol Bok returns to the palace under the name of Kang Chae Yoon in order to kill the king. However, he becomes embroiled in the mystery surrounding the deaths of several Hall of Worthies scholars. The deaths were caused by a secret society called "Hidden Root," which was created long ago by followers of Jeong Do Jeon, with the goal of giving more power to ministers and less to the king. King Tae Jong killed Jeong Do Jeon and all of his family except his nephew, Jeong Gi Joon, who is now the leader of Hidden Root and lives in disguise not far from King Se Jong.
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In terms if writing, the story was well written. I kind of kept you guessing, and the cliffhangers were killers. The way the characters were written was brilliant, as well as the way history and fiction were mixed. It kept you coming back for more. Granted there was your typical backstabbing and plot making, but it fit in with the story, so it didn't seem out of place or to be to much.
In terms of acting, brilliant. Each actor portrayed their characters to the point you actually believed they were the character, not an actor playing someone. I have to say I was very impressed by Jang Hyuk, yet again, and after seeing two sageuks of his, I have a hard time picturing him playing any other type of role.
The music, I would have liked to have heard more traditional instruments, but all in all it wasn't bad.
I will definitely be watching this again. I was thinking that with 24 episodes that it would get boring, but never once was I bored. Give it a try.
Before checking this out, you, the viewer need the proper mindset before committing yourself into watching this drama (unless you are already into this kind of drama). Why? Because this is too far away from being romcom or light. There are witty scenes where you find the "funny" but not so much, because it would be obliterated in a second by the realism of the situation the characters are in. Watching this drama was heart racing, mind boggling and most of all tear jerking if you get to finish this in one go.
It was also frustrating being in the perspective of the king - because a person with so much wealth and power could be so helpless at the same time. *sigh*
My favorite character here was King Sejong - Han Seok Kyu's portrayal of him was so convincing that my heart was moved every time he does or say something. His decisions throughout the drama was really something, because it amounts to the lives that revolve around him, one mistake means the death of someone and one right thing could lead to the abundance of the entire nation. His role was really something and his acting was so deep into the character, I tend to forget that he was only acting about the agony of a king who cherished his people.
Then here comes the King's person: Kang Chae Yoon and So Yi.
These characters were portrayed by high fantastic artists - Jang Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung. Their roles were vital and important for the success of the king's plan and well... the ending was very dreary but there's that sense of fulfillment despite everything they have gone through. All in all their characters made this drama an unforgettable one.
The music isn't that catchy or is something that would stick to your head forever, but it does add to the drama. As for the re-watch value, I would not want to re-watch this lest I want to depress myself or stress myself all over again, but over all this drama is still dear to my heart. I loved this drama and would highly recommend it to those who love watching sageuks involving historical documentations.
Tree With Deep Roots - will move you, haunt you and make you change your outlook about your given language. Because this drama depicts history and the people who sacrificed a lot to make things possible.