Captivating the King (2024) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 4,112 users
# of Watchers: 11,040
Reviews: 55 users
Ranked #2363
Popularity #1454
Watchers 4,112

Lee In is a prince. His older brother is King Lee Sun, who cares about him a lot. Vowing loyalty to his older brother, Lee In is taken hostage by the Qing Dynasty. King Lee Sun soon views his younger brother's loyalty as betrayal and begins to hate him. Lee In endures deep emotional pain because of this. Lee In then meets an unknown baduk player who wagers on her games. He is completely fascinated by the baduk player. Through circumstances, Lee In becomes the king. He holds the highest position and is a strong person, but he is sad and weak internally. When Kang Hee Soo was gaining fame as an unknown baduk player, she met Prince Lee In and fell in love with him. Through a vortex of fate, she becomes a spy. She approaches King Lee In to get her revenge. (Source: AsianWiki) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • ภาษาไทย
  • Arabic
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Jan 21, 2024 - Mar 3, 2024
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: TVING tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 4,112 users)
  • Ranked: #2363
  • Popularity: #1454
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch Captivating the King

Subscription (sub)
Subscription (sub)


lex Flower Award1
74 people found this review helpful
Mar 5, 2024
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 14
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 5.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers



To sum everything up in simple terms:

- Disappointing storyline, plot and flow of events.
- I lost interest at episode 9 and forced myself to watch the rest.
- Watching became a chore and it felt like the biggest waste of time.
- Female MC was badly written (I hate her character and I wish she died)
- If not for the ML (Jo Jong Suk) most people wouldn’t think of rating this drama kindly.
- This drama totally missed the mark for me and to be honest it was boring.
- I definitely would not recommend, you’re better off watching any other ongoing drama or critically acclaimed historical drama.
- I didn't even find the political schemes interesting because it seemed like child's play and was not very engaging. I felt like they were going around in circles for the entirety of the drama. ML did not have anyone on his side and they were all trying to undermine and sabotage him in some way / shape or form. The worst part is the woman he loved tried to kill him even though he tried being very honest with her.
- The whole narrative of being captivated and how they tied it in was bs. If you watched from the beginning you could easily see see that the FL falling for ML would be her downfall and she was the one who would end up captivated.
- The chemistry between the leads were lacking and their love / kissing scenes sucked. In the last episode especially it was painful to watch them interact because it seemed so forced. Their love was not believable at all and the FL looked very uncomfortable. I wish I could erase their scenes from my mind bc they just gave me the ick.
- The drama irked me especially the fact that they were sleeping together and he didn’t even figure out her name or demand to know it until the last episode. They’re just so irksome.
- I believe FL should try another career. She's pretty so she can model or do brand deals instead. I feel like I have given her enough chances to redeem herself but she is still the same as she was in Black Knight. She has the same expression (looking like a damn deer in the headlights) throughout the entire series and was almost always crying.
- If you want to watch this drama for the romance I advise you not to. You will be disappointed. If however you still want to give this drama a chance because you love Jo Jong Suk then by all means be my guest. I however, would not put myself through that again because I believe that one person should not be expected to carry the weight of the entire drama on their back.
- With all that said, I give this mess of a drama a 5/10

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
50 people found this review helpful
Mar 3, 2024
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 10
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers

Great ML but everything else quite forgettable

I started to watch this drama because I like period dramas and I thought baduk at the centre of it might do for something refreshing, then I was captivated by the King's character, he was an all rounder and made for an interesting plot.

The king as a character and Jo Jung Suk's performance is what carried this drama for me and the reason it has the rating I give it, without him this drama would be so much worse, and if I had to rate the drama based only on him as a character it would get a 10. He's a very complete character and very engaging. It's such a shame that with such an amazing character and performance the rest of it was quite disappointing, especially anything involving the FL.

I like Shin Sae Kyeong and she has been the FL in a couple of dramas I rate very highly and I very much enjoyed. But being realistic I do think that she doesn't have a big range of acting skills and the roles she performs the best are those in which, I feel, she's playing characters that fit with her personality as a person or that she feels comfortable playing. Probably that's kind of the same reason why they took her for this one as the FL in this drama does share certain similar traits with characters she has played in the past. But there are a few things of her acting here that bugged me a lot, like the over stiffness and the constant eye moving to express what the rest of her face is not expressing. While I've seen her do this in other roles here it was very amplified. I don't know whether that was all her or the director was going for that and asked her to overuse it but at some point it started getting old and quite annoying.

Romance is also impacted by all this. ML is there, and his words and actions are clear and well acted and you feel the angst and the longing and all the feels. FL's on the other hand is just not there. So I enjoyed the romance part of this show, like everything else, because of ML, but it could have been so much better if FL had been at the same level.

When it comes to the writing I don't understand how we have such a good character in the king and such a miss in her. Most of the drama is just her contradicting the premise of her personality. She's supposed to be very intelligent, strategic and clever but she keeps making mistakes and becoming the damsel in distress.
The whole revenge plot was just plain BAD WRITING. She kept reaching bad conclusions, she kept asking the wrong questions, or not asking them and kept screwing everything up. Now, I could believe this as plausible and that a character like that can exist if the character hadn't been introduced as the opposite of that, and on the other hand if it was her alone it would have been more plausible, not with other people blindly involved in the revenge like it was the best plan and course of action.

Myung Ha was also quite frustrating and his whole plotline was quite pointless. It's dragged out for the sake of it by just making him not actively seeking information and justice but doing in a slow, second-hand way. Most of the drama he's annoying and towards the end he's just ok because by mellowing his personality they made him look ok now and made you forget all the things he did and said in the past and reduce it all to him being concerned about the Crown Prince. Disappointing.
Equally annoying was Lady Dong, although in this case her character was well developed and the actress did a good job at being the annoying piece of work she is. However, it was disappointing they were trying to make me like her at the end somehow, like if her behaviour was justified because she loved the king.

The rest of characters are basically background, they're ok, nothing to throw fireworks about except the kid that played the Crown Prince, he was great.
The queen dowager was always there but her arch was pretty anti-climactic in the end, nothing happened to her not it escalated much in any manner that would be interesting or significant enough for the plot.
Oh, and I almost forgot, special mention to Ja Geun Nyun (FL character's servant), she was annoying as hell, especially in the first half of the drama.

The end was a bit confusing (between the "I go, I don't go") and generally disappointing, and the last episode feels dragged and like they didn't know how to end it, like a kid dragging his feet leaving the park because he doesn't want to go back home. I definitely expected a bit more and a different ending. After all we saw in the drama I thought we deserved a better one for sure.
I'm also getting very tired of the time jump/one of main leads leaving just before ending it. It's been such a long time I haven't seen a drama where it felt justified to include something like this, especially not in the last episode when it's going to be resolved quickly and in an anticlimactic way. There was absolutely no point in making her go to the Qing, her father doesn't appear again and it's only there so they can meet in that tree to play baduk, what was also such a gamble she left the path/stopped for a break exactly there. There were so many options to end the story in a better way but it feels they chose the quickest to film and the laziest plot wise. Definitely could have been better and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Overall I think this show is watchable mainly for the king as a character and Jo Jung Suk's performance but that's pretty much it, plot is generally average for a period drama apart from the king, and the revenge subplot is very bad writing.
I think this show had a lot of potential but I don't think it was exploited as good as it could have. The plots could have been a lot more epic or more engaging, more than a classic hide and seek between hero and villain. The romance could have been so much better as well if we had had a better performance of FL and more moments to explore it.
I think the king is a character worth watching, it's just a shame everything else in this drama needs to be watched as well just to get that, so I'm happy I watched this show for the enjoyment I got of that character but a shame it's attached to many other things I didn't enjoy and wouldn't want to rewatch.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?


My Dearest
Bloody Heart
Our Blooming Youth
The King's Affection
The Princess's Man
Queen: Love and War

Recent Discussions

Be the first to create a discussion for Captivating the King


  • Drama: Captivating the King
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 16
  • Aired: Jan 21, 2024 - Mar 3, 2024
  • Aired On: Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: TVING, tvN
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older


  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 4,112 users)
  • Ranked: #2363
  • Popularity: #1454
  • Watchers: 11,040

Top Contributors

238 edits
104 edits
39 edits
23 edits

News & Articles

Popular Lists

Related lists from users
tvN Dramas
324 titles 183 loves
Upcoming dramas
463 titles 150 loves 4
224 titles 20 loves 6

Recently Watched By