Complete List of Top Korean Historical Dramas That You Need to Watch!

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Historical K-Dramas That Will Mesmerized You

Historical dramas from South Korea have spread and become popular with people around the world since Dae Jang Geum first aired.This is not only about stories, themselves, but also because they give insight into Korean culture. Byeol Korea presents youwith a list of great historical K-dramas that will leave you spellbound. Keep reading!

1. Jewel in The Palace

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Dae Jang Geum (Hangeul: 대장금) or literally “The Great Jang-geum”, is popularly known as Jewel in the Palace. This series is a 2003 South Korean television drama directed by Lee Byung-hoon. Dae Jang Geum aired on MBC from September 15, 2003 to March 23, 2004. This historical drama is the 10th-highest rated Korean drama of all time.

Episodes: 54 episodes

Cast: Lee Young Ae as Dae Jang Geum; Ji jin Hae as Min Jung Ho; Hong Ri Na as Choi Geum Yeong; Im Ho as King Jung Jong.

Synopsis:

The story is set in Korea during the reigns of King Seongjong (1457–1494), King Yeonsan (1494–1506), and King Jungjong (1506–1544). The epilogue of the drama was about the reigns of King Injong (1544-1545) and King Myeongjong (1545-1567), with the last scene occurring in March, 1550.

Therefore, The Jewel in Palace was set 500 years ago, during the Chosun Dynasty, when the social structure was both hierarchical and male-dominated. This drama is about true story of a legendary girl, Dae Jang Geum, who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her time. As a girl who was both poor and of a lower social class in the male dominated society, Jang Geum defeated social discrimination and landed herself a position as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then, at her peak, becoming the physician in charge of the king. The king even gave her a special title, “The Great Jang Geum.” This is the story of her life and success, as well her beautiful love story.

2. The Great Queen Seon-Deok

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The Great Queen Seon-deok (Hangeul: 선덕여왕) aired on MBC from May 25 until December 22, 2009. This historical drama is a historical drama produced by MBC as a celebration of their 48th-founding anniversary, and stars Lee Yo-won, Go Hyun-jung, Uhm Tae-woong, Kim Nam-gil and Park Ye-jin. This historical drama about the life of Queen Seondeok of Silla.

Episodes: 62 episodes

Cast: Lee Yo-won as Princess Deokman, later Queen Seondeok; Go Hyun-jung as Lady Mishil; Uhm Tae-woong as Kim Yushin; Kim Nam-gil as Bidam.

Synopsis:

The story is set in Silla, which is one of the three kingdoms in Korea (the other two are Goryeo and Baekje). This drama is based on the life of Queen Seondeok of Silla, who ruled from 632-647, and revolves around Seon Deok’s life, the woman who was the first female leader who rule of Silla. Although the drama is is loosely based on historical fact, most of the story is fiction.

The drama begins at the end of King Jinheung’s reign and and continues until the end of Queen Seondeok’s reign. Deokman was one of King Jinpyeong and Queen Maya’s twin daughters but, because of a prophecy, King Jinpyeong sadly had to send his daughter away from the palace with the help of Seohwa, his clumsy but loyal servant. This path was chosen to save Queen Maya from being dethroned by Mishil, whose ambition was to become a Queen. Seohwa raised Deokman as her own child, but events eventually led Deokman into finding her real identity and her twin sister, Cheonmyeon, who ended up losing her life while trying to help Deokman escape. Eventually Deokman, after all her effort, finally becomes the first female ruler of Silla with the help of her trusted friend, Yushin and Bidam, the person she loved.

3. Dong Yi

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Dong Yi (Hangeul: 동이) is a 2010 historical television drama series, starring Han Hyo-joo. This drama is about the love story between King Sukjong and Choi Suk-bin. The drama aired on MBC from March 22 to October 12, 2010.

Episodes: 60 episodes

Cast: Han Hyo-joo as Choi Dong-yi (Choi Suk-bin), Kim Yoo-jung as young Dong-yi, Ji Jin-hee as King Sukjong, Lee So-yeon as Jang Hui-bin, Bae Soo-bin as Cha Chun-soo, Park Ha-sun as Queen Inhyeon

Synopsis:

This historical K-drama is set in the late period of the Joseon kings and shows the story of Dong Yi (Choi Suk-bin), a person who come from the lowest class. She is a slave who becomes a top ranking mistress. Although  she has dark past that was full of challenges, she successfully managed to become the best version of herself.

Dong-yi became an orphan after her father, who is the chief of the sword fraternity, and a corpse handler and brother, who are members of the fraternity, were killed after they were under suspicion of killing the nobles. Dong-yi became a maid working in the Bureau of Music. She had an incredible mind in solving difficult cases.

She meets the King, who signed as a court judge when solving a case. The King adores with her and treats her like an ordinary person, eventually falling in love with her. She also gained the trust of Queen Inhyeon.

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