AKA: Gwanggaeto, The Great Conqueror
Broadcast period: 2011-Jun to 2012-Apr
Cast: Lee Tae Gon, Kim Seung Soo, Im Ho, Park Jung Chul, Oh Ji Eun and Lee In Hye.
This story is about King Gwanggaeto, who conquered much land, and made his kingdom Gogouryo spread and occupied most of the peninsula, making it the biggest kingdom, of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
Go Damdeok (Lee Tae Gon) is the second son of the royal family, but this has not strained the relationship with his brother, Crown prince Dammang (Jung Tae Woo), however Damdeok has the same qualities, if not better. Though the royal household is loving and caring, the politics of the court act otherwise. Since Damdeok has been in battles, and on the front line for many victories, the court start seeing Damdeok as a possible threat, especially the prime minister Gae Yeon Su (Choi Dong Joon). Unsatisfied with the royal house, Gae Yeon Su has been working behind the curtains, to remove the king from his post, and make himself that title, but Damdeok, compared to the others, defies both strategies and advances made by Yeon Su. Though not completely aware of Yeon Su’s intentions, Damdeok doesn’t trust him, and soon enough Yeon Su plans an assassination on Damdeoks life. This attempt forces Damdeok into hiding, and soon enough he experiences the real Gogoryeo; away from the royal lifestyle, and military life…
So, this is another historical day drama, which spans over 92 episodes. It caught my attention due to the lead character, which is a very famous hero of Korean history. And though I expected it to be a bit draggy, the last 15-10 episodes were fillers of you ask me. I guess it was quite popular, and they decided to drag it on, which is very annoying when you’ve been watching a decent story for the past 60 episodes. I’ve now watched my fair share, so I can say with certainty that this drama has the most action I’ve seen in a day drama, for a very long time. I mean I was stuck to my screen for the first 20 episodes, and it just got better while it went on. Of course, as the usual historical dramas, the female leads were left out a bit - the love stories were halfhearted, sort of - and they didn’t show much progress, or at least I felt the typical ‘vibe’. That said, the drama is good, and has good side characters. I was pleasantly surprised by their depth, and this is more than just the ‘right hand man’. This goes for almost all the supporting cast!
To sum up: a good historical drama with a good plot, decent actions scenes, and great character storylines.
☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars
♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts