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[2007] LÝ SANG PHONG BA CHỐN CUNG ĐÌNH - Yi San King Jeong Jo - Han Ji Min, Lee Seo Jin, Park Eun Hye - Baeksang Art Awards 2008 Best Director

Vua Lee San (Lee San, Wind of the Palace)


Vua Lee San (Lee San, Wind of the Palace)














Tên tiếng Hàn : 이산

Thể loại : Phim truyền hình dài tập

Diễn viên : Lee Seo-jin, Han Ji-min, Lee Sun-jae, Seong Hyeon-a

Đạo diễn : Lee Byoung-hoon 

Kịch bản : Kim le-young 

Phát sóng lần đầu tiên tại Hàn Quốc : 17/9/2007 ~ 16/6/2008

Số tập : 77

Thời lượng mỗi tập : 70'


Lee San - Triều đại Chosun là bộ phim truyền hình Hàn Quốc được MBC phát sóng và đã nổi tiếng với châu Á về câu chuyện lịch sử của vương triều này trong suốt quá trình ngự trị. Tại Việt Nam, phim từng được TVM Corp. mua bản quyền và phát sóng trên kênh HTV3.

Diễn viên

Giải thưởng

  • Giải thưởng MBC 2007: Diễn viên xuất sắc nhất (Lee Seo Jin và Han Ji-min)
  • Giải thưởng MBC 2007: Bộ phim xuất sắc nhất


Tóm tắt nội dung

Vào cuối thế kỷ thứ 18, vị hoàng tử trẻ tuổi Lee San lên ngôi, trở thành hoàng đế thứ 22 của triều đại Joseon. Đây cũng là thời kỳ hỗn loạn nhất trong lịch sử 500 năm của vương triều này. Bộ phim “Vua Lee San” là câu chuyện về cuộc đời của vị hoàng đế anh minh, cởi mở và dân chủ, người mở ra 1 kỷ nguyên Joseon mới thịnh vượng và hùng mạnh. 

Khi mới 11 tuổi, cậu bé Lee San (Lee Seo-jin) đã phải chứng kiến cảnh cha ruột, Hoàng tử Sado, bị hành hình. Mất cha từ nhỏ, Lee San lớn lên với 1 ý chí kiên cường và 1 trái tim nhân hậu để rồi sau này trở thành Hoàng đế Jung-jo nhân từ, văn võ song toàn và tài trí không kém gì ông nội, Hoàng đế Young-jo. Trong 24 năm tại vị, Vua Jung-jo đã chấn hưng văn hóa, nghệ thuật và cai trị đất nước dựa trên triết lý nhân văn. Ông để lại rất nhiều thành tựu vĩ đại về chính trị, king tế và nghệ thuật.

Sung Song-yeon (Han Ji-min) là thứ phi được sủng ái nhất của Vua Jung-jo. Ngay trong ngày đầu tiên nhập cung năm 11 tuổi, Song-yeon gặp Lee San và đem lòng quyến luyến vị hoàng tử nhỏ tuổi. Lúc đó, cha Lee San mới qua đời được vài ngày. Là con gái của 1 họa sỹ, Song-yeon say mê hội họa và vẽ rất giỏi. Làm việc trong xưởng vẽ hoàng cung nhưng mãi 10 năm sau Song-yeon mới gặp lại Lee San. Bà trở thành thiếp của ông và chính thức được chấp nhận vào hoàng tộc sau khi sinh hạ Hoàng tử Moon-hyo. 

Ông nội của Lee San, Vua Young-jo (Lee Soon-jae) là người thông minh, học rộng nhưng cũng rất nóng tính. Chính ông đã ra lệnh hành hình con trai mình bằng cách nhốt ông này vào 1 chiếc rương đựng gạo nhỏ bịt kín để rồi sau đó cả đời phải ân hận về quyết định này. Vua Young-jo vô cùng yêu quý Lee San nhưng không nuông chiều thái quá để tôi luyện cậu cháu nội thành người kế vị ngai vàng. 

Jung Hoo-gyeom (Cho Yeon-woo) là cận thần tin cậy của Vua Young-jo nhưng lại là kẻ thù không đội trời chung của Vua Jung-jo. Với đầu óc sắc sảo và năng khiếu chính trị bẩm sinh, Hoo-gyeom rất được lòng Công chúa Hwa-wan và được bà nhận làm con nuôi. Bề ngoài tỏ ra mềm mỏng nhưng Hoo-gyeom lại là người lạnh lùng và tính toán. Ông đỗ đầu kỳ thi do triều đình tổ chức năm 18 tuổi và chỉ 1 năm sau đã được thăng lên hàng ngũ phẩm. Hoo-gyeom làm giả di mệnh của Vua Young-jo để ngăn Lee San kế vị ngôi báu. Không thành công, ông tiếp tục chống đối Lee San cho đến khi vị hoàng đế yểu mệnh qua đời 1 cách bí ẩn. 

Luôn theo sát Hoàng đế Jung-jo như hình với bóng là người thị vệ trung thành Park Dae-soo (Lee Jong-soo). Dae-soo gặp đức vua lần đầu tiên khi còn là 1 cậu bé và thề sẽ bảo vệ ông cho đến hơi thở cuối cùng. Dae-soo là người kiệm lời nhưng một khi đã quyết định làm gì thì sẽ làm đến cùng. Cùng với Tướng quân Baek Dong-soo, ông viết cuốn Muyedobotongji, sách dạy võ thuật đầu tiên được xuất bản dưới thời Joseon. Thầm yêu Song-yeon nhưng Dae-soo cũng chỉ biết ngậm ngùi nín lặng trước người thiếp yêu của chủ nhân.

Công chúa Hwa-wan (Sung Hyun-ah), cô của Vua Jung-jo là 1 phụ nữ xảo quyệt, chuyên quyền, tự tung tự tác. Luôn coi thường người khác và tính khí khó chịu nhưng bà lại rất được Vua Young-jo ưu ái. Hwa-wan là 1 trong những kẻ chủ mưu đẩy Hoàng tử Sado vào chỗ chết. Không muốn Lee San kế vị ngai vàng, bà liên kết với vợ Hoàng tử Jung-soon tìm cách trục xuất cháu trai khỏi hoàng cung. 

Được hứa gả cho Lee San từ năm lên 10, Hoàng hậu Hyo-eui (Park Eun-hye) chính thức lên ngôi sau khi ông trở thành hoàng đế thứ 22 của vương triều Joseon. Dù ghen với Song-yeon nhưng bà hoàng điềm đạm và dịu dàng vẫn đối xử rất tốt với người thiếp yêu của chồng, thậm chí còn phong cho Song-yeon làm phi tần. Hoàng hậu Hyo-eui không có con và sống 1 cuộc đời cô quạnh. 

Cốt truyện

Câu chuyện kể về vị vua thứ 22 của triều đại Joseon vào thế kỷ 18 của Triều Tiên. Ông là một vị vua khôn ngoan, tiếp thu nhiều cái mới và luôn đấu tranh vì giá trị của nền dân chủ. Phim tập hợp những câu chuyện về những chiến thắng huy hoàng, những thành tựu lịch sử cũng như những tiếc nuối của vị vua lẫy lừng này như dẹp tan quân phiến loạn, xây dựng pháo đài Hwvaieong - một thành tựu kiến trúc nổi bật cho đến ngày nay, sự chuyển mình từ nền kinh tế gia đình thành kinh tế thương mại...

Đặc biệt, tình yêu giữa vua Lee San và nàng Song Yeung giỏi vẽ được khắc họa rất ấn tượng. Ngay từ tập 1, cuộc gặp gỡ định mệnh giữa Lee San khi còn là một cậu bé 11 tuổi và cô bé mới vào cung học nghề Song Yeung đã là mối nhân duyên cho một cuộc tình dài 30 năm đầy nghịch cảnh nhưng rất lãng mạn giữa một vị hoàng đế và một thường dân.


Vào cuối thế kỷ 18, Lee San trở thành người thứ 22 đứng đầu vương triều Joseon! Đây là một thời điểm huyên náo nhất trong suốt lịch sử 500 năm của vương triều Joseon! Ông là một vị vua anh minh sẵn sàng tiếp thu những cái mới, người bênh vực cho những giá trị mang tính dân chủ. Phim truyền hình này sẽ nói đến những câu truyện về những chiến thắng vinh quang, những thử thách và cả sự hối tiếc của ông cùng với những thành công đã đi vào lịch sử.

Câu truyện về cuộc đời Lee San Sự nghiệp chính trị của Lee San

Ông là người lãnh đạo của nhân dân, người đã chấm dứt chế độ chính trị đồi bại và vực dậy nền kinh tế với vốn kiến thức bao quát về thị trường của mình. Ông đã tạo ra một khuôn mẫu vững chắc ở thế kỷ 18 và cung cách cai trị đất nước rất khôn ngoan.

Bộ phim này diễn tả toàn bộ cuộc đời đầy những biến cố thăng trầm của ông và những những thành tựu dành được của học bổng Silhak và hệ thống hành chính nổi bật đã gây dựng nên quyền lực của vương triều. Điểm cao trào của bức tranh nghệ thuật này là vào cuối triều đại Joseon.

Pháo đài Hwaseong là thành tựu kiến trúc tuyệt vời ở triều đại này và từ đây, kiến thức phương Tây bắt đầu ngấm dần vào đất nước này. Những nhân tài sáng giá như Park Ji – won, Lee Ick, Jung Yak – Yong, Kim Hong – do, Shin yoon-bok, và những người khác cũng được giới thiệu khá rõ trong bộ phim này. Trong lần đầu tiên, xưởng nghệ thuật trong cung điện được trải dài ở tòa nhà Aekjung và Seja Ikwiesa. Trong lịch sử 500 năm của vương triều Joseon thì có tới 10 lần tấn công ám sát nhưng bất thành trong quãng thời gian lịch sử này và cũng sẽ được họ phác họa một cách sống động.

Từ thế kỷ 18, nền kinh tế đã có bước ngoặt lớn. Các ngành công nghiệp được thay thế dần bởi nền kinh tế thương nghiệp, thế kỷ 18 là bước đảo chiều lớn của nền kinh tế. Ngành thương nghiệp của giai đoạn này sẽ được mô tả một cách chân thực và cấu trúc tổ chức thương nghiệp nằm dưới sự chỉ dẫn của Song-yeon, bắt đầu cho sự ra đời sau đó của nền kinh tế thuộc vương triều Joseon. Các sản phẩm đặc biệt của vương triều Joseon được tạo ra dưới sự chỉ đạo của Song – yeon được xuất khẩu sang vương triều Minh của Trung Quốc.

Thêm vào đó, là mối tình lãng mạn 30 năm giữa nàng Song – yeon (Eubin Sung) và vị vua Jung-jo cũng sẽ là khung nền chính cho bộ phim. Với việc nghiên cứu tăng cường sức mạnh cho quân đội vào thế kỉ 18, kỹ thuật phương Tây bắt đầu ngấm dần vào vương quốc và rất nhiều bè phái chính trị chống đối lại nhà vua cố gắng gây dựng bè cánh bằng những hành động chống phá triều đình. Điều này đã làm cho nhà vua Jung –Jo phải tích cực xây dựng hệ thống quân đội và bảo vệ cho đất nước. Điều này bắt đầu khi nhà vua tái cấu trúc lại quân đội và bắt đầu tăng cường tập huấn quân đội. Một điều được hoàn thành trong bộ phim này là việc phát hành Muyedobotongji, sách về nghệ thuật thượng võ đầu tiên của vương triều Joseon chưa từng bao giờ được nói tới.


Yi San (Hangul이산Hanja李祘), also known as Lee San, Wind of the Palace,[1]is a 2007 South Korean historical drama, starring Lee Seo-jin and Han Ji-min.[2] It aired on MBC from September 17, 2007 to June 16, 2008 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55.[3] The series was directed by Lee Byung-hoon, who also produced the award-winning television series Dae Jang Geum.[4]

Lee Seo-jin and Han Ji-min received recognition for their performances at the MBC Drama Awards.

Synopsis

Yi San dramatizes the life of Korea's King Jeongjo, the 22nd ruler of the Joseon DynastyJeongjo is remembered in Korean history for his sympathy with the plight of the common man, in spite of his own pampered upbringing as royalty.

The drama begins with the King's early years, during which he befriends two children working in the Palace who are later expelled. King Yeongjo (Jeongjo's grandfather) seals Jeongjo's father, Crown Prince Sado, in a rice storage chest with no food or water because he fears that the crown prince is planning a coup. Jeongjo wants to save his father, and with the help of his friends Seong Song Yeon and Park Dae Su, begs King Yeongjo to forgive the Crown Prince.

The drama then skips forward to Jeongjo's adult years when he and his friends re-establish contact with each other. Throughout, Jeongjo's position as Crown Prince is threatened by palace intrigues.

The Crown Prince, Jeongjo, begins to fall in love with one of his childhood friends, Seong Song Yeon, whose father, a palace artist, died when she was young. The story then follows Yi San's rise to power, his assumption of the kingship, and the labyrinthine palace intrigues that he must constantly guard against from the No-ron Faction. While the show does deviate from the historical record in a number of ways, its representation of court life during the Joseon Dynasty appears to be based on contemporary sources.

Cast and characters

  • Yi San/King Jeongjo (played by Lee Seo-jin) — the main protagonist in the series. He is the only son of Crown Prince Sado and Lady Hyegyeong. Extremely kind and generous, he makes frequent trips under disguise to see how the common people are doing. The series spans from San's childhood at the age of eleven, when Crown Prince Sado is being executed, to about 40 years later, when San himself reigned as king. It was during the beginning of the series when San met Seong Song Yeon and Park Dae Su. In episode 1, he disguises himself as a junior eunuch and sneaks into the courtyard where his father was imprisoned in a rice chest. With the help of Dae Su and Song Yeon, he manages to see him and obey his father's last wish. The friendship that developed as a result would last the entire series. The plot fast-forwards ten years, when San is an adult and Crown Prince of Korea. San is a filial child who loved his father unconditionally despite the opposition, and never denied his father's innocence, which caused him to get into trouble several times. He also never bore a grudge against King Yeongjo, his grandfather, despite Yeongjo's sometimes unfair and harsh treatment towards him. San loved his grandfather deeply. Loyal to his subjects and people, he hates it when someone risks their own life for his, and always tries to protect them instead. While he is still Crown Prince, he falls in love with Song Yeon who became his source of comfort and warmth. Later, when he becomes king, Song Yeon, is finally made his concubine. Although San tries to hide it, he never liked the other concubines his mother brought in and hardly ever spend time with them like he did with Song Yeon, and only doing so once in a while out of a sense of duty as a King, a fact which he is bitter about. San likes practicing martial arts with the Royal Guards and traveling incognito in order to feel the experience of the people. When doing so, he adopts the pseudonym Yi Mu-Duk. He suffered severe pain and heartbreak when Song Yeon passes away. While he gravely misses and thinks of her every day, he continued to keep his promise to her that he will withstand everything and be a good king. He is implied to be together with Song Yeon again in their afterlife, where he is finally at peace and happy to spend the rest of eternity with the woman he loves.
Titles: Yi San (San of the Royal House of Yi), 이 산, Wangsesun Cheoha (His Highness the Crown Prince Grandson), 왕세손 저하, Chusang Cheona (His Majesty the King), 주상 전하
Pseudonym: Yang(Ga) Mu-Duk (Mu-Duk of the Yang Clan), 양(가) 무덕
  • Seong Song-yeon/Ui-bin Seong (played by Han Ji-min) — King Jeongjo's love interest. She is the daughter of a skilled palace artist and thus has a fondness for art. Orphaned at a young age with a baby brother to take care of, she was taken in by a relative who helped her become a palace maid so that she, too, could gain a standing in the palace. When she was 11, she entered the palace and her relative sent her baby brother, Seong Song Wook, to the family of a local physician who was kind enough to adopt him. On her first night in the palace Song Yeon met San, who was trying to get to the rice chest that held his father. Dae Su, who was trying to escape the palace, while she was obtaining food for the older palace maids. Sadly, she and Dae Su were caught and kicked out of the palace. Angry at her, the relative that helped her enter the palace refused to take her in, so Dae Su's uncle, senior eunuch Park Dal Ho, took her in and raised her with Dae Su. However, enemies of the prince forced them all to flee the capital. They fled promising that they would return to the palace to keep their friendship. This they do, and Song Yeon enters the Bureau of Painting, which keeps records of events by painting them, as a Damo (female painting assistant). The promise of returning to the palace is not fulfilled until Song Yeon paints a Kirin for an ambassador from Qing China. Curious to learn more about her, San inquires about her at the Bureau and realized it was Song Yeon. He quickly visits her home where he finds Dae Su and his uncle. From then on, the three stay together. Song Yeon fell in love with San because of his kind heart and loyal personality, and shows great concern and love for him. Although Song yeon loves San unconditionally, she thinks it is unwise to be with San as she assumes she would be an obstacle for him due to her lowly status, no matter how much she wants to be by his side. San eventually persuaded her to be with him, telling her that he loves her not as King, but a man. Song Yeon is portrayed in the series as a beautiful, kind, and intelligent young woman. She manages to rise from a lowly Damo to a real Bureau artist. Her good character and beauty make San fall in love with her; she becomes his concubine after he becomes king. Sadly, few people accept her due to her low status (Damo were considered lower than slaves) and the fact that she was orphaned. It was not until she gave birth to a boy that she is accepted and formally recognized as the King's concubine. Unfortunately, her first son died of illness and caused her to suffer severe grief. Consequentially, when she urged to take medicine for her liver cancer, she refused as it would kill her second child. Song Yeon dies of liver cancer while pregnant with her second child near the end of the series, but returns to San in a dream one last time just before his death.
Titles: Seong(Ga) Song Yeon (Song Yeon of the Seong Clan), 성(가) 송연, Seong Sang-gung (Lady Seong), 성 상궁, So-yong Seong-ssi (Concubine So-yong of the Seong Clan), 소용 성씨, Ui-bin Seong-ssi (Royal Noble Consort Ui-bin of the Seong Clan), 의빈 성씨
  • Park Dae-su (played by Lee Jong-soo) — King Jeongjo's favorite military officer. Dae Su was originally a junior eunuch in the palace. Because he wasn't castrated, he wanted to leave. He tried to flee, when he met Song Yeon and San. Like Song Yeon, he too got kicked out for helping San. Song Yeon and Dae Su know each other very well, as they practically grew up together. Both are orphans, but Dae Su's uncle raised them. When Song Yeon entered the Bureau, Dae Su took the military exam and became a palace guard, and became a guard of the Crown Prince (San). From there, Dae Su was promoted over and over until he became Grand Commander of the Dragon Guard, the finest army division in Korea and the king's personal guard. Dae Su started out very dumb and dependent, but when he took the military exam, his tutors helped him become a decent man; intelligent, independent, and calm. Without this change, he might have become a simple street thug. Dae Su was extremely supportive and defensive of San and would beat up anyone who dares to insult him. He is one of the three military guards who always loyally follow the king. The other two military guards are Kang Suk Ki, a perceptive archer, and Suh Jang Bo, a stubborn fighter. Song Yeon is Dae Su's love interest, but he gave up trying to court her after she became a concubine. He was alive during the reign of Yi San's son, King Sunjo and was implied to have joined them in the afterlife soon afterwards where they played together again as children. It is possible that he is based on Baek Dong-soo, a body guard who was famous for saving King Jeongjo on multiple occasions.
  • Lady Hyegyeong (played by Kyeon Mi-ri) — Jeongjo's mother. She is the daughter of high-ranking court official Hong Bong-han of the Pyeongsan Hong clan. Ever worrisome over the royal family and the people, she is a model mother of the Korean upper class. She never approved of Song Yeon and San due to Song Yeon's status as a Damo and tried numerous ways to separate them. Lady Hyegyeong looks down on lower-class people and was the main obstacle that caused Song Yeon suffering when she became a concubine as well. Eventually, through Song Yeon's efforts, Lady Hyegyeong saw her good personality and started to finally accept her. When she learns that Song Yeon was pregnant, she acknowledged her as a royal concubine. Lady Hyegyeong is also responsible for the multiple concubines brought in to bear an heir.
  • Queen Hyoui (played by Park Eun-hye) — King Jeongjo's primary wife, born into the Kim clan. She was betrothed to San at the age of 10 and married him in her late teens (around 19). Hyoui is very kind, filial, refined, and honest, a model wife of the Korean upper class. She has the respect of almost everyone in the palace and she does not abuse this power. Unfortunately, the Queen is unable to bear children and thus results in Jeongjo's mother bringing in multiple concubines. Queen Hyoui favors Song-yeon, and it is with her help that Song Yeon became a concubine and gave birth to a son. Queen Hyoui dies soon after King Jeongjo dies.
  • King Yeongjo (played by Lee Soon-jae) — Jeongjo's grandfather. He was the 21st king of Korea before San took over. Yeongjo has one son, his second son Crown Prince Sado, and a daughter, Princess Hwawan.[5] King Yeongjo is a loving and experienced old man, but he is very firm on San so he can make him the next king. King Yeongjo always suspected his second son of high treason, and throughout the series, that was shown. It was not till just before his death did King Yeongjo discover it had been a plot to frame his son. Yeongjo publicly made it known that it had been a false accusation and had his son's grave repaired. Like San, Yeongjo loved the people and when he knew he would die, he sneaked out of the palace and went to his private residence so that he could die among the people. Before dying, he commissioned Seong Song Yeon to create a portrait of Crown Prince Sado to replace the ones that had been destroyed. Before dying, he looks at the painting while apologizing to his son for being a terrible father and promising him to be a better father to him in the afterlife. Yeongjo died in 1777 in his 80s of dementia.
  • Queen Jeongsun (played by Kim Yeo-jin) — King Yeongjo's 2nd wife. She is the daughter of the extremely wealthy and powerful Andong Kim clan. Yeongjo fell in love with her when he was 66 and she was 15. Of all the characters in the series, Queen Jeongsun has the best split character. She is very caring and smart, but deep inside she has a greed for power, is very manipulative and holds a silent grudge against San even though she is his step-grandmother.[6] Queen Jeongsun is the leader of the conservative No-ron Faction and the mastermind behind a decades long plot to destroy San. Later, she is forced to give up her titles and power but is permitted to live in the palace.
  • Crown Prince Sado (played by Lee Chang-hoon) — Jeongjo's father. He was skilled at archery, calligraphy, and painting. He was courted by the So-ron Faction (who fell from power) and was later framed by the No-ron Faction. After being accused of treason against the throne by his own father, King Yeongjo, Sado was sentenced to death in a rice chest. San, in secret, came to see him a few nights before he died. Sado told San to retrieve a painting he had painted of a scene King Yeongjo cherished. Sadly, Sado died before Yeongjo saw the painting. Later on, it was an adult Song Yeon who discovered the meaning of the painting and brought it to Yeongjo, 14 years after Sado's death. With the secret revealed to the king, Yeongjo understood and Sado's name was cleared.
  • Princess Hwawan (played by Sung Hyun-ah) — Yeongjo's daughter by a concubine. Yeongjo is very fond of her. Hwawan is a very beautiful and filial, but impatient young woman. Because she is widowed and has no children, she adopted the orphan Jeong Hu-gyeom, who became a court official. Like Queen Jeongsun, Princess Hwawan affiliated with the No-ron Faction and is also a mastermind in the plot to destroy King Jeongjo. This cost her her favor with her father. In the end, Princess Hwawan was stripped of her royalty and titles and exiled to a place far from the capital, where she lived in seclusion under house arrest with only her lady-in-waiting to accompany her.
  • Jeong Hu-gyeom (played by Cho Yeon-woo) — Princess Hwawan's adoptive son. He is incredibly intelligent, and the youngest person ever to be part of the royal court; Jeong is the Royal Secretary. He is very smart and filial to the princess. When he was a child, he was San's study partner at the Confucian Academy. In his teens he studied in Qing China and as an adult he was very successful. Like his adoptive mother, he was a key member of the No-ron Faction and also part of the plot to destroy San. When the participants were punished, Hu-gyeom was exiled and put to death by poison, but not before warning Hong Guk-yeong from personal experience that he too would fall from grace if he couldn't keep his lust for power in check.
  • Hong Guk-yeong (played by Han Sang-jin) — King Jeongjo's right-hand man, as well as distant cousin to his mother, Lady Hyegyeong (both are members of the Pyeongsan hong clan). He is a very loyal adviser to Jeongjo, but very ambitious and can be somewhat shady. Hong is at times hungry for power and when he has it, he sometimes abuses it. He was also the main tutor who helped Dae Su when he was training for the military exam. Throughout the series, he was promoted to Chief Inspector, Chief of the Royal Guard, and Chief Secretary due to his skill at politics and investigation. His younger sister also became one of Jeongjo's concubines and Hong Guk-yeong hoped to have enhance his influence by being related to the King's future heir. However, his sister would die out of grief after a failed cover-up of a phantom pregnancy (due to potential scandal). Enraged over the fact that she died unforgiven by Queen Hyoui and her remark that he would have no influence over the next heir, he made a bargain with Queen Jeongsun to allow him to be the adoptive parent of a member of the royal family. In the end, he was exiled for trying to poison Queen Hyoui out of anger over his sister's death and to prevent his bargain from being exposed, for Queen Hyoui discovered it and threatened to tell King Jeongjo. He aborted the attempt after discovering that the King was taking her place at the food ceremony and tearfully confessed. He later died at peace due to health issues after being forgiven by the king.
  • Jeong Yak-yong (played by Song Chang-eui) — A scholar from the Confucian Academy and a member of the Nam-in Faction, he was initially unable to enter the court for three years. Later, after entering, he replaced Hong Guk-yeong as Yi San's closest adviser. While not as politically skilled as his predecessor, he is extremely innovative and is a skilled inventor. As a skilled-albeit clumsy investigator, he is also aware of the flaws in the government and called for reforms.
  • Yang Cho-bi (played by Lee Ip-sae) — A Damo at the Bureau of Painting. At first she was very rude to Song-yeon. But when she fell in love with Dae Su and discovered that Song Yeon was practically his sister, she became nicer to her. At first it was for Dae Su, but eventually she developed a real bond and friendship with Song-yeon. When Song Yeon became concubine to Jeongjo, Cho-bi was selected to be her lady-in-waiting, an attendant court lady of the 6th rank (in Korea, all royalty, palace servants, government employees, and government officials are ranked on a system of 1-9, with 1 being the highest rank and 9 being the lowest rank). After Song Yeon's death, Cho-bi becomes Queen Hyoui's second lady-in-waiting.
  • Kim Gwi-joo (played by Park Young-ji) — Queen Jeongsun's older brother and a member of the No-ron Faction. He is a high-ranking minister of the royal court and holds the title Lord Kim. Very aggressive, he can easily beat up anyone who makes him or his sister look bad. He has a very lively and straight forward personality and is highly loved by her sister. He also is very intelligent and loves travelling to the city of Pyongyang. He plotted to kill San alongside Princess Hwawan (who he saw as a rival to his sister in the No-Ron faction). After his participation in the plots is discovered, Lord Kim is stripped of his titles and exiled.
  • Nam Si-cho (played by Maeng Sang-hoon) — San's chief eunuch. He follows San everywhere he goes and is very supportive of him.
  • Chae Je-gong (played by Han In-soo) — San's administrative assistant. Chae is also Minister of the Tribunal (in charge of national prisons). When San was a child, Sir Chae was also his tutor. Chae is always of help to San and very supportive of his commands. He is also a trusted adult source of advice to Dae Su, Song-yeon, Hong Guk-yeong, and San.
  • Yi Cheon/Lee Chun (played by Ji Sang Ryul) — a Royal Artist at the Bureau of Painting. He is by far the most supportive person of Song Yeon at the Bureau. He is great at painting erotica and drawing sketches but is otherwise a not-so-extraordinary artist. Yi Cheon is very funny and bubbly and is always trying to keep is wife happy so she doesn't kill him.
  • Seong Song-wook (Yoo Jung Suk) — The younger brother of Seong Song-yeon, he was initially given up for adoption to the family of a physician soon after the death of their parents. Song Wook was later sold off as a slave, although the adoptive family lied and told Song-yeon that he had died young of disease. He was rescued and raised by a group of Catholic converts, who were initially persecuted by the authorities.
  • Artist Tak Ji Soo (played by Yoo Min Hyuk) — Another Royal Artist at the Bureau of Painting. He is by far much more skilled than Yi Chun and becomes good friends with Song Yeon (whom he secretly has a crush on). In the last episode, Tak is promoted to a Senior Artist of the 5th rank.
  • Yi Hyang (Yi Sun, Ton)/Crown Prince Munhyo (played by Cha Jae-dol) — the infant son of King Jeongjo and Seong Song-yeon/Ui-bin Seong who died at the age of four.

Episode Ratings

Yi San was popular and recorded a solid viewership rate (average) of 26.4% (Nationwide) and 28.6% (Seoul) and a peak of 35.3% (Nation Wide) and 38.6% (Seoul)

Awards and nominations

2007 MBC Drama Awards

Further information: 2007 MBC Drama Awards

2008 Baeksang Arts Awards

Further information: 44th Paeksang Arts Awards

Profile

  • Drama: Lee San, Wind of the Palace
  • Revised romanization: Yi San / Isan
  • Hangul: 이산
  • Director: Lee Byung-HoonKeun-hong Kim
  • Writer: Kim Yi-Young
  • Network: MBC
  • Episodes: 76
  • Release Date: September 17, 2007 - June 16, 2008
  • Runtime: Mon-Tues 21:55
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

Plot

Lee Byoung-hoon, the director of the hit TV series The Jewel in the Palace, will direct this new period drama.

In the late 18th century, Lee San became the 22nd kind of the Joseon Dynasty! It was the most tumultuous times ever seen in the 500-year-old Joseon monarchy! He was an open-minded, wise king who championed democratic values. The stories of his glorious triumphs, ordeals, regrets, and historical achievements are shown in this TV drama.

A story about Lee San’s life

The politics of Lee San (King Jung-jo) He was a natural leader who ended vicious partisan politics and revived the economy with his extensive knowledge of the market. He created a strong paradigm in the 18th century and ruled with the kingdom wisely! This biopic drama covers his dramatic life and shows the achievements of the Silhak scholars and outstanding officials who rebuilt the kingdom’s power.

The high point of the arts in the late Joseon Dynasty. Hwaseong Fortress was a remarkable architectural achievement during this period and western knowledge began to seep into the kingdom. Brilliant individuals such as Park Ji-won, Lee Ick, Jung Yak-yong, Kim Hong-do, Shin Yoon-bok, and others are introduced in this TV drama as well. For the first time, the art workshop of the palace will be shown along with the Aekjung office and Seja Ikwiesa. There were 10 failed assassination attempts made during this period alone in the 500-year history of the Joseon Kingdom and they will be depicted as well.

Economic turning point in the 18th century As family industries began to be replaced with a trading economy, the 18th century was a turning point for the economy-! The commercial trade of the times will be depicted realistically and the trading organization that Song-yeon leads is where the latter Joseon Dynasty’s economy originated from. The special Joseon Dynasty products that were made under the guidance of Song-yeon were exported to the China’s Ching Dynasty. In addition, the 30-year romance between the leading female character Song-yeon (Eubin Sung) and King Jung-jo will also be a main theme in the drama.

The reinforcement of the army and military research In the late 18th century, western technology began to seep into the kingdom and many political factions that opposed the king tried to fan the flames by starting anti-government movements. This led King Jung-jo to take a strong interest in national security and a military buildup. This is when the king reformed the army and began to beef up military research. One accomplishment in this era was the publication of the Muyedobotongji, Joseon dynasty’s first martial arts textbook to ever exist. --MBC

Cast

Lee San-Lee Seo-Jin.jpg Lee San-Han Ji-Min.jpg Lee San-Lee Sun-Jae.jpg Lee San-Jo Yeon-Woo.jpg Lee San-Lee Jong-Su.jpg Lee San-Seong Hyeon-A.jpg
Lee Seo-Jin Han Ji-Min Lee Soon-Jae Jo Yeon-Woo Lee Jong-Soo Sung Hyun-Ah
King Jeong Jo Sung Song-Yeon King Yeongjo Jung Hu-kyeom Park Dae-su Princess Ha-won
Lee San-Park Eun-Hye.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Kyeon Mi-Ri 1.jpg Lee San-Kim Yeo-Jin.jpg Lee San-Han Sang-Jin.jpg Lee San-Jo Kyeong-Hwan.jpg Lee San-Han In-Su.jpg
Park Eun-Hye Kyeon Mi-Ri Kim Yeo-Jin Han Sang-Jin Jo Kyeong-Hwan Han In-Su
Queen Hyo-Eui Lady Hye-kyeong Queen Jung-sun Hong Kuk-young Choi Suk-ju Chae Je-jong
Lee San-Song Chang-Ui.jpg Lee San-Jeong Myeong-Hwan.jpg Lee San-Na Seong-Kyun.jpg Lee San-Shin Chung-Sik.jpg Lee San-Lee Jae-Yong.jpg Lee San-Jeong Hyo-Keun.jpg
Song Chang-Eui Jeong Myeong-Hwan Na Seong-Kyun Shin Chung-Sik Lee Jae-Yong Jeong Hyo-Keun
Jung Yak-yong Kim Kwi-ju Hong In-han Hong Bong-han Jang Tae-woo Min Ju-sik
Lee San-Jeong Jae-Kon.jpg Lee San-Shin Kuk.jpg Lee San-Lee Ip-Sae.jpg Lee San-Lee Seung-Ah.jpg Lee San-Kim Yoo-Jin.jpg Lee San-Ji Sang-Ryeol.jpg
Jeong Jae-Kon Shin Kuk Lee Ip-Sae Lee Seung-Ah Kim Yoo-Jin Ji Sang-Ryeol
Park Je-ga Park Young-moon Cho-bi Mi-soo Si-bi Lee-chun
Lee San-Yu Min-Hyeok.jpg Lee San-Lim Hyeon-Shik.jpg Lee San-Maeng Sang-Hun.jpg Lee San-Lee Hee-Do.jpg Lee San-Kim So-Yi.jpg Lee San-Lee Suk.jpg
Yu Min-Hyeok Lim Hyeon-Shik Maeng Sang-Hun Lee Hee-Do Kim So-Yi Lee Sook
Tak Ji-su famous artist Nam Sa-cho Park Dal-ho Court Lady Kim Court Lady Kang
Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Seo Beom-Sik.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Jang Hee-Woong.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Yoo Yeon-Ji (1983).jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Ji Sung-Won.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Ahn Yeo-Jin.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Lee Chang-Hun.jpg
Seo Beom-Sik Jang Hee-Woong Yoo Yeon-Ji Hwang Geum-Hee Ahn Yeo-Jin Lee Chang-Hun
Seo Jang-Bo Kang Suk-Ki concubine Yoon concubine Hong Kwak Mi-Geum Crown Prince Sado
Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Park Ji-Bin.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Lee Han-Na.jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Kwon Oh-Min (1996).jpg Lee San, Wind of the Palace-Lee In-Sung.jpg
Park Ji-Bin Lee Han-Na Kwon Oh-Min Lee In-Sung
King Jeong Jo Sung Song-Yeon Park Dae-su Jung Hu-kyeom
(young) (young) (young) (young)

Additional Cast Members:

Lee San, Wind of the Palace/ep. 1-25 Plot Synopsis

Eps. 1

The royal palace is embroiled in political infighting. King Young-jo slowly executes his own son, Crown Prince Sado (actor Lee Chang-hoon) by locking him up in a small rice chest for unknown reasons. San (actor Park Ji-bin, 後 actor Lee Seo-jin), Crown Prince Sado’s son, sneaks into Shimin Palace in the middle of the night to visit his father who is slowly dying from starvation.

Meanwhile, the young Song-yeon (actress Lee Han-na, 後 actress Han Ji-min) whose father was a former royal painter is brought to the palace through family connections where she becomes a young court lady. In the still of the night, Song- yeon is forced to go to the palace kitchen and bring back a snack for the older court girls but gets lost on her way there.

Dae-soo (actor Kwon Oh-min, 後 actor Lee Jong-soo) is one of the trainees who will become a palace official and eunuch but he tries to run away in the middle of the night because he doesn’t want to be castrated. San, Song-yeon, and Dae-soo wander the palace with different purposes and meet together by fate.


Eps. 2

San (actor Park Ji-bin, 後 actor Lee Seo-jin) discovers the painting that his father, Crown Prince Sado (actor Lee Chang-hoon), told him to locate inside the Hwagak chest and then show to King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae). San seeks out Song- yeon (actress Lee Han-na, 後 actress Han Ji-min) and tells her that he found the painting that will save his father and Dae-soo. He then asks her for directions to find Woonjongga where his grandfather is staying. Song-yeon tells San that he can just ask one of his servants to guide him to Woonjongga but he tells her that he doesn’t have anyone to turn to. She feels sorry for San.

Risking her life, Song-yeon offers to go to Woonjongga with San. As San and Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) head to Woonjongga, Song-yeon hides in one of the carriages. When San’s carriage leaves the palace, San asks his servants to bring him a bedpan to relieve himself. San makes noises to pretend that he’s using the bedpan and tells his servants that he’s not comfortable with everyone around him and orders them to stay several feet away with their backs turned around.


Eps. 3

San (actor Park Ji-bin, 後 actor Lee Seo-jin) rings the cymbal of justice to announce his grievance to the king and succeeds in stopping the king’s procession. San pleads with the king to take a look at a painting that Crown Prince Sado (actor Lee Chang-hoon) asked him to show to the king. With a stern expression, King Young-jo asks him how it could be possible for Crown Prince Sado to give him such an order. So San confesses that it was he who entered Shimin Palace against the king’s orders and then he begs the king to spare his father’s life. But King Young-jo is already enraged at San’s disobedience and has him arrested and taken away to prison. At that very moment, a messenger riding a horse tells the king that Crown Prince Sado is dead.


Eps. 4

A weapons cache is found in the East Palace and San (actor Park Ji-bin, 後 actor Lee Seo-jin) is in big trouble when King Young-jo is told about this potential threat to his authority. King Young-jo declares that nobody can dare go unpunished in an attempt to overthrow the king and flaunt the rules of the palace. King Young-jo begins a criminal investigation of the people who served at Prince San’s palace and demands that the officials get to the bottom of the matter to swiftly carry out justice. The East Palace swarms with investigators and Prince San is shocked that something of this magnitude could befall him. Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi- ri) Hong Bong-ha (actor Shin Chung-shik) strongly advise San to tell King Young-jo that the weapons cache, which was found in his quarters, was amassed by Crown Prince Sado and that he knows nothing of it if he wants to live. However, when San is brought before King Young-jo, he stands up for himself and tells the king he did nothing wrong and therefore he will not explain something he did not even do. He also informs the king that his father Crown Prince Sado had no intentions to usurp the king through a violent uprising. King Young-jo tells San that he wants to believe he is innocent as well as his claim that Crown Prince Sado was never involved in any kind of coup d’etat but San would have to show him counter evidence that supports his claims. When San is at a loss of words, King Young-jo slams his fist on the table and shouts at him.


Eps. 5

In the middle of the night, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) is almost assassinated by an assassin but when the assassin is caught, he commits suicide by swallowing a pill before they can find out who sent him. San tries to get to the bottom of the assassination attempt but the body of the assassin vanishes and the crime scene is cleaned up when King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) appears to see if his grandson is alive. The king is confounded that he cannot see any signs of an intruder ever entering San’s chambers. On the next day, Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) goes to see her father, King Young-jo, who is full of worries. She tries to soothe his feelings and brings up last night’s incident. Princess Hwa-wan meets Choi Seok-ju (actor Cho Gyeong-hwan) at the market and gives him instructions to carry out.

Tired of fending of numerous assassination attempts on his life, San passes by the royal kitchen and remembers the time when he first met Song-yeon as a young boy. He meets Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) and asks him to find out the source of the pill that the assassin swallowed to commit suicide.


Eps. 6

While inspecting the goods included in the tribute that will be sent to China, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) confirms the identity of a dead body that is floating in the river and gets enraged. He tries to decipher the words in the writings of the dead man and realizes that members of the Ching Dynasty delegation are involved in a conspiracy to assassinate him.

Meanwhile, Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) is framed for stealing supplies at the workshop but Park Young-moon helps her prove her innocence. Song-yeon is chosen as the Sujongdamo and is thrilled that she will be able to meet San again. Chobi (actress Lee Lib-sae) gets jealous of Song-yeon and decides to teach her a lesson. Due to Chobi’s scheming, Song-yeon loses the chance to appear at the Jinyeon Gallery but she stills gets to see San when she follows Park Young-moon on an important errand.


Eps. 7

When San (actor Lee Seo-jin) learns that Wang Yu wants to bed Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) by having her come to his chambers, San tells Song-yeon to go to the government office to fulfill her official duties as a palace painter. Wang Yu is unhappy about this and tells Song-yeon to prove that she really is a painter as San says she is. So Song-yeon is tested on the spot by being asked to draw a painting according to a theme selected by Wang Yu.

San has a hard time dealing with the Ch’ing Dynasty delegation because of their demands and is troubled about the disappearance of the baekwupo. When they face a problem with their negotiations with the delegation because they do not possess the baekwupo, Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) intervenes.

Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) was part of the bandits who stole the baekwupo from the ship laden with tribute gifts for the Ch’ing Dynasty. When Song-yeon tells Dae- soo that San is in grave trouble because the baekwupo were stolen, Dae-soo is quickly tries to rectify the situation by seeking out the Gakjung bandits. Meanwhile, the merchants simmer with anger when they are told they must donate more of their goods to make up for the stolen baekwupos. When the merchants begin to blame San for being careless in letting bandits steal the baekwupo, Song-yeon gets worried and comes up with a plan...


Eps. 8

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) is astonished when he sees the painting that Park Young- moon (actress Shin Guk) brings to him. After seeing the painting, he realizes that the damo he met at the banquet was Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) and searches for her whereabouts.

On her way back from helping Lee Chun (actor Ji Sang-ryeol), Song-yeon meets Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye). Queen Hyo-eui asks Song-yeon to help her make maejak treats. On her way back home after making maejak treats, Song-yeon is kidnapped by the Gakjung bandits.

San visits Dal-ho’s (actor Lee Hee-do) home together with Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) and he not only does he meet Dal-ho but also meets Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo). Dae-soo confesses his role in the disappearance of the baekwupo from the ship carrying tribute items. San sends troops to rescue Song- yeon from the Gakjung bandits. Concerned about Song-yeon, Dae-soo goes alone to rescue Song-yeon. Dae-soo finds himself in a dangerous situation but a thunderous sound suddenly erupts behind him. San orders his men to catch the Gakjung bandits while he himself looks for Song-yeon.


Eps. 9

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) is flabbergasted when he is shown an official permit that was signed in his name with handwriting that is nearly identical to his. The ministers bicker amongst each other in King Young-jo’s presence to debate San’s fault in signing such a permit. The painters and calligraphist are given the task of verifying whether the handwriting on the permit is actually San’s. Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) finds it odd that San would deploy royal troops to capture the Gakjung bandits and orders Oh Jung-ho to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon), Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong- soo), and Dal-ho (actor Lee Hee-do) inspect the hideout of the Gakjung bandits and get worried about Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) who hasn’t been found for days. While discussing ways to find Song-yeon, they post wanted posters around the village and when the bandits converge around the posters, Dal-ho gets perplexed. When Nam Sa-cho reports to San that they haven’t found Song-yeon yet, San gets grim and orders Nam Sa-cho to continue the search.

Locked in a warehouse, Song-yeon gets afraid when she sees other kidnapped girls sent to brothels and tries to find a way to run away. When Lee Chun (actor Ji Sang-ryeol) comes by to meet Chun Hwa-nam, Song-yeon yells out to him to save her but Lee Chun doesn’t hear her cries and leaves. Song-yeon runs away but gets caught...


Eps. 10

Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) looks at a painting she drew based on a theme selected by San (actor Lee Seo-jin) and she finally meets San when he comes to the workshop to see her. Song-yeon cries after being overwhelmed with emotion and. When Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) sees Song-yeon with San, he gets teary- eyed, too. But they cannot stay together for long because the workshop artisans will return soon. While seeing how lonely San is, Dae-soo becomes determined to pass the military service exam to become San’s personal guard.

King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) asks San again whether he issued the official permit. He then orders a servant to bring the equipment prepared by the ministers. King Young-jo shows how royal seals can be forged in front of the ministers and San and then proceeds to check the authenticity of the official permit.

When Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) hears that the king can prove the authenticity of a permit from Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo), her face turns pale. She calls an emergency secret meeting with her conspirators under a tense mood and Jung Hoo-gyeom comes up with a scheme.


Dae-soo sees the signs announcing the test for the military service exam and he starts to study with other potential applicants. Dae-soo learns from Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) how to efficiently memorize facts and is amazed at what Hong Guk-young tells him next. After hearing from Hong Guk-young that there is a way to see the test answers before the actual exam, Dae-soo seeks out Lee Chun (actor Ji Sang-ryeol).


Eps. 11

While reading a poem, King Young-jo’s (actor Lee Sun-jae) face turns ashen. King Young-jo gets furious and orders his servants to capture the poet who mocked him in the poem. San gets disturbed when he reads the passages in the poem.

While Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) is taking the military service exam, the exams are suddenly canceled. Afterwards, Dae-soo seeks out Hong Guk-young to confer with him about a wrong verse in one of the poems. Hong Guk-young tells him that Prince San’s life is in danger.

Worried about San’s safety, Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) guards the East Palace at night. But under Oh Jung-ho’s orders, warriors explode gunpowder. The guards are shocked by the sound and San is also roused by the sounds. Park Cho’ s warriors enter the East Palace and start killing the palace guards. When San hears that the enemies are heading towards the Main Hall, he goes there, too.

Worried about San, Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) goes to Chugukjang in Shibi’s place. But the palace guards stop San from going anywhere because he is under suspicion of attempting to overthrow the king. While held back by the guards, San sees Song-yeon. After allaying Song-yeon’s fears, he heads to Pyeon Pavilion where King Young-jo tells him to personally go to the torture chamber and find out who’s behind the attack by interrogating the captured warriors.


Eps. 12

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) enters the torture chamber with a grim expression and he orders the men to stop torturing the prisoners. Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun- hye) is told that San disobeyed the king’s orders to force answers out of the prisoners. She goes to see San and overhears him talking to Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri). Princess Hye-bin advises San to meet King Young-jo and ask for forgiveness.

San meets King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) and asks him for a few more days to prove that the accused are innocent. As San defends the late Crown Prince Sado’s honor, King Young-jo gets enraged at this and tells San that he will be banished if he is unable to prove their innocence.

Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) calls Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) and offers him a high-ranking government position. Hong Guk-young asks Jung Hoo- gyeom to give him some time to think it over because it is such a big promotion. Hong Guk-young goes to Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) and ask him if he remembered the wrong verse he found in the test. When he analyzes it, Hong Guk- young realizes that it is a hidden code. Hong Guk-young and Dae-soo realize that someone is scheming to frame San for an attempted coup d’etat and they try to figure out who the ringleader is.

Eps. 13

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) learns from Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) that Han Joon- ho, a high-ranking minister of the Byeongpan rank, is the ringleader of the plot to frame him for attempting to overthrow the king, he is shocked. Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) tells San that they should arrest the minister at once if what Dae- soo is saying is true. However, San says they need to find proof before taking such a course of action.

When San, Dae-soo, and Nam Sa-cho head to the south of the city, Jung Hoo- gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) offers to accompany him with three military officers. Dae-soo guides them to the training grounds where the royal police were trained and deployed as a private army to kill San. San becomes deeply disturbed when he sees the actual training grounds. He is filled with rage and tries to enter the training grounds but the place is empty and no soldiers are seen.


Eps. 14

Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) receives a letter from the Byeongpan-rank minister and is astonished to see the minister visit Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) at her private residence. Worried about being seen together with the minister, Jung Hoo-gyeom asks him what he has done and the anxious minister says he sent a person to Mt. Myojeok.

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) grieves over the fact that Princess Hwa-wan has been trying to get him killed. Chae Jae-gong (actor Han In-soo) feels pity for San but advises him that he must not let emotions interfere with his judgment to mete out punishment to criminals of the kingdom.

After making up his mind, San goes to meet King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) with his guard and reports his findings at Mt. Myojeok the night before. King Young-jo believes that more people are involved in the plot besides Byeongpan-rank minister and asks San if he found other collaborators. San hesitates before telling the king that Princess Hwa-wan is one of the minister’s collaborators. King Young-jo becomes enraged. At that moment, the sound of the drumbeats that Princess Hwa- wan said she heard begins to ring throughout the palace.


Eps. 15

Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) visits Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah)’s private residence and offers her a special herbal concoction, telling her it was the same kind that she drank when she grieved over her husband’s wrongful execution. With contempt in her voice, Princess Hye-bin tells Princess Hwa-wan that she will not lose her son like she lost her husband.

Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) learns that San has a special connection with Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min), one of the palace painters, and finds the piece of information very interesting.

Meanwhile, Court Lady Kim (actress Kim So-I), who keeps a close eye on Song- yeon, reports to Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye) that Song-yeon met with Jung Hoo-gyeom. Court Lady Kim tells the queen that she has suspicions about Song-yeon but the queen tells her that she is wrong. However, the doubts about Song-yeon linger in the queen’s mind.


Eps. 16

Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) orders the palace painters to make a folding screen drawn with a painting of Seokrudo, which is a good luck charm for having a baby, to give as a present to Queen Hyo-eui. As the new damo assistant for Park Byeol-jae, Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) is assigned to the project and gets to meet Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye). Queen Hyo-eui personally calls Song- yeon and asks her how she first met San (actor Lee Seo-jin). The queen also asks her how she happens to know Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo).

Court Lady Park interrupts their conversation and announces that the crown prince will be arriving at Queen Hyo-eui’s chambers. Arriving at the queen’s chamber unannounced, San greets his queen lovingly but is surprised to see Song-yeon there.


Eps. 17

Stricken by a mysterious malady during a trip to the royal tombs, King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) tells San (actor Lee Seo-jin) that they should return to the palace whereupon San should oversee the royal affairs. After hearing about the situation, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) dispatches a messenger to Lee Pan to make sure to assassinate San if King Young-jo doesn’t recover from his disease.

Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) tells San that the only way to safely make it back to the palace would be to divide the procession into two parties. But San refuses to use that option because it would make the second procession vulnerable if it came under heavy attack.


Eps. 18

The conspirators who wish to eliminate San agree that they must stop the crown prince from taking over the throne so they try to bring King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun- jae) back to the palace as soon as possible. Seeing that the king can hardly stand up, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) asks the doctors about the king’s condition.

Catching San off guard, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) approaches him and asks why he isn’t happy that the king has safely returned to the place.


Eps. 19

Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) pleads with San (actor Lee Seo-jin) to repeal his order of forcing her to drink the deadly herbal concoction. Princess Hwa- wan asks him to give her one more day to live and if the king’s condition doesn’t improve, then she will forfeit her life. San does not know what to do and dwells on the matter.

Meanwhile, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) orders Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) to have his private army ready in case the king dies.


Eps. 20

After King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) designates San (actor Lee Seo-jin) with the responsibilities of overseeing the kingdom, the ministers from the three fields (議 政) (臺諫) (玉堂), give their monthly reports to San.. After questioning the ministers with piercing questions, he gains an advantage over his enemies.

Meanwhile, Choi Seok-joo (actor Jo Gyeong-hwan) tells Hong In-han (actor Na Sung-gun), to become friends with Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin)...


Eps. 21

When Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) hears that Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) came in fifth place in the art contest he goes to congratulate Song-yeon. Park Young-moon (actress Shin Guk) orders Song-yeon to paint another folding screen.

Meanwhile, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) meets with the merchants of Nanjeon and promises to relax business restrictions if they could help him. Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) tells San the if they want to find proof that merchants of Shijeon conspired with government officials then they need to find the secret accounting books kept by the Noron faction.


Eps. 22

Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) seeks out Park Young-moon (actress Shin Guk) and tells her she would like to teach damos who want to learn how to paint. Park Young-moon worries that if she allows Song-yeon to teach such a class, the other artisans might complain about it but she relents when she sees how determined Song-yeon is.

Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) finds out that Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) will deploy people to Honghwa gate to create a disturbance. So he sends a message to Han Seong-boo to prevent the riot from happening. However, Jung Hoo-gyeom, the person who is leading the riot behind the scenes, tears up the message that Hong Guk-young sent and tries to persuade Han Seong- boo to come over to his side with promises of bigger promotions.


Eps. 23

Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) meets with San (actor Lee Seo-jin) and asks him to let him resign because he made a grave mistake. With a sad heart, San accepts Hong Guk-young’s resignation.

Meanwhile, Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) feels confident about her recent success and tells Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo yeon-woo) that the only thing that remains to consolidate their power is to make their collective voices heard in the royal court. However, Jung Hoo-gyeom tells her that it is not an easy matter because Kim Gwi-joo (actor Jung Myung-hwan) has returned to the royal court. Princess Hwa-wan gets furious that she wasn’t told about his appointment sooner...


Eps. 24

Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) goes to the bar where he met a strange old man who told him that his life was in danger and questions the man. The old man grimly tells him that he saw a vision where screams came forth from a bonfire that was surrounded by numerous people. So he warns Dae-soo to avoid danger. When Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) hears about the old man’s vision from Dae- soo, he inquires about the duties of minister Lee Geon-tae. Dae-soo tells Hong Guk- young that minister Lee is in charge of organizing the Naryehee Festival and there will be a fireworks display and bonfires at the event. Hong Guk-young’s face freezes up when he hears this...


Eps. 25

Choi Seok-joo (actor Jo Gyeong-hwan) tells Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo- jin) that it is dangerous to use fireworks at the Naryehee Festival and argues that the fireworks display should be cancelled. But Empress Jung-soon disagrees with him and says that she wants to see the act executed before her eyes this time and moves ahead with the plan.

Flanked by Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) and Kang Seok-ki (actor Jang Hee- wum), Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) inspect the plans for the Naryehee Festival and senses something amiss. He tells them to find the plans for the previous year to get to the bottom of his suspicions...

Lee San, Wind of the Palace/ep. 26-50 Plot Synopsis

Eps. 26

At Naryehee Festival, the soldiers give a demonstration of their sharpshooting skills but San (actor Lee Seo-jin), Chae Je-gong (actor Han In-soo), Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon), and others become very nervous. When nothing happens after the firearms are fired, San and his servants let out a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) is certain that there is a conspiracy to assassinate San during the fireworks display and so he sends a captain to convey a warning to San, which ends up in the hands of Kim Gwi-joo (actor Jung Myung-hwan).


Eps. 27

Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) goes to Eugeumboo to find Dae-soo but when she hears that he isn’t there, she goes to meet San (actor Lee Seo-jin). Song-yeon tells San that she cannot find Dae-soo anywhere in a worried tone.

Meanwhile, Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) is kidnapped and he asks his captors who are led by a government official where they have taken him. But the government official orders Dae-soo to be quiet in an icy voice. Someone appears out of the corner of his eye...


Eps. 28

When a deputy official turns up dead, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) becomes gravely worried about the upcoming day when King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) will keep his promise. San (actor Lee Seo-jin) observes Hong Guk-young grappled with the issue and advises him that they need to cut off their enemies’ oxygen supply. After hearing San’s words, Hong Guk-young orders the palace guards to surround the homes of Jung Hoo-gyeom, Choi Seok-joo and other officials aligned with the Noron faction...


Eps. 29

Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) lays a trap by forging a message to trick Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) into believing that it came from a low-level official of a provincial governor. Jung Hoo-gyeom relays the contents of the message to Oh Jung-ho and the Park Cho gang who are hiding in a hut in Mt. Cheonjang. But the prince’s bodyguards ambush them and flush them out.

Meanwhile, Jung Hoo-gyeom meets with Hong Guk-young to save his own skin and tells him that he’s just a tool in the bigger scheme of things...


Eps. 30

Kim Gwi-joo (actor Jung Myung-hwan) is imprisoned in the Eugeumboo and Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) goes to see him to hear his story. After hearing the truth, she is overcome with rage towards Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah).When Empress Jung-soon sees Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon- woo) escorted into the Eugeumboo, she slaps his face. Jung Hoo-gyeom apologizes for what he did but defends his actions by saying that his side had no other choice but to do such things and this enrages her even more. Stricken with fear and terror, Empress Jung-soon goes to Daejeon to see the king and when she announces her arrival at the door of the king’s chambers, the king does not answer...


Eps. 31

Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) considers Empress Jung-soon to be neutralized and tells Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) that she wants to proceed with her grand plans. When Jung Hoo-gyeom asks Princess Hwa-wan what her plans are, she tells him that he could ascend the throne with her influence.

Meanwhile, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) falls into despair and has a drink with his childhood friends Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) and Song-yeon (actress Han Ji- min). He returns to the palace in a drunken state. When Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) learns that her son is drunk, she calls Song-yeon...


Eps. 32

Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) orders Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) to join the envoy that will make a diplomatic visit to China and become an art student at Yebu Temple, which is also in China. When Song-yeon is told that it will take five or 10 years to complete the program, she gets teary-eyed. But Princess Hye-bin explains to her that her son is in a precarious situation in the palace and one little mistake could derail his chances of becoming the next king. So she pleads with Song-yeon to leave if she doesn’t want to become a burden to the prince.

Meanwhile, San is glad to see Song-yeon again at the palace and tries to talk to her but Song-yeon ignores him while fighting back her tears.


Eps. 33

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) finds out that Minister Hong Bong-ha (actor Shin Chung- shik) recommended that Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) be sent to Yebu Temple in China and he inquires about this to his mother, Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri), who tells him that when she learned that he had a close relationship with Song-yeon, she decided to help Song-yeon achieve her dreams of becoming a better painter. When San hears from his mother that Song-yeon jumped at the opportunity to go to China, he becomes disappointed in Song-yeon.

Meanwhile, a Chinese official refuses to let Song-yeon come to China on the grounds that Yebu Temple does not accept female students. However Hong Bong- ha sternly tells the official that Song-yeon cannot return to Joseon either way.


Eps. 34

At Onyang Palace, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) has a private talk with Minister Choi Seok-joo (actor Jo Gyeong-hwan). Choi Seok-joo tells San that if he stopes investigating the Na Rye-hee incident then the partisan fights could be ended. He also requests that all investigations against the Noron Faction be halted as part of the deal. San asks the minister what he can offer for him in return if he satisfies his demands.

Meanwhile, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) secretly brings a doctor with her after becoming suspicious of the cause of King Young-jo’s (actor Lee Sun-jae) illness. After examining the king, the doctor’s initial diagnosis points to Alzheimer's disease but he needs to submit the king to a test using arrowroot to be certain. Empress Jung-soon gives orders to have a trustworthy court lady from the royal kitchen brought to her...


Eps. 35

After learning that Minister Choi Seok-joo (actor Jo Gyeong-hwan) joined San’s side, Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) tells Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) to send Park Cho to assassinate him. But when Park Cho and his assassins try to eliminate Choi Seok-joo, they are met by Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong- soo) and the prince’s bodyguards who defeat them.

Meanwhile, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) learns that Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) didn’t volunteer to go to China in the first place and that she is actually being banished from the palace. This deeply shocks San and puts him at his wits’ end.


Eps. 36

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) decides not to attend an important meeting with the king in order to be with Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min), who barely survived a threat to her life. Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) sees how much San cares for her and gloomily returns to the palace after telling Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) that Song-yeon will certainly live because the prince is caring for her so attentively.

Meanwhile, King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) pardons Kim Gwi-joo (actor Jung Myung-hwan) and when Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) hears this, she becomes worried about herself since it is obvious that Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) used her influence over the king to have Kim Gwi-joo released.


Eps. 37

Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) holds a Noron Faction meeting and when she enters Park Cho’s room, she sees Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) sitting at the head of the meeting room. Princess Hwa-wan freezes in her place. Empress Jung-soon gives Park Cho a signal and they escort Princess Hwa-wan out of the room. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) hears that King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) is memorizing a map and suspects that King Young-jo is suffering Alzheimer’s disease...

Eps. 38

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) grieves over the sudden change in King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) and suddenly remembers the painting that his father Prince Sado asked him to show to the king. Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) and Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) examine the painting to see if it has any hidden meaning. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) checks the herbal medicine that King Young-jo is taking to see if it is a prescription for Alzheimer’s disease. Dal-ho (actor Lee Hee-do) takes on the dangerous mission to disguise himself as a palace servant and inspect the prescription...

Eps. 39

King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) gets ready to hand over the crown to San (actor Lee Seo-jin). King Young-jo summons Minister Choi Seok-ju (actor Cho Gyeong-hwan) and tells him to identify the number of Noron faction members who hold high military posts. He then orders that all military soldiers be sent away from the palace except for the palace guards to ensure that no one attempts to stage a coup. Meanwhile, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) realizes what King Young-jo is trying to do and tells her faction that either the king or Prince San has to die in order to ensure their party’s survival.

Eps. 40

San (actor Lee Seo-jin) unravels the mystery of the painting and calls his palace guards to find a critical piece of evidence. After figuring that Prince Sado hid something behind the turtle rock, which appears in the painting, Prince San and his troops comb Mt. Inwang all night to find evidence that will solve an important incident. Meanwhile, Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) gets nervous about the actions of Prince San and plants a spy among his palace guards...

Eps. 41

Empress Jung-soon calls a meeting to show the solidarity of the Noron faction and she announces to everyone that she will not let Prince San be crowned the next king by using military force. Under Empress Jung-soon’s plan, the palace guards surround the East Palace and battle the bodyguards. The royal bodyguards defend the palace from the palace guards but they are outnumbered. Prince San persuades the captain of the palace guards to change sides and they attack the guards who are fighting at the East Palace and make them surrender. When Empress Jung hears the news, she turns pale and tries to escape...

Eps. 42

King Young-jo orders that Princes Hwa-wan, the devious ministers and every Noron faction member who tried to get rid of Prince San be given harsh sentences for trying to overthrow the government. Prince San asks King Young-jo to allow him to mete out the punishment. Meanwhile, Minister Choi Seok-ju tells Prince San that unless he punishes Kim Gwi-joo, Gyeomsabokjang, and Woorimwijang over this incident, then his majesty’s ailment will be known forever in history...

Eps. 43

Song-yeon is summoned to Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri)’s chambers where the Princess thanks her for the important role she played. Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye) tells everyone that Prince San is at the arrow shooting range and that she will go there to see him. Meanwhile, Empress Jung tells Prince San to announce her evil crimes to everyone but the prince says he will not do so. This surprises the empress. Prince San tells her to see how powerless she has become and there will be punishment waiting for her. Empress Jung swirls with anger, fear, and shock...

Eps. 44

King Young-jo gives a jade ring to Song-yeon to show his appreciation when she paints a portrait of Prince Sado. King Young-jo tells her to stay pure while being at Prince San’s side. While holding the portrait in his hands, King Young-jo’s hand trembles and they fall to the ground. Meanwhile, Prince San receives a letter from King Young-jo, telling him not to cry over his death and asking forgiveness for being so cruel. Prince San is overcome with grief and sorrow...

Eps. 45

Hong Guk-young learns that the Noron faction are planning something devious and so he orders Kang Seok-ki, Seo Jang-bo and Dae-soo to follow Jung Hoo-gyeom’s personal assistant. They succeed in intercepting a message that was addressed to Jung Hoo-gyeom. San is visibly disturbed when he reads the message that explains a plan to hire an assassin to assassinate him. Hong Guk-young calls for arresting Jung Hoo-gyeom but San tells him to leave him alone and continue to follow the plan...


Eps. 46

When the rebellion ends in a failure, Jung Hoo-gyeom and Princess Hwa-wan try to flee to the Ming Kingdom. But they are captured in Yanghwajin where Hong Guk-young’s palace guards were waiting for them to try to cross the border. Hong Guk-young takes Empress Jung-soo to the courtyard of the Naebyeongjo office and tells her that he will interrogate her for masterminding the revolt and being the leader of the rebels. Meanwhile, when Hong Guk-yong asks San to leave the interrogation of the rebels to him, San surprised everyone by announcing that he will personally interrogate the criminals.


Eps. 47

Princess Hye-bin is shocked to hear from Princess Hwa-wan that Minister Hong Bong-han is trying to lobby for her release. Princess Hye-bin goes to meet Hong Bong-han and asks him why he would do such a thing and he tells her that he is trying to save his brother’s life. Meanwhile, news that Empress Jung-soon committed suicide spreads and Confucian scholars from across the country raise objections on the way San harshly dealt with the rebels...


Eps. 48

Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye) carefully broaches the subject of whether Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) would like to return to the royal palace. Meanwhile, Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) and Hong Bong-ha (actor Shin Chung-shik) are very pleased when they are introduced to Hong Guk-young’s (actor Han Sang-jin) sister.


Eps. 49

Song-yeon dwells on Queen Hyo-eui’s suggestion that she return to the palace. Song-yeon is unable to hide her astonishment when Dae-soo reveals his feelings to her...


Eps. 50

When a plague starts spreading across the kingdom, San calls a meeting of his ministers and Jang Tae-woo tells him to not return to the palace until he turns everything back to the way things were. Jang Tae-woo then boasts that San will step down from his throne. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young meets with Princess Hye-bin and tells her he accepts her proposal to bring his sister to the palace as a palace courtesan. But when Queen Hyo-eui meets with San, she mentions that she will bring Song-yeon back to the palace...

Lee San, Wind of the Palace/ep. 51-76 Plot Synopsis

Eps. 51

San sees the Noron faction officials kneeling on their knees before the king’s palace but he tells them that he thinks they came too late. He also mentions that minister Jang Tae-woo, the current Noron faction’s leader, should be kneeling with them, too. Meanwhile, San is eager to see Song-yeon again and as he greets her, he is told by Chae Jae-gong that minister Jang Tae-woo would like to enter the king’s palace. So San sends Song-yeon to his office, telling her to wait for him there. While waiting for San to return, Song-yeon nods off for a while and when she wakes up she is stricken with fear to see Princess Hye-bin standing right in front of her.


Eps. 52

Hong Guk-young orders a strict medical examination of all mid-level officials who belong to the Noron faction and draws their ire. When San hears about this, he orders Hong Guk-young to not attend the royal meetings for the time being but Hong Guk-young disobeys this order. San tells Hong Guk-young to leave in the presence of the Noron faction officials. Meanwhile, Princess Hye-bin calls Song-yeon and asks her if San went to see her a couple of nights ago. Song-yeon is unable to answer the question for she knows it will anger her and at that very moment, Queen Hyo-eui abruptly enters the room...


Eps. 53

The assassination of Minister Min and the discovery of Minister Hyung-jo’s dead body as well as Gong-jo, a high ranking official, raises suspicions that Hong Guk-young is behind it because the dead were all members of the Noron faction. Meanwhile, Won-bin calls Song-yeon and orders her to paint a folding screen. When Queen Hyo-eui sees So-yeon at the palace, she gets angry at Won-bin for inviting her.


Eps. 54

San learns about the dark secret behind the deaths of the ministers and suspects that the Saljoogyeran gang is behind it. Framed for the deaths of the ministers, Hong Guk-young is released from jail and is put in charge of solving the Gyujanggak case. Meanwhile, Won-bin is crossed that Song-yeon drew a lotus flower on the folding screen and spills paint over it on purpose. Song-yeon explains to her that the lotus flower symbolizes fertility and good fortune but Won-bin slaps her in the middle of her explanation...


Eps. 55

San announces reforms for the slave system at a meeting held in the main pavilion. Jang Tae-woo tells San that he just made enemies with all the nobles and commoners in the kingdom and holds him responsible for a breakdown in the nation’s class system before he storms out of the meeting with the other ministers in tow. Meanwhile, Won-bin hears from the palace doctor that she is not pregnant. At that very moment, Princess Hye-bin visits her chambers and asks about Won-bin’s pregnancy in a matter-of-factly way to the doctor who is still in the room.


Eps. 56

When Hong Guk-young learns that Won-bin faked her pregnancy, he decides to prevent dishonor from tainting his family by arranging a scenario where Won-bin pretends that she had a miscarriage. According to Hong Guk-young’s plan, Won-bin clutches her belly in pain during her birthday and shows blood. Meanwhile, Princess Hye-bin faints when she hears about Won-bin’s miscarriage...


Eps. 57

Visiting the guard’s chambers, San sees Hong Guk-young talking with a palace doctor and his face turns grim. San confronts Hong Guk-young and asks him why is meeting with a doctor at the guard’s chambers. But Hong Guk-young cannot answer him. Meanwhile, Song-yeon hears about the trouble that Queen Hyo-eui is in and she then recalls the day when she drew a folding screen at the palace where she saw Won-bin drink an herbal tea. Song-yeon seeks out Queen Hyo-eui and tells her that she saw Won-bin drink motherwort tea...


Eps. 58

Won-bin goes to meet with Princess Hye-bin and lies about the reason for her fake miscarriage by blaming it on the motherwort tea she drank regularly. Princess Hye-bin is overcome with shock that Won-bin could make such a grave mistake and caused the baby to be miscarried. Won-bin cowers in fear. Meanwhile, when San decides to travel to Mihaeng, Hong Guk-young orders the guards to follow a pre-planned route. However, San gets mad at Hong Guk-young for giving such orders and chooses a different route. Someone tries to assassinate San in Mihaeng with a shotgun.


Eps. 59

Stricken with an illness, Won-bin breathes her last breath in Hong Guk-young’s presence. Meeting with Queen Hyo-eui, Hong Guk-young reveals his emotions by asking the queen why Won-bin had to pay the ultimate price for what she did. Queen Hyo-eui is shaken by Hong Guk-young’s words...


Eps. 60

Hong Guk-young asks San to relieve Won-bin’s grudge by arranging Eun-eon’s eldest son to be adopted by the late Won-bin. San finds the request to be absurd but he tells Hong Guk-young that he will think about it. Meanwhile, Song-yeon learns that the man who saved her was Wook, a childhood friend of hers who she believed was dead, and goes to see him with tears streaming down her face. However, Hong Guk-young and the palace guards have surrounded Song-yeon’s neighborhood. Hong Guk-young asks Song-yeon if she knows the whereabouts of Wook...


Eps. 61

San visits Song-yeon at the interrogation room. San looks at her with sadness and grief and asks her how this happened but Song-yeon just tells him to punish her. The palace judge enters the room and announce that all the criminals will be transported to the palace jail. Meanwhile, San tells Hong Guk-young that there was a cache of weapons found in the hideout of the rebels and he finds it very hard to believe that they would have allowed themselves to be captured so easily by the sword-wielding palace when they had such weapons at their disposal. Hong Guk-young is speechless...


Eps. 62

Princess Hye-bin becomes shocked when she hears that Song-yeon entered San’s private chambers. Princess Hye-bin vows that a son will not be born by someone from such a low station. However, San is ready to pay the consequences as he keeps Song-yeon at his side. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young visits Minister Eun-eon and tells him that his first son will take on the pen name, Wanpoong and it would be a splendid name for a future king...


Eps. 63

When Song-yeon visits Princess Hye-bin’s quarters, she is told to return to the Leesang Chamber and this creates a commotion among the court ladies. Princess Hye-bin is rude to Song-yeon when she arrives at the Jinyeon pavilion and tells her to follow the rules of the palace. San and Queen Hyo-eui feel uncomfortable when they see Princess Hye-bin act curtly towards Song-yeon. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young visits Jang Tae-woo and arrests all the officials who are with him. He orders the officers to search the room.


Eps. 64

Queen Hyo-eui brings Chobi to the Subalsang Palace after seeing how hard it is for Song-yeon to adjust to live in the palace. Song-yeon is overjoyed to be reunited with Chobi and is thankful for the kind gesture on Queen Hyo-eui’s part. Meanwhile, San is shocked to see the state of the merchants who were captured by Hong Guk-young...


Eps. 65

Queen Hyo-eui learns that Hong Guk-young has been collaborating with Empress Jung-soon and tells him to confess his guilt to San before she tells him about it herself. She also coldly stares down at him and says he will pay dearly for scorning the royal court and deceiving the king... Meanwhile, Song-yeon gets nauseous as she follows San on a trip to the ancestral royal rombs.


Eps. 66

With help from Minister Suk-wie, court lady Choi slips out of the palace but she is caught by Dae-soo. When Dae-soo asks her if Hong Guk-young gave her the orders to leave, Minister Suk-wie points his sword at him. Meanwhile, San hears that the recent incidents around the palace were orchestrated by Hong Guk-young and he stares at Nam Sa-cho with a vacant expression on his face.


Eps. 67

Along the path that Hong Guk-young takes to his exile, people hurl rocks at his carriage. Dae-soo and Seok-gi try to stop the crowd but they are overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Princess Hye-bin invites San to Princess Hwa-bin’s chambers to comfort him after he sent Hong Guk-young to exile but he goes to Song-yeon’s chambers instead.


Eps. 68

Hearing that Hong Guk-young is in critical condition, San rides his horse all night to reach Hong Guk-young’s home. San cries at Hong Guk-young’s deathbed and asks him to forgive him for sending him away. Hong Guk-young also cries and tells San the he was always loyal to him and will never forgive him even after his death. Meanwhile, at the Chinham ritual, Song-yeon joins Princess Hye-bin, Queen Hyo-eui, Princess Hwa-bin and answers withering questions from the wives of high-ranking ministers with aplomb and astonishes everyone in the process.

Eps. 69

San gets the needed documents for Jung Yak-yong. In the palace, Jang Tae-woo encounters Jung Yak-yong and warns him that he should not think that he owns the world just because he is under the good graces of the King. San then encounters Tae-gam from China in the government office.

Eps. 70

Song-yeon tries to find the reason why the Chinese soldiers used military force and asks Tae-gam. Rather than giving her a straight answer, Tae-gam gives her a painting. Song-yeon shows it to San and asks him to find a way to see what Tae-gam’s inner thoughts really are. San rethinks Jung Yak-yong’s words that China is attempting to destroy Choseon and what Song-yeon said to him earlier. He then sends soldiers to where the Chinese are staying.

Eps. 71

After hearing that San had a worship service at his father’s grave, Empress Jung-soon, Choi Seok-joo and the Noron faction start to feel nervous and perplexed. Meanwhile, Song-yeon has yet to begin her labor although 10 days have passed since the due date. Court physicians start to examine her and realize that although her water is leaking little by little, she still has not felt any pain of labor. The physicians then start to question if there are any internal problems with the baby and immediately start emergency medical procedures.

Eps. 72

San selects Suwon as the new capital to replace Hanyang, and makes it the base of reformation of Choseon. Jung Yak-yong and Park-jae are in shock after hearing San’s plans. Hye-bin, who refuses to allow Hyang to be the heir apparent, is surprised to see Hyang wearing a necklace with the ring that King Young-jo gave Song-yeon before he passed away. Later, Hye-bin is shocked to learn that the ring was given to Song-yeon by the deceased King Young-jo.

Eps. 73

Song-yeon’s son Hyang comes down with a terrible case of the measles. Hyang develops rashes on his face and has a high fever. The physicians rush in and out, and try to cure him. Despite their efforts, Hyang passes away. Song-yeon is in disbelief as she weeps holding Hyang’s body.

Eps. 74

San tries to save Song-yeon’s life with the help of Western medicine. San asks Dae-soo to go to China to bring Western medical doctors. Dae-soo rushes to China after receiving these orders. Meanwhile, Song-yeon, dressed in a beautiful Korean traditional dress, asks San to let her fulfill her dream of drawing a portrait of the King. She also asks San to promise her that he will fight any challenges that may come his way in the future.

Eps. 75

On the long journey to Hwasung, Choi Seok-joo tells Min Joo-shik to attack San when he visits Temple Yong Joo Sa. Assassins infiltrate the entrance of the temple to take San’s life, but Jang Yong-young’s officers surround them. As a result, Min Joo-shik and his rebels are arrested on the spot. But Choi Seok-joo’s real plan is to sacrifice Min Joo-shik to make a separate attack during the night training.

Eps. 76

Seo Jang-bo and Dae-soo find out about the assassins’ plans to attack in the night. Seok-ki then fires his gun and ends the training session. All lights in Seo Jang Dae are lit.

Eps. 77

The year 1800, the 24th Reign of King Jeongjo... The shade of the trees and bright sunshine light up the beautiful scenery of the palace. Dae-soo has become a general and he opens the military arts training grounds. As San watches the military arts exhibition, he is pleased with what he sees. Meanwhile, while looking at the test coins that Jung Yak-yong created, San’s vision suddenly begins to blur, and he faints to the ground and becomes unconscious.


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“Yi San” aka “Lee San, Wind of the Palace” synopsis, Eps. 1-77 (no spoilers)





From Wikipedia: Yi San also known as Lee San, Wind of the Palace, is a 2007 South Korean historical drama, starring Lee Seo-jin and Han Ji-min. It aired on MBC from September 17, 2007 to June 16, 2008.

Yi San was popular and recorded a solid viewership rate (average) of 26.4% (Nationwide) and 28.6% (Seoul) and a peak of 35.3% (Nation Wide) and 38.6% (Seoul).

Notes: (1) In history, Yi San is King Jeongjo, 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. For more information, read “King Jeongjo an idol of Korean modern media.”


(2) Reenactment of King Jeongjo’s royal parade to Crown Prince Sado’s tomb in Suwon, September 2017



(3) Reenactment of King Jeongjo’s river crossing depicted in Episode 75 (0:54 mark)

How I wrote these episode summaries with no spoilers


1. I assumed that you will be reading these summaries and watching the videos chronologically.

2. I narrated the main actions in each episode (or series of episodes) without revealing the plot’s twists and turns.

3. For some episodes, I have embedded videos with no English subs but which may contain spoiler scenes; I have thus placed alerts for these videos.

Episodes 1-2


King Yeongjo punishes his son Crown Prince Sado by locking him up in a rice chest that’s exposed to the hot sun and the cold, night air.

On his way to sneak into the courtyard to visit his father Crown Prince Sado, Yi San meets and is helped by Sung Song-yeon (a young court maid) and Park Daesu (a boy who’s about to become a eunuch).

Crown Prince Sado tells Yi San to save him by giving a painting to King Yeongjo. Yi San finds the painting, but his grandfather has gone out of the palace and won’t be back for three to four days. With his father’s life at stake and Daesu being tortured, Yi San must meet King Yeongjo; he asks for Song-yeon’s help in escaping from the entourage that’s taking him to exile.

As Yi San rushes through the capital’s streets with Song-yeon, he gets captured by wine smugglers.

Note: Video below (no English subs) from Episode 1 shows the beginnings of the great friendship between Yi San (in disguise as Mu Duk), Daesu, and Song-yeon.





Episodes 3-4


After Crown Prince Sado dies, King Yeongjo recalls Yi San and his mother, Crown Princess Hae-kyung, from their exile. He begins testing Yi San if he has what it takes to be the next king. Yi San, however, soon gets into trouble by spending the entire East Palace’s budget of 3,000 yang.

Having promised to protect Yi San, Song-yeon and Daesu try to get back into the palace.

Crown Prince Sado’s political enemies from the Noron faction now make Yi San their next target by planting guns and swords in his former residence. Yi San’s maternal grandfather urges him to save himself and his mother by placing all the blame on his father Crown Prince Sado.

When one of his servants falsely confesses under torture, Yi San is arrested and charged with treason.

King Yeongjo secretly orders Eunuch Nam to investigate, and Eunuch Nam turns to Eunuch Park Dalho (Daesu’s uncle) and two other eunuchs for help.

Song-yeon tells Daesu that they must save Yi San. But later on, Song-yeon, Daesu, and Eunuch Dalho are pursued by assassins.

Episodes 5-7


Nine years later ...

Yi San survives an assassination attempt against him, but when the assassin’s body can’t be found, the rumor spreads in the palace that he is mentally-deranged just like his father Crown Prince Sado.

On Yi San’s order, Eunuch Nam investigates what kind of poison the assassin used; his investigation leads him to the Bureau of Paintings.

Song-yeon, Daesu, and his uncle Dalho have returned to the capital after years of hiding in faraway villages. Song-yeon works as a “damo” (slave) in the Bureau of Paintings (“Dohwaseo”), where she’s bullied by an older damo and some of the Royal Artists.

Song-yeon continuously reminds Daesu to stay away from the street thugs and of their promise to help protect Yi San.

With the arrival of the Qing envoy and his entourage, King Yeongjo assigns Yi San to take charge of collecting the tributes. But Princess Hwa-wan (Yi San’s aunt) orders the Minister of Personnel to sabotage Yi San’s preparations.

After the incident at the Bureau of Paintings, Director Park Young-moon decides to take Song-yeon to the palace as one of the attendant damos. Song-yeon begins planning how she can meet Yi San.

To cover up for what happened to the tributes, Yi San arranges a small feast for the Qing envoy; he also orders Director Park to create a painting for the envoy. With no other damo available, Director Park brings Song-yeon with him to help prepare the pigments. But when the Qing envoy notices how pretty Song-yeon is, the ministers order the eunuchs to take her to the envoy’s bed chambers.

With the worsening problem of the tributes, especially with the white cotton that Qing nobles desire, King Yeongjo summons Jung Hu-gyum (Yi San’s childhood study partner and Princess Hwa-wan’s adopted son).

Realizing that Yi San could be punished because of what he did, Daesu goes berserk.

Spoiler alert: In the video below (no English subs), Song-yeon amazes the Qing envoy with her “Kirin” painting; at this point in time, Yi San hasn’t recognized that Song-yeon is his childhood friend.



Episodes 8-9


When Yi San goes to the Bureau of Paintings, he finally finds out that Song-yeon is alive and working there as a damo. But Song-yeon isn’t at the bureau because Artist Yi has brought her with him as his damo for a portraiture assignment with a noble lady.

Unable to contain his joy, Yi San goes to Dalho’s house to meet Song-yeon and Daesu. But Daesu doesn’t recognize him, and Song-yeon has been kidnapped.

Yi San goes after the thugs who stole the tributes and kidnapped Song-yeon. He gets King Yeongjo’s authority to interrogate the thugs. But his political enemies meet at a mountain hideout and plan their counterattack against him.

As Daesu, Dalho, and Eunuch Nam continue to search for Song-yeon, the thugs sell her to a brothel in the capital. Meanwhile, Yi San’s enemies frame him by forging a decree stamped with his royal seal.

Spoiler alert: Video below (no English subs) from Episode 9 shows Yi San reuniting with Song-yeon after nine years.



Episodes 10-14


Yi San finally reunites with both Daesu and Song-yeon.

When King Yeongjo says that the forgery of Yi San’s seal can be confirmed in 30 days, Princess Hwa-wan panics and calls for a daylight meeting of the Noron ministers.

King Yeongjo recalls from exile Chae Jae Gong, Yi San’s childhood mentor.

Daesu decides to study for the military exams in order to be one of Yi San’s royal guards. He enrolls under an instructor named Hong Gook-young, who teaches him the secret of passing the exams.

When Yi San’s royal guards perform miserably during inspection, King Yeongjo challenges him to be a leader.

Tension erupts during the civil service exams when one of the scholars submits an essay that mocks King Yeongjo and extols Crown Prince Sado. Later, assassins break into the palace and cause chaos. King Yeongjo orders the arrest of the former officers of Crown Prince Sado for their alleged attempt to overthrow his government.

When Yi San refuses to interrogate the former officers, King Yeongjo gives him three days to prove their innocence or else, he himself will be charged with treason.

Hong Gook-young (now a Tutor with the Office of the Crown Prince) asks Daesu to begin watching the Minister of War’s trusted servant. On the other hand, with Artist Yi’s help, Song-yeon sneaks into the Bureau of Paintings storage area; she goes through the thousands of maps kept there to identify the artist who drew the map for the men who attacked the palace.

As Daesu reports what he discovered to the police headquarters, he meets Secretary Jung, who secretly orders his men to kill Daesu.

After Yi San reports the connivance between the War Minister and Princess Hwa-wan, King Yeongjo orders the arrest and interrogation of the War Minister.

Episode 15-17


Princess Hyo-eui (Yi San’s wife) and Secretary Jung separately find out about the friendship between Yi San, Song-yeon, and Daesu.

King Yeongjo exiles Princess Hwa-wan, but Queen Jung Soon (King Yeongjo’s wife) refuses to give up trying to get rid of Yi San.

Yi San orders Hong Gook-young to tutor Daesu for the military exams.

Song-yeon enters the palace to assist Bureau of Paintings Director Park in painting a folding screen with a fertility talisman for Princess Hyo-eui.

Using the Ancestral Visit as a cover, King Yeongjo decides to investigate the reports of corruption among the magistrates in the towns outside of the capital. But Yi San’s enemies (led by the Minister of Personnel and Secretary Jung) plan to kill him during the visit, and a mysterious plague strikes a village that King Yeongjo visits.

King Yeongjo becomes sick because of the plague, and Yi San must return to the palace to oversee the affairs of the government. But Queen Jung Soon orders the Minister of Personnel and Secretary Jung to kill Yi San at any cost.

Episodes 18-19


Despite King Yeongjo’s condition, the Noron officials force the Royal Physician to bring him back to the palace. When Yi San asserts his authority, Queen Jung Soon and the Noron officials fight back. Meanwhile, Hong Gook-young encourages his former classmates to support Yi San and overthrow the Noron faction.

Princess Hwa-wan sends medicines for King Yeongjo, but Yi San backs up the Royal Physician who refuses to prescribe the medicine.

Director Park asks Song-yeon to complete the painting for Princess Hyo-eui’s fertility talisman.

Because of his weakened condition, King Yeongjo orders Yi San to rule on his behalf.

Episodes 20-22


Despite protests by the Noron officials, Yi San starts implementing reforms in various ministries, including the Bureau of Paintings where Song-yeon gets caught in the middle of the conflict.

Through Hong Gook-young, Yi San also initiates talks between the government and the black market peddlers, so that the peddlers can legally be given trade rights. He aims to bring down the merchant clans who support the Noron faction with huge bribes.

Yi San and Hong Gook-young, however, become reactive rather than proactive, and the Noron faction strikes back using Secretary Jung’s strategy.

Meanwhile, Princess Hyo-eui allows Song-yeon to complete the painting of her fertility talisman, and Director Park says that it’s okay for Song-yeon to teach the other damos how to paint. But the assistant director starts agitating the artists into kicking Song-yeon out of the bureau.

Spoiler alert: In the video below (no English subs) from Episode 20, Song-yeon joins the competition among the Royal Artists. If she places in the top five, she will be trained as an artist. But acting on the orders of Secretary Jung, a corrupt official of the “Dohwaseo” (Bureau of Paintings) sabotages her pigments such that she can only use the black pigment. The competition’s topic, however, is to depict the colors of autumn.



Episodes 23-26


Because of the riot that injured and killed so many people, King Yeongjo recalls the authority to rule that he gave to Yi San.

Queen Jung Soon’s arrogant brother, Kim Gui-joo, arrives in the capital, begins gaining the favor of Yi San’s younger half-brothers, and throws his weight around.

Hong Gook-young resigns from his government post.

Encouraged by Song-yeon, Yi San’s depression is lifted, and he begins going out to the capital. While out one night with Daesu, he meets a mysterious, old man who’s knowledgeable not only with Confucianism but also with practical things like agriculture.

Princess Hwa-wan and Secretary Jung become suspicious of what Queen Jung Soon and her brother are planning with the Minister of Personnel for the year-end festivities.

Princess Hwa-wan calls Song-yeon to her quarters.

Daesu and the other royal guards look for Hong Gook-young; over drinks in a gisaeng house, Hong Gook-young explains to them his “Excrement Philosophy.”

Director Park gives more responsibilities to Song-yeon and the other damos whom she has been training.

Alarmed by the old man’s vision of Yi San’s death, Daesu consults Hong Gook-young, who then asks Song-yeon to sneak into the prohibited storage area of the Bureau of Paintings.

Despite Queen Jung Soon’s order, her brother Kim Gui-joo continues with his assassination plot against Yi San.

Hong Gook-young realizes how the assassination will be carried out, but as he tries to warn Yi San, he’s blocked from entering the palace.

Episodes 27-30


The Noron ministers begin covering up their tracks, and Queen Jung Soon’s brother wants to make it appear that Daesu and the other royal guards tried to assassinate King Yeongjo on Yi San’s order.

But King Yeongjo appoints Hong Gook-young as Chief Inspector and orders him to investigate what really happened during the year-end festivities. Hong Gook-young orders Daesu and the other royal guards to look for the missing Arsenal Chief.

When Kim Gui-joo goes missing, Queen Jung Soon, the Minister of Personnel, Princess Hwa-wan, Secretary Jung, and the other Noron officials suspect that Yi San has taken him. Things start unraveling, and with the Capital Army increasing the pressure, they soon turn against each other.

The Bureau of Paintings is ordered by the Ministry of Rites to prepare for the commissioning of the Royal Portrait.

Hong Gook-young enlists the help of Yi San’s mother (Crown Princess Hae-kyung); meanwhile, Daesu sees Queen Jung Soon secretly meeting Secretary Jung at night.

After refusing to meet either the ministers or members of the royal family for several days, King Yeongjo calls all the ministers to a meeting to reveal what happened at the year-end festivities.

Song-yeon enters the palace as attendant damo for Artist Tak who has been chosen to paint the Royal Portrait. After the sketching session, King Yeongjo orders the Head Eunuch to bring Song-yeon to his chambers.

Spoiler alert: In the video below (no English subs) from Episode 30, Song-yeon paints a “maehwa” (plum blossom) for King Yeongjo.



Episodes 31-32


King Yeongjo orders Queen Jung Soon confined to her quarters. Later, he gives a new assignment to Hong Gook-young.

Led by Princess Hwa-wan, the Noron ministers ostracize Queen Jung Soon.

Yi San’s mother (Crown Princess Hae-kyung) finds out about his special relationship with Song-yeon.

After a period of depression, Yi San begins thinking of implementing the “Equalization Policy” in order to clip the influence of the Noron faction.

Secretary Jung volunteers to head the trade delegation to Qing. Accompanying him are government officials, the merchant clans, and the Bureau of Paintings staff (Artist Yi, Artist Tak, Chobi, and Song-yeon).

After Princess Hyo-eui (Yi San’s wife) finds out what Crown Princess Hae-kyung is planning for Song-yeon, she visits Yi San at night to warn him.

Spoiler alert: In the video below (no English subs) from Episode 32, Yi San and Song-yeon spend some happy moments together. Unknown to Yi San, Song-yeon will be leaving the next day to train as an artist in Qing and won’t be coming back for at least ten years. (At the 1:31 mark, Yi San orders Song-yeon to call him by his first name “San” just like when they were kids.)



Episodes 33-34


King Yeongjo sends Yi San and Princess Hyo-eui on a vacation to the Ohnyang hot springs. He also grants Yi San’s request that all the senior ministers must go with him.

In Ohnyang, Yi San and his royal guards meet a scholar and a warrior. Yi San arranges a fight between the warrior and his royal guard Suh Jang-bo.

When Yi San challenges the Noron ministers to reform or else, the Minister of Personnel issues his own challenge.

In Qing, the Ministry of Culture refuses to accept Song-yeon as a student. But Lord Hong (Yi San’s maternal grandfather) tells Song-yeon that he cannot allow her to return to Joseon.

In the palace, King Yeongjo begins suffering from memory lapses that shock his staff, Princess Hwa-wan, and Queen Jung Soon.

During a meeting with King Yeongjo after Yi San and his entourage have returned from Ohnyang, the Minister of Personnel presents sweeping proposals that outrage his fellow Noron officials.

Spoiler alert: In the video below (no English subs) from Episode 33, Daesu and another royal guard get beaten up by a small guy from the countryside.



Spoiler alert: In the video below (no English subs) from Episode 34, Song-yeon must prove her talent in painting before she can be allowed to undergo training in Qing’s Ministry of Culture. She creates four paintings showing the four seasonal looks of the famous Mount Geumgang.



Episodes 35-36


With the Minister of Personnel’s support, Yi San begins implementing his reforms. But Princess Hwa-wan and Secretary Jung refuse to submit to Yi San.

Yi San begins to notice King Yeongjo’s memory lapses; meanwhile, having manipulated the Head Eunuch to report everything that’s happening, Queen Jung Soon becomes bolder in her actions and threatens the Royal Secretary.

Sent by Yi San to find out what’s happening to Song-yeon in Qing, Daesu learns that Song-yeon has been kicked out of the Ministry of Culture and is nowhere to be found.

As Queen Jung Soon’s brother returns to the capital, King Yeongjo finally finds out what his sickness is.

Episodes 37-38


Song-yeon recovers from her ordeal and returns to work at the Bureau of Paintings.

Queen Jung Soon shocks everyone by regaining King Yeongjo’s favor and having her brother reinstated.

Even as King Yeongjo takes the steps to deal with his dementia, it becomes worse, and he threatens to depose Yi San if he does not disown Crown Prince Sado as his father.

As Yi San remembers his father’s painting, Eunuch Nam suggests that Song-yeon study the painting and find out its secret.

The night before King Yeongjo’s deadline, Yi San’s mother (Crown Princess Hae-kyung) pleads with him, but he refuses to disown his father Crown Prince Sado.

Episodes 39-40


After Song-yeon brings Crown Prince Sado’s letter to him, King Yeongjo tells Yi San that he will abdicate in his favor. He then takes the steps to ensure that Yi San can ascend the throne the next day, beginning with secretly meeting the Minister of Personnel.

When Queen Jung Soon finds out about the planned abdication, she orders Secretary Jung to bring to her the commanding officer of the palace guards.

Based on the painting, Yi San thinks that the incriminating evidence against his father’s killers is buried in a special rock formation. Racing against time, he brings his royal guards and other soldiers to search the mountain.

In desperation, Queen Jung Soon orders the Head Eunuch to poison King Yeongjo.

Episodes 41-42


Queen Jung Soon orders the palace army and the palace guards to attack the East Palace and enforce King Yeongjo’s last order that deposes Yi San.

Yi San strikes back, but Queen Jung Soon and Princess Hwa-wan escape from the palace.

The Noron-controlled Five Armies numbering some 20,000 soldiers begin marching back to the capital to seize the palace. On the other hand, Yi San sends for help from the Pyongan army.

The palace army collapses with the arrest of its commanding officer by his Noron subordinates; Queen Jung Soon, Princess Hwa-wan, and the Noron ministers then march to the Grand Palace to arrest Yi San.

Episodes 43-44


King Yeongjo deposes Queen Jung Soon and sends her into exile in a detached palace. He also appoints Yi San as Regent.

As the rumor about Song-yeon and Yi San spreads in the Bureau of Paintings, Yi San’s mother (Crown Princess Hae-kyung) calls Song-yeon to the palace.

Enraged by how things turned out, Hong Gook-young compiles a “Death List” of all the people who have tried to assassinate Yi San.

King Yeongjo orders the cleansing of all historical records related to Crown Prince Sado. Later, he secretly leaves the palace and calls for Song-yeon.

With money coming in from the Noron ministers, Secretary Jung raises 10,000 silver coins as payment for a master assassin to kill Yi San.

Spoiler alert: Video below (no English subs) from Episode 44 shows Song-yeon painting a portrait of Crown Prince Sado based on King Yeongjo’s description. King Yeongjo wants to give the portrait to Yi San because, in his anger, he had ordered burned all of Crown Prince Sado’s portraits. As Song-yeon paints, King Yeongjo remembers Yi San and Crown Prince Sado’s happy days together. As he tenderly caresses the portrait, he says, “I will be a good father to you in the afterlife.”



Spoiler alert: Video below (no English subs) from Episode 44 shows Song-yeon remembering how King Yeongjo gave her the precious, double jade rings that his beloved mother gave to him. King Yeongjo pleads with Song-yeon to always be a friend and give comfort to Yi San. (If you have seen the drama “Dong Yi” starring Han Hyo-jo, you’ll remember that King Sukjong gave Dong Yi these double jade rings after she entered the palace as a Special Court Lady. King Yeongjo was the son named “Geum” of King Sukjong and Dong Yi.)



Episodes 45-46


Artist Tak, Artist Yi, and Song-yeon have been given the Bureau of Painting’s responsibilities for Yi San’s coronation as King, including the repainting of the Grand Palace. But the master assassin has disguised himself as one of the painters serving in Song-yeon’s crew.

Not being able to contact the master assassin for several days, Secretary Jung prepares more assassins to go after Yi San.

During his first assembly, Yi San proclaims something that strikes fear among the ministers.

After the coronation when security has been relaxed and using the cover of darkness, the master assassin attacks Yi San in his quarters.

Spoiler alert:
Video below (no English subs) from Episode 46 shows Yi San fighting off the master assassin sent by the Noron ministers.



Episodes 47-48


The Noron ministers who funded the assassination attempt against Yi San are arrested, while Secretary Jung and Princess Hwa-wan escape from the palace.

Despite the protest of the Minister of Personnel, Yi San orders the exile or execution by beheading of over a hundred officials.

After Queen Jung Soon’s arrest, she tries to end her life by taking poison. News spreads about her suicide attempt, and the Confucian scholars begin staging protests against Yi San’s actions.

As Yi San focuses on building the “Kyujanggak” (Imperial Library), his decision on promotions causes dissension among the royal guards.

Queen Hyo-eui wants to make Song-yeon the Royal Concubine, but the Queen Mother (former Crown Princess Hae-kyung) wants to strengthen Yi San’s rule by appointing Hong Gook-young’s sister as the Royal Concubine.

Yi San visits incognito the old man and invites him to see the Imperial Library. To counteract the influence of the Noron faction which has been opposing his reforms, he also announces that 2,000 new officials will be selected in the civil service exams.

Episodes 49-50


Led by the Minister of Personnel, the Noron ministers protest Yi San’s plan for the civil service exams by handing in their resignations.

Queen Hyo-eui visits Song-yeon at the Bureau of Paintings, while the Queen Mother (former Crown Princess Hae-kyung) calls for Hong Gook-young.

When Yi San starts accepting the resignations of the Noron officials, the Minister of Personnel reaches out for help from Lord Jang Tae-woo, who’s the former head of Noron, a fierce opponent of Queen Jung Soon, and a highly-respected Confucian scholar.

Plague hits the capital, but there aren’t enough doctors and nurses to take care of the sick because of the boycott ordered by Lord Jang.

With the plague becoming worse, Yi San calls for an emergency meeting of all the ministers, including the resigned Noron officials. When the Noron officials refuse to obey the summons, Yi San goes to the house of Lord Jang and says that he has learned the lesson that Lord Jang wanted him to learn.

The Queen Mother posts announcements on the search for the Royal Concubine all over the capital. But Queen Hyo-eui continues to fight for Song-yeon.

Episode 51


Eunuch Nam and Advisor Chae become concerned with the repercussions of Hong Gook-young’s sister becoming the Royal Concubine.

Because of his coming marriage to Mak-soon, Dalho encourages Song-yeon to marry Daesu.

The Noron ministers beg for Yi San’s forgiveness, but they’re caught between Yi San and Lord Jang who both remain defiant.

The conflict between the Queen Mother and Queen Hyo-eui over Song-yeon deepens.

Remembering Queen Hyo-eui’s words, Yi San calls for Song-yeon to talk about her becoming a Royal Concubine. But he suddenly needs to be in the Grand Palace, and as Song-yeon waits for him in his study, the Queen Mother arrives.

The Ministry of Rites selects Song-yeon to paint Yi San’s Royal Portrait.



Episodes 52-54


Conflict arises between Councilor Ki Chun-yik (head custodian of the Imperial Library) and Lord Jang’s right-hand man Min Joo-shik. Later, Lord Jang himself complains to Yi San that Hong Gook-young is abusing his authority.

Lord Jang meets with Queen Jung Soon (Grand Dowager Queen).

Artist Yi begs on his knees for a master painter to accept him as a student.

Embarrassed that Yi San visited Song-yeon instead of consummating their marriage, Royal Concubine Hong vents her anger on Song-yeon. But Queen Hyo-eui finds out about it and disciplines her.

As the conflict between Queen Hyo-eui and Hong Gook-young begins, Hong Gook-young disobeys Yi San’s order.

Yi San prepares a decree that will shake Joseon’s foundation to its core.

Royal Concubine Hong challenges Queen Hyo-eui’s authority and orders Song-yeon to paint her fertility talisman.

The half-bloods managing Yi San’s Imperial Library, including head custodian Councilor Ki Chun-yik, are attacked simultaneously.

Later, several Noron officials are found murdered, with a mysterious sign drawn on their hands. Lord Jang and other Noron officials immediately accuse Hong Gook-young of masterminding the murders.

Believing in Hong Gook-young’s innocence, Yi San stops his interrogation, despite the protests of the Noron officials.

As Song-yeon becomes a student of former Royal Artist Chang Yong, she continues to work on the fertility talisman for Royal Concubine Hong. When the news spreads throughout the palace that Royal Concubine Hong is pregnant, Song-yeon’s fellow damo Chobi warns her that she will be bullied even more.

Queen Jung Soon strikes a deal so that she can bring down her nemesis Lord Jang and regain her entitlements as Grand Dowager Queen.

Episode 55


Royal Concubine Hong mocks Queen Hyo-eui, but later on, the Royal Physician tells her that something is wrong with her pregnancy.

Yi San tells the ministers that he wants to end slavery in Joseon. In response, the Noron ministers walk out in protest. Later on, however, the Noron faction gets split.

The slave who killed the Noron officials is sentenced to die by beheading; before his sentence is carried out, he’s brought before Yi San.

Former Royal Artist Chang Yong questions Song-yeon whether she can truly be happy if she becomes Joseon’s best painter.

Minister Min Joo-shik is arrested for the attack on the custodians of the Imperial Library.

Episodes 56-57


Hong Gook-young orders the Royal Physician to keep quiet about Royal Concubine Hong’s phantom pregnancy.

As Queen Jung Soon (Grand Dowager Queen) continues trying to exert influence over Yi San, Minister Min Joo-shik escapes while on his way to interrogation.

Hong Gook-young investigates the Noron ministers for Min Joo-shik’s escape, but Lord Jang and the other ministers protest his heavy-handed ways.

Artist Yi and Artist Tak continue learning how to paint erotica from former Royal Artist Chang Yong.

Through Queen Hyo-eui, the Queen Mother sends a tonic to test Royal Concubine Hong’s pregnancy. Later, while Royal Concubine Hong is bullying Song-yeon, a maid comes in, bringing with her motherwort tonic from Hong Gook-young.

During a celebration in honor of her pregnancy, Royal Concubine Hong acts according to Hong Gook-young’s plan.

The Queen Mother wants to investigate who’s responsible for Royal Concubine Hong’s miscarriage. All the Royal Physicians and nurses are brought in for questioning, but Hong Gook-young threatens the Royal Physician to keep quiet or else ...

The Royal Physician, Royal Concubine Hong, and Hong Gook-young begin blaming Queen Hyo-eui and her tonics for causing the miscarriage.

Episodes 58-59


As Song-yeon walks home after meeting Queen Hyo-eui, a mysterious man shadows her. Meanwhile, Queen Hyo-eui tells Hong Gook-young to confess everything to Yi San.

Lord Jang and the Noron ministers demand that Royal Concubine Hong be stripped of her title and that Hong Gook-young be interrogated.

Yi San goes out to the capital’s streets at night to find out how his people are faring: in a tavern, he meets members of the White Tower Club. Later on, however, someone shoots at him with a rifle, and his royal guards rush him back to the palace.

Hong Gook-young suspects the Noron officials of trying to kill Yi San, and he orders the arrest of some officials and the merchants who may have provided the rifle.

Royal Concubine Hong becomes seriously sick, but the Queen Mother refuses to let Queen Hyo-eui see her.

Song-yeon meets at the bookstore the young man who saved her from a drunk.

Queen Jung Soon (Grand Dowager Queen) tells Hong Gook-young to investigate a mysterious group of men in the capital that’s responsible for the attempt on Yi San’s life.

Hong Gook-young orders the Imperial Guards and Palace Guards to attack the men’s meeting place. Among the men in the group is the young man whom Song-yeon met at the bookstore.



Episodes 60-61


Song-yeon helps Wook, the wounded young man who escaped from the Imperial Guards.

Yi San questions Hong Gook-young why the arrested men did not fight back when the Imperial Guards attacked.

The Queen Mother tells Queen Hyo-eui to prepare for the selection of a new Royal Concubine.

Hong Gook-young tells Yi San that Royal Concubine Hong’s line will continue if Yi San allows her to posthumously adopt the eldest son of Prince Eun Un.

Yi San appoints the half-blood Deputy Administrator of the Imperial Library and some members of the White Tower Club to the Joseon delegation to the Qing royal court. But one member of the club questions Yi San’s true intentions.

Yi San finds out that the men arrested by Hong Gook-young are all Roman Catholics.

As the Imperial Guards hunt down Wook, Song-yeon goes to warn his associates.

Daesu helps Wook escape.

Yi San finds out about Song-yeon’s relationship to Wook, and he sends Eunuch Nam to find Wook.

In disguise, the Imperial Guards contact the smugglers who brought in the same type of rifle used in the assassination attempt against Yi San. They then raid the house of the official who brought the rifles into Joseon.

Yi San approves Hong Gook-young’s plea for the adoption of Prince Eun Un’s eldest son, Wan Poong. But Queen Hyo-eui confronts Hong Gook-young and tells him that she will not allow Wan Poong to become the heir to Yi San’s throne.



Episodes 62-63


Yi San brings Song-yeon to the palace and orders his attendants to prepare her to spend the night with him in his chambers. When the Queen Mother finds out about it, she rushes over to the Grand Palace, but Yi San and Song-yeon have already retired to his chambers.

Later, the Queen Mother scolds both Yi San and Queen Hyo-eui for their decision to bring in Song-yeon and warns them of the consequences.

The news spreads in the Bureau of Paintings that Song-yeon will become the next Royal Concubine.

Song-yeon begins learning from the Court Education Ladies. But the Queen Mother continues to ignore her and then announces the search for a new Royal Concubine.

Yi San goes out incognito to visit the black market peddlers in the capital.

Queen Hyo-eui orders her attendant to look for an attendant for Song-yeon from among the staff at the Bureau of Paintings.

Song-yeon meets Daesu at the palace, and she begins to realize how restricted her life has become.

As Queen Jung Soon (Grand Dowager Queen) prepares with the Minister of Personnel and Hong Gook-young for the designation of Wan Poong as the Crown Prince, she advises Hong Gook-young on how to silence Lord Jang.

Spoiler alert: Video below (no English subs) from Episode 62 shows Yi San and Song-yeon getting married.



Episodes 64-66


The Noron ministers begin petitioning Yi San to designate Prince Wan Poong as the Crown Prince.

Queen Hyo-eui appoints a new attendant for Song-yeon.

As Lord Jang is released from the Tribunal, Hong Gook-young orders the arrest and torture of the leaders of the merchant clans.

When the petitions in support of Prince Wan Poong continue to pour in, Queen Hyo-eui takes matters into her own hands. Later, she asks Daesu to watch Hong Gook-young’s dealings with Queen Jung Soon (Grand Dowager Queen).

Yi San promotes Lord Jang and demotes Hong Gook-young. Cornered and about to be exposed, Hong Gook-young plans to strike back at Queen Hyo-eui during the Ancestral Visit.

Song-yeon faints before the feast prepared for the elderly by Queen Hyo-eui. After visiting Song-yeon at the clinic, Yi San takes Queen Hyo-eui’s place at the feast.

As chaos erupts, Hong Gook-young orders one of his men to sneak the former attendant of Royal Concubine Hong out of the restricted area. But Daesu catches up with them.

Episodes 67-68


To the shock of Lord Jang, Advisor Chae, and the other ministers, Yi San sentences Hong Gook-young to exile, rather than execution.

The Queen Mother reminds Yi San of his duties to Royal Concubine Yoon.

After Daesu visits Hong Gook-young in his place of exile, Yi San disbands the Imperial Guards.

Acting on the reports of the Imperial Library’s custodians, Yi San leaves the palace and investigates the loan sharks who are selling their defaulting debtors off to Qing.

Out in the capital, Yi San meets a scholar who’s climbing over the wall of the Confucian Academy.

In exile, Hong Gook-young becomes critically sick.

Queen Hyo-eui wants to bring Song-yeon along to a meeting with some noble ladies about the upcoming silk ceremony. But the Queen Mother refuses, saying that Song-yeon might embarrass the royal family with her ignorance.



Episodes 69-71


Scholar Jung Ya-gyong places first in the civil service exams and immediately gains Yi San’s attention and favor. A member of the Nam In faction, he chooses to work for the Office of the Ministers Without Portfolio and begins making waves in the other ministries, thus angering the Noron ministers.

Daeso and the Imperial Guards attack the loan sharks who are selling off their defaulting debtors to slave traders from Qing.

Song-yeon meets in the palace her former superior in Qing’s Ministry of Culture.

Qing’s ambassador demands that Yi San release the slave traders that the Imperial Guards have arrested. Yi San refuses and immediately orders Jung Ya-gyong and the Imperial Library custodians to find a solution to the diplomatic impasse.

Crisis ensues when the Qing ambassador orders his personal guard to go to the police bureau and take the imprisoned slave traders.

Song-yeon asks permission from the Queen Mother to leave the palace.

As Jung Ya-gyong discerns Qing’s hostile intentions towards Joseon, Song-yeon brings to Yi San the painting given by the Qing ambassador.

After Yi San exiles Jung Ya-gyong, he schedules military exams where 2,000 new officers will be taken in. But the fugitive Min Joo-shik uses this opportunity to sneak his men into the newly-organized Dragon Guard.

Yi San also announces to the nervous ministers that he will move the royal tomb of Crown Prince Sado to Suwon. He also shows to Advisor Chae the contents of the secret box left by King Yeongjo.

Both Song-yeon and Royal Concubine Yoon become pregnant, but later, Song-yeon suffers from a life-threatening condition.

Episode 72


Prince Moon-hyo grows up, cherished by Yi San, Song-yeon, Queen Hyo-eui. and the Queen Mother. But the ministers refuse to acknowledge him as a royal prince because of Song-yeon’s lowborn status.

Yi San surprises Jung Ya-gyong and the custodians of the Imperial Library when he tells them the reason behind the transfer of Crown Prince Sado’s royal tomb to Suwon.

Yi San orders Daesu and the Dragon Troop to closely monitor Queen Jung Soon’s movements. But in retaliation, Queen Jung orders Min Joo-shik to attack the Grand Palace.

Yi San decides to designate Prince Moon-hyo as the Crown Prince, but on Queen Jung Soon’s orders, the Noron ministers support the protest of Minister Yoon (Royal Concubine Yoon’s father) against the designation.

Episode 73


While Song-yeon is pregnant with her second child, Crown Prince Moon-hyo dies of measles.

Yi San begins building Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon under the supervision of Jung Ja-gyung and the custodians of the Imperial Library. But Min Joo-shik’s men infiltrate the construction site.

Song-yeon asks permission from Queen Hyo-eui to leave the palace and stay with her brother for the last four months of her pregnancy.

Daesu breaks the promise that he made to Song-yeon.



Episode 74


Desperate to find a cure for Song-yeon’s sickness, Yi San calls for any physician in Joseon who may know the cure. He also begins considering Western medicine, despite the apprehensions of Eunuch Nam and Advisor Chae.

On Yi San’s order, Daesu goes to Qing to contact and bring back Western physicians to Joseon.

As construction of Hwaseong Fortress continues, Yi San announces to the ministers his plan to move Joseon’s capital from Hanyang to Suwon. His enemies (Queen Jung Soon, the Minister of Personnel, Min Joo-shik, and the military commanders) meet to plan their final battle with him.

Spoiler alert: Video below (no English subs) from Episode 74 shows Song-yeon painting her last portrait of Yi San. As she works on the portrait, her mind flashes back to the happy moments that she and Yi San have spent together.



Episode 75


As Jung Ja-gyong perfects his 5-pulley system, Yi San prepares to go to Suwon and hold a birthday feast for the Queen Mother (Princess Hae-kyung).

Suh Jang-bo of the Dragon Guard becomes angry at being excluded from the promotions that Yi San has approved. Meanwhile, Yi San orders Daesu to continue monitoring the Noron officials and the military commanders.

In Suwon, Lord Jang questions Yi San’s decision to build Hwaseong Fortress.

The Minister of Personnel gives Min Joo-shik the inside information on Yi San’s schedule of activities. When Yi San is briefly separated from his Dragon Guard at a temple, Min Joo-shik and his warriors attack.

Episode 76


Yi San’s Dragon Guard foils the assassination attempt during the nighttime training exhibition and arrests all the plotters from the Noron faction and the military commanders. Even Queen Jung Soon (Grand Dowager Queen) is arrested.

But even under torture, the plotters refuse to implicate Queen Jung Soon.

Lord Jang retires from government service, while Jung Ya-gyong becomes a Secret Inspector.

Episode 77: Finale


1800 — 24th year of Yi San’s reign as King Jeongjo ...

Just like the way his grandfather King Yeongjo tested him with a question, Yi San now tests the young Crown Prince. When his tutor Jung Ja-gyong offers to help him, the Crown Prince says he must find the answer to the question by himself.

Yi San goes out to the capital on market day and finds out that prices have dramatically deflated due to the shortage of coins. The price of copper that’s used in making coins has gone up, and to make matters worse, merchants and nobles are hoarding their coins.

Dalho and Mak-soon have adopted a child who’s as lazy and dimwitted the way Daesu was as a child.

Yi San receives the completed manual on military arts written by the small guy from the countryside who once beat up Daesu and Suh Jang-bo.

Despite his failing health, Yi San goes to the royal tombs and holds a memorial service for Song-yeon and Crown Prince Moon-hyo.

Riots break out in the capital because of the coin shortage.



Historical backgrounders and other information


King Jeongjo (Yi San)



Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (built by Yi San, aka King Jeongjo)



Grand beauty of Hwaseong Fortress



Royal tombs of Joseon Dynasty, memory of royals live on



Renaissance of Joseon King Jeongjo

King Jeongjo implemented “tangpyeongchaek,” an engagement policy toward rival factions, which was intended to give people equal footing in politics, even though the king suffered continuous threats of assassination from opposing factions.

King Jeongjo Cradle-to-Grave Tour

“I am sad that your majesty does not love me and terrified when you criticize me. All this turns to anger,” Sado confessed. Fine print in the old palace brochure reported, “It was on May 13, 1762, that the courtyard in front of Munjeongjeon witnessed the most tragic incident of the century. It had been reported to King Yeongjo that Crown Prince Sado was mentally ill and behaving erratically. Furious with the Crown Prince, his father ordered him sealed alive in a large rice chest.… It is believed that Crown Prince Sado was a victim of a conspiracy by his political adversaries."

King Jeongjo Tomb Parade Reenactment

For the first time in 220 years, the royal procession of King Jeongjo the Great visiting the tomb of his father (Crown Prince Sado) will be re-enacted. The 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, King Jeongjo moved his father’s tomb to Hwaseong, Suwon and thus visited the tomb 13 times to pay tribute to his father, making these rituals the biggest royal procession in the dynasty.

The Education of the Joseon Royal Household

Crown Prince Sadoseja was killed by his own father, King Yeongjo, who locked his son in a rice chest. This happened when Sadoseja’s son, who later became known as King Jeongjo, was 11 years old. It came as a huge shock to and confused young King Jeongjo. But despite his miserable childhood, he came to be known as one of the greatest kings of the late Joseon dynasty in the 18th Century who brought about a cultural renaissance.

Seven years after his eldest son died, Crown Prince Sadoseja was born to King Yeongjo. Upon his birth, the king decided to crown the newborn. To that end, the king distanced himself from his son and let others in his court take care of him in order to raise him as a future king. Later, King Yeongjo and Crown Prince Sadoseja felt uncomfortable with each other. Sadoseja was afraid of his father all the time, and King Yeongjo scolded his shy and nervous son. Crown Prince Sadoseja’s fear of his father led to mental problems. Whenever King Yeongjo reproached him, Sadoseja beat or killed people to relieve his stress. That made King Yeongjo more furious and provided an excuse for the king to put his son to death. The author explains that parental indifference in his childhood brought Sadoseja to a tragic death.

King Jeongjo’s parade turns back clock 222 years (Sep 26, 2017)

The reenactment of King Jeongjo’s procession to his father’s tomb was previously hosted separately by multiple local governments. This year, however, the city governments of Seoul, Suwon and Hwaseong co-hosted the procession for the first time.

The parade involved 4,391 people and 690 horses, and proceeded all the way along the 59.2-kilometer path from Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul to the Yungneung Royal Tombs in Hwaseong-si City, Gyeonggi-do Province, where the king’s father, Crown Prince Sado (1735-1762), is buried. The procession began with a reenactment of the ceremony to formally depart Changdeokgung Palace.

The highlight of the parade was crossing the baedari, a temporary bridge built on multiple pontoon boats anchored in a line that linked the neighborhood of Ichon with Nodeoulseom Island in the Hangang River.

Hwaseong Fortress: Haenggung, the Palace of King Jeongjo

King Jeongjo is regarded as one of the better Joseon rulers, and he attempted to move the capital of the Joseon Kingdom from Hanseong (Seoul) to Suwon. At the end of the 18th century he built Hwaseong fortress around the natural hill Paldalsan in Suwon, and built his new palace, Haenggung, inside the fortress.

King Jeongjo was the grandson of King Yeongjo, and the son of Crown Prince Sado and Lady Hyegyeong. The most famous story of royal intrigue in the Joseon dynasty is the tale of how King Yeongjo killed his own son, Crown Prince Sado. The best account of this story is The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong, which is also the first book known to have been written by a Korean woman.

The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyŏng: The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea by Lady Hyegyeong, JaHyun Kim Haboush (Editor)

Lady Hyegyong's memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of her husband by his father, is one of the best known and most popular classics of Korean literature. From 1795 until 1805 Lady Hyegyong composed this masterpiece, which depicts a court life whose drama and pathos is of Shakespearean proportions. Presented in its social, cultural, and historical contexts, this complete English translation opens a door into a world teeming with conflicting passions, political intrigue, and the daily preoccupations of a deeply intelligent and articulate woman.

Reading Machiavelli in the Letters of King Jeongjo

The discovery of a hoard of secret letters written by King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800) came as a great surprise. As many as 299 letters were found, complete with dates and envelopes intact. But even more surprising were the contents of an academic paper on the find. Most of the letters were addressed to Shim Hwan-ji, a representative of the Byeokpa faction and the king’s sworn foe. Or so it has been believed, according to the contents of the annals of the Joseon Dynasty. But the letters tell another story — that Jeongjo was a typical Machiavellian ruler.

Lessons in photography from “Yi San”




Lessons in photography: background blur, shallow depth of field



Lessons in photography: sidelighting, shallow depth of field



Lesson in photography: conveying depth through selective or differential focusing



Lessons in photography: foreground and background blur



Lessons in photography: out-of-focus partial frame, rule of thirds



Lessons in photography: natural frame, hidden geometric pattern



Lessons in photography: cast and contained shadows



Lessons in photography: compressed perspective, shallow depth of field



Lesson in photography: direction of light



Lessons in photography: high angle shot



Lessons in photography: low angle shot, natural frames, lines



Lessons in photography: shallow depth of field, line of direction



Lessons in photography: bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas), sidelighting



Lesson in photography: conveying depth through overlapping forms



Lessons in photography: diagonal lines, patterns, natural frames



Lesson in photography: lines



Lesson in photography: direction of light



Lesson in photography: low angle shot



Lesson in photography: natural frames



Lesson in photography: shooting odd-numbered groups is easier, natural frames



Lesson in photography: shooting odd-numbered groups is easier



Lessons in photography: compressed perspective, shallow depth of field



Lessons in photography: keystoning, low angle point of view



Lessons in photography: light and shadow, low-key lighting



Lessons in photography: linear perspective, natural frame



Lesson in photography: linear perspective



Lesson in photography: reflections



Lessons in photography: high angle shot, hidden geometric patterns, converging lines



Lessons in photography: linear perspective



Lessons in photography: rule of thirds, aerial perspective



Lesson in photography: foreground blur



Lesson in photography: Dutch tilt (Dutch angle)



Lessons in photography: lines of direction



Lessons in photography: background blur, selective or differential focusing



Lessons in photography: emotional content of colors, color temperature



Lesson in photography: conveying depth through selective or differential focusing



Lessons in photography: partial frame, foreground blur



Lesson in photography: rule of thirds



Lessons in photography: shooting against the light, rule of thirds, aerial perspective



Lesson in photography: natural frames



Lessons in photography: focus on the eyes, lines of direction, foreground blur, selective or differential focusing



Lessons in photography: foreground blur, selective or differential focusing



Lessons in photography: golden hours, silhouette, rule of thirds



Lesson in photography: local frame



Lessons in photography: golden hours, silhouette, rule of thirds



Lessons in photography: silhouette, golden hours



Lessons in photography: natural frame, high angle shot



Lessons in photography: conveying depth through overlapping forms, lines of direction



Lesson in photography: conveying depth through selective or differential focusing



Lessons in photography: low angle shot, Dutch tilt or Dutch angle



Lesson in photography: low-key lighting



Lesson in photography: natural frames



Lesson in photography: shooting odd-numbered groups is easier



Lessons in photography: vertical lines, diagonal lines



Lesson in photography: low angle shot (low angle point of view)



Lessons in photography: natural frames, converging lines, vanishing point



Lessons in photography: natural frames, partial frames



Lesson in photography: natural frames



Lesson in photography: diagonal lines



Lesson in photography: foreground blur



Lessons in photography: natural frames



Lessons in photography: out-of-focus highlights, bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas)



Lesson in photography: shallow depth of field



Lessons in photography: high angle shot, shooting using available light



Lessons in photography: bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas), shallow depth of field

Photographic device oftentimes used in “Yi San”: In wide shots, this drama’s cinematographer oftentimes uses foliage or flowers at the top, bottom, or side areas of the frame. Posted below are some sample scenes where this device is used.

Posted by Atty. Gerry T. Galacio at 3:30 PM
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