Drama Recaps
The Great Seer: Episode 1
by | October 15, 2012 | 85 Comments

A solid start to SBS’s newest late Goryeo-era sageuk, the premiere of The Great Seer (aka Daepoongsoo) delivered on setting an epic table for future conflict to come. We’ve already got a historical period rife with conflict (with the whole fall of Goryeo and the rise of Joseon), and within that conflict we find the beginnings of a love story. Of course, that’s a blip on the radar when everyone and their mother is focused on finding a piece of land that only one man knows how to find.

The few emotional tethers in the episode did leave me wanting, and while I’m willing to give the show more time to establish its many many characters, I do hope we can find some heart in all this grandness. That’ll be like the icing on my sageuk-loving cake. With Ji Jin-hee as the cherry on top.


The Great Seer OST – Gyuri [Kara] – “Breaking Fate” [ Download ]

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We open on a bleak and rainy vista eight days after an event known as the Wihwado Retreat began the first stirrings of rebellion that would eventually be responsible for turning the tides of power from the longstanding Goryeo Dynasty into the Joseon Dynasty.

It’s the year 1388, and General YI SEONG-GYE (Ji Jin-hee) is making his return to the capital after refusing to carry out a campaign to invade Liaodong.

Aware that there is no turning back now, he remarks to the bright-eyed man at his side, JI-SANG (Ji Sung) that if they fail now, what they have done will be considered treason. There’s no arguing with that, but Ji-sang offers a comforting thought: “If you succeed, it is a revolution.”

Ji-sang is our seer and scholar of divination, and tells a questioning Yi Seong-gye that the heavens aren’t on his side on this one. However, there’s comfort to be had when he tells the general that he is a human who can change the mandate of heaven.

So it’s with this new sense of assuredness that Yi Seong-gye chooses to advance on the capital, while Ji-sang holds out his hand to catch raindrops from the storm.

A star falls from the heavens, and all different mythical animals appear larger than life – dragons, phoenixes, some kind of dinosaur. Their respective colors pool together in the midst of the mountains.

We’ve jumped back to the year 1342, where a head shaman receives what looks to be the same vision, and it causes her to tremble from head to toe before she faints in front of an audience of young shamans in training.

She’s seen a constellation which carries prosperous news for the current royal family (King Chunghye’s reign at the time), and they’ll need to now find this place of mythical convergence. To do this, they choose to send a great seer from Seowoongwang (the office of astronomy and divination) named Dong-ryoon, who has the gift of sight as well as silence, something they’ll probably need most.

Dong-ryoon goes alone on this great journey, braving rapids and cliffs in an effort to find the land. We flashback briefly to see the Head Shaman give this great order to him based on a prophecy that it would be found, even though the road will be beyond difficult. But she believes the sacred land will protect Goryeo, and charges Dong-ryoon with burying a seal once he reaches it.

One of the girls hovering at the shaman’s side, YOUNG-JI (future Lee Seung-yeon), expresses her desire to go with Dong-ryoon on his journey, only to be rejected. He believes in purity of mind and spirit in order to find this spot, and even rejects the ring Young-ji tries to give him before he heads off alone.

In a forest heavy with fog, strange mystical forces seem to be at work as the trees around him grow branches instantaneously and the sky above him grows dark. The appearance of a pack of wolves sends Dong-ryoon running for the safety of a cave, the threshold of which strangely keeps the wolves at bay.

With the way in blocked, Dong-ryoon heads into the cave and over a skeleton, whose clothes he then commandeers to use as a torch to help lead the way.

After breaking through a rock wall at the end of the cave, Dong-ryoon lands in a dreamily-lit valley overseen by a very young and very tiny monk, who promptly chides Dong-ryoon for arriving fifty years too early, and even talks down to him despite his age. Ha.

But the little monk reveals no answers except for a thwack over Dong-ryoon’s head, which causes him to disappear and the valley to reveal the site in the mountains he’s been looking for. There he sees the mystical animals – a blue dragon, a white tiger, and a green tortoise.

It’s here that he sets to burying the seal, only to find a stone buried there first with the inscription that this is the site of the great king to come in fifty years. Kind of like a ‘Don’t Open Till Christmas’ thing, and it has Dong-ryoon remembering the same words from the tiny monk.

There’s no welcome party waiting for Dong-ryoon upon his return, as the Head Shaman directly oversees his torture in order to glean the sacred site’s location from him. He believes that divulging the location before the fifty years have passed will cause harm to the people, and gets an eye poked out for his trouble.

She tries to get answers next by making him responsible for the life of a common man, but he keeps his lips sealed even as the prisoner is beaten mercilessly in front of him.

Now we’re in the year 1352, the first of King Gongmin’s reign. Soldiers raid a village to steal women and girls, even taking a bride from the middle of her wedding. This act is overseen by official YI IN-IM (Jo Min-ki), since the girls are tributes to be sent over to Yuan.

Though he looks dispassionate, the pleas of an earnest mother and father cause him to free their young children. Which is nice, I guess?

…Except, when the husband of the stolen bride pleads for her return, In-im stabs and kills him with a sword that can only be made once every twelve years. So, not so nice? What’s up with him?

A neat mock battle/dance is held in front of King Gongmin and a sour-looking ambassador from Yuan. He doesn’t enjoy the show, and accuses Gongmin of preparing those soldiers to fight against the empire.

Gongmin denies the accusation and Princess Noguk, his wife, defends him. The Yuan ambassador has a stick up his bottom and attacks the warrior leader for kicks. It’s sad to see him willingly give himself to the ambassador’s cruel ways after telling King Gongmin that it was an honor to serve him – effectively knowing that there’s nothing they can do to stop what’s coming.

So Gongmin looks on with tears in his eyes while his warrior gets cut down in front of him, unable to do anything to help. The final blow proves too much for Princess Noguk to bear, and she grabs a sword to wield against the ambassador in an effort to make him stop.

Her husband stays her hand, reminding her that they can’t let the warrior’s death go in vain. He has to put on a brave and humble face as he placates him, even though all the man does is cut Gongmin down. Does he think he’s a real king sitting on that throne?

The girl we first saw at Seowoongwan, Young-ji, finally stands up for her king and calls the emissary out on his disrespect. Gongmin orders her to be executed for her insolence, though In-im tries to save her by telling her to beg the ambassador for her life. She would rather die.

He’s spied in the hallway by one of the female shamans from before, SOO RYUN-GAE (Oh Hyun-kyung), and we cut to them sharing a passionate moment in bed. She knows his heart belongs to another woman (I’m gonna say it’s Young-ji), and that she’s just a booty call, but seems okay with that. For the moment, anyway.

In-im is disgusted at what he sees as Gongmin’s cowardice in always bending to Yuan’s will by sending girls and letting his warriors die. He hates having to be ready at such a king’s command, which has Ryun-gae using a vial of poison around her neck to instantly kill fish in order to prove a point – she wants Gongmin gone.

And, unsurprisingly, she wants In-im to kill him.

Young-ji gets taken from prison to what she presumes to be her execution, only to face the Head Shaman instead. She reminds Young-ji of Dong-ryoon’s quest ten years ago to find the sacred site, and how he’d tried to hide its location.

She was under the belief that he’d died on the journey, so this is all coming as a surprise to Young-ji. Even more so when she asks why the location was hidden, only for King Gongmin to make a surprise entrance and answer her that Dong-ryoon said that it wasn’t time yet.

Gongmin claims that him being a puppet of the empire is due to a lack of power (really?), and that finding the sacred site will make him a real king. He charges Young-ji to get Dong-ryoon to talk. Apparently they’ve been holding him prisoner for a decade.

We catch up with Dong-ryoon sportin’ an eyepatch while he exercises in prison, and he’s able to stab a beetle on the wall from across the room in an excellent display of martial arts skill. Then he eats it. Ew.

He’s prepared to kill the guard who retrieves him, only to be faced with the Head Shaman instead. The sunlight is too much for him to bear once he’s taken outside, so this is probably the first time he’s seen it in a long, long while.

Young-ji gets to visit him while he’s chained up like a dog, and he can’t even open his one good eye to get a look at her due to the overload of light. She entreats him to give the location of the site so Gongmin can grant him freedom and wealth in return, something Dong-ryoon scoffs at.

It’s definitely been a while since he’s even heard a woman, so he’s a little hot and bothered by Young-ji’s presence. She asks him if he’ll divulge the location if she gives him her body, and his response? “I don’t like skinny girls.” Ha. I don’t think it’s supposed to be funny, but it is.

With tears in her eyes, Young-ji asks Dong-ryoon to open his eye (keh) and recognize her. She’s almost offended when he asks her how she’s been: “I told you that I would wait for you. The person I waited for for so long didn’t come. How do you think I have been?”

She doesn’t understand why Dong-ryoon would stay this way if he found the site, to which he cryptically replies, “I found it. But I didn’t find it.” She calls him stubborn and stupid like the old days, and it finally gets a smile out of him. She’s not as amused.

And just like that, ten years of torture becomes meaningless as one look at her causes him to agree to tell Gongmin everything. However, according to him, a decade would change the landscape, so before he can draw a map he’ll have to find the site all over again.

This time, Young-ji and an entourage follow Dong-ryoon on his journey, which he has to make shackled. One look from him seems to indicate that he’s got other plans in mind, and he manages to get the guards to undo his shackles so he can bathe.

However, when he gets into the water, he uses his small dagger to dispatch the two swordsman following him and makes a daring escape. The entourage of soldiers loses him while Young-ji finds and follows him, braving the river on her horse with shackles in hand. Yeah, like that’s really going to work.

Her horse can only go so deep before it falters, causing her to tumble off and into the water. Even though Dong-ryoon is a ways away on an escape boat, he can’t ignore the sight of Young-ji in danger and saves her from drowning.

She’s pulled into the hull of his boat like a fish, still grasping the shackles and keys. She shackles her wrist to his before he has time to react, and throws the keys into the river. Yikes.

When Dong-ryoon asks her how she knew he would escape by water, she replies that a peek into his fate showed that he would become wood, which floats. Ergo, all she had to look for was water. He’s kind of surprised that she’d look into his fate, and almost jokingly asks if she looked into their fate together. I’d say yes.

He reveals that he had no plans to go to the sacred site, and ends up getting her help in rowing away once the entourage of soldiers arrives on shore. Shackled together, they row down the river to safety.

It’s raining and dark by the time the two make it to a town, and Dong-ryoon sneaks them into a blacksmith shop to chop the chain binding them. He watches Young-ji as she sleeps across the room, and focuses specifically on her bare feet.

In the morning, Young-ji wakes up to find him gone. She’s about to run out in a panic only to have him return bearing a gift of shoes. Aww. Except they’re way too big on her. Double aww.

I love that her feet become a point of contention, where she has to convince him that she can follow him wherever he goes even if her feet are small, all while he’s intent on trying to convince her to go home because they’re too small. She’s got no plans of doing that, and stays intently by his side.

News of the escape has reached King Gongmin, and he orders In-im to find Young-ji and escort her until she finishes the mission. And, once it’s done, he’s to release both Young-ji and Dong-ryoon. If she fails, then Dong-ryoon must be brought back alive.

In-im humbly says that he’ll follow Gongmin’s command, which we know are words he hates to say. At least Gongmin seems suspicious of him, since he asks the hiding Shaman whether In-im is trustworthy after he’s gone.

“He is a vicious man,” she admits. “He will get the job done.”

In-im is waylaid on his way out by Ryun-gae, who reveals that Gongmin wants to find the site in order to gain independence from Yuan. In-im finds this laughable since his impression of Gongmin is that of a coward, until the Yuan ambassador reveals himself from the shadows.

Ryun-gae must have planned for him to overhear, and the ambassador offers In-im a separate mission – give the location of the site to him, so he can kill the spirit of Goryeo. Also, he’ll give In-im a personal introduction to the emperor.

In-im agrees, which has me scratching my head. I get he’s in a tough spot, but really? He hates Gongmin’s servitude to Yuan and now he’s like, Sure, I’ll submit to your will and kill my country. Doesn’t make sense.

Either way, his mission is to now kill both of them, even though Young-ji is a princess. He’ll have to make it look like an accident.

He’s sent off to find Dong-ryoon’s brother, which seems to be where Dong-ryoon was heading. Dong-ryoon gets there a little too late with Young-ji and finds his brother’s home in ashes without a soul in sight.

There’s movement in one corner, but it’s only a small girl that emerges from her hiding spot. She readily takes food Young-ji offers, and when asked about who’s responsible for the destruction, she claims it was a monster who came to eat her mother and father.

She points out the monster as living in the forest, so Dong-ryoon and Young-ji go on the hunt. They don’t realize that they’re being tailed by human-like shadows until they come across a den in the forest decked out in blood red cloth and human skeletons. Eek.

Their footsteps activate a trap, causing them to be swept up by a huge net underneath their feet. They’re soon surrounded by men wearing animal skull headdresses wielding swords and taken to their main encampment, which includes ladies scantily clad in leopard skins serving wine and thrills in a den. Hmm. Okay.

It’s not clear who the Headdress Guys are, but they’re clearly worried about spies since they think our couple might be some. But Dong-ryoon only wants to find his brother, and when the tribesmen don’t answer yes or no on whether they killed him, Dong-ryoon goes into a rage.

He’s no match for them, and is clotheslined before he can even get a hit in. What looks to be one of the head honchos orders them to be executed, but as they’re dragged out, Young-ji yells over her shoulder that they can find an enemy encampment the tribesmen have been unable to find.

This rouses the interests of a drunken man, who saunters up to her and carelessly croons, “What did you say?” Young-ji: “I said we can find their base for you.”

The leader, a young Yi Seong-gye, sniffs at them like a dog before deciding that they can only be spies, to which Dong-ryoon protests that he’s only looking for his brother. But, because he’s a prophet, he can find the base they’re looking for.

…Except they don’t really use their skills of divination as much as the power of plain old deduction to help them narrow down the list. Young-ji thinks that the base must be near a huge rock able to shield them from landslides, which have been prevalent for the year due to heavy rainfall.

When one of the men asks what they’ll do if they don’t find the base, Seong-gye pulls back a bowstring without an arrow and aims it at Dong-ryoon. “I will kill you,” he says, with a devil-may-care smile.

But lo and behold, Young-ji and Dong-ryoon manage to lead them straight to their enemy base. Seong-gye can’t help but suppress a delighted glee, eager to jump into the thick of battle while his comrades urge him to use caution.

I love that he’s like, “Screw that” before he grabs a quiver of arrows and rushes to the entrance, yelling for his enemies to notice him. He couldn’t be happier, and his comrades can only shake their heads at his trigger-happy antics.

Seong-gye is an excellent marksman, and shoots down one man for every arrow like it’s nothing, in what turns out to be a really fun sequence.

By the time the army inside is alerted enough to storm through the gates, Seong-gye’s merry band of men pour out from the forest, ready to go to battle.


We covered an insane amount of ground for a first episode outing, and we’re really not even on the first course yet. Our leads haven’t even been conceived at this point (as far as I know), so it’s interesting that we’re going so far back into the world that shapes them.

But, we’ve still got Yi Seong-gye as an adult on screen, and since this story’s got to happen in the span of his lifetime, it seems like we need to be getting to our leads sooner rather than later. Then again, I’m always the viewer chomping at the bit to see child actors turn into adult actors, since I figure the real story starts once we’re over the prologue stages. I think I’m going to be in for a long wait with this one.

As for what we did see, The Great Seer gave us an overall solid premiere that hit most of the right notes. I think one of the pitfalls of having so much story to tell in such a short amount of time is the fact that we can lose the human connections in wave after wave of epic grandeur, and it wasn’t until about halfway through the episode that I figured out who we’re supposed to be focusing on/caring about. Dong-ryoon’s story ended up moving me most even without knowing much of anything about him or what drives him, unless it really is just a pure-hearted love for the greater good.

That being said, I think it’s telling about him that he’d let an innocent man be killed to protect his secret, though I wish we would have gotten to explore these smaller moments with him a little bit more before making him jump from crisis to crisis. Having a decade pass where nothing changed in the middle of all that didn’t seem to help his cause much either, though I’m guessing it was to get us closer to that fifty-year mark.

While it was nice to see Young-ji’s love story develop with Dong-ryoon, it was also a little confusing to see her feelings unchanged after ten years and her reaction to not only finding out that he’d been alive for a decade but also imprisoned and tortured under her king seemed lacking, somehow. Whether that’s an acting or writing issue I’m not really sure, but it’s like we just had to keep moving right along with no time to sweat the small stuff.

That trait can be both good and bad, but more the latter when we enter the case of villain (or possible villain, we’ve only got a hunch at this point) territory. In-im has a lot of potential to be a layered foil, though his motivations confused the heck out of me. I get that he wants King Gongmin out, but what else? He spent most of the episode blaming Gongmin for being a pawn in what’s essentially a flawed system, only to feed right back into that system by submitting to the Yuan ambassador’s every whim. Did I dream the part where he was upset that the ambassador killed one of Gongmin’s warriors in cold blood?

I’ll be especially honest and admit that I had no real idea what was happening in regards to the tribesmen, though I’m guessing we’ll see that story fleshed out more as we see more of them. Young Yi Seong-gye was an utter delight, though, and Ji Jin-hee‘s screen presence was like a bolt of charismatic and incredibly sexy show-stealing lightning to the trailing end of this episode. Sure, he’s channeling a little Jack Sparrow, but he’s just so fun, isn’t he? Crazy warpaint and headdress notwithstanding.

We know he’s destined to become the future King Taejo of Joseon, but I hope we’ll get to spend more time with this version of him, at least. Or that this fun-loving, ready-for-battle version of himself doesn’t get lost in the throes of endless politicking later on. A girl can dream, anyway.

I think we’ve got a lot of potential with the fantasy/divination aspect of this show, and if the script can focus a bit more on the human stories amidst the grandiose scale, we’ll have a solid sageuk offering on our plates. Whether this one will hit it out of the park or not will end up depending on what the story is once our leads take the stage, but we’ve got a good foundation and a future king in pretty epic guyliner to get us there.


85 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. gummimochi

    Ji Jin-hee is awesomely sexy. Headdress and all. Enough said. 🙂

    • 1.1 JoAnne

      I picked up on Jack Sparrow – it wasn’t just the eye paint, but even more so the attitude. What I DIDN’T realize was that this was Ji Jin Hee, who I’d only ever seen in He Who Can’t Marry. WOW. I mean, I loved him in that but this…he is meant for sageuk. Or at least, he is meant for fur, and bear skulls. Mama like!

      As for the show: this is my first sageuk. I was absolutely glued to my seat for the first two episodes, back to back. I cannot WAIT for the next episodes. Maybe the timing is just good since because of Faith I know who Gongnim and Noguk are and I can ‘place’ this a little bit…but I’m ready for some history!

      • 1.1.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        i also didn’t recognized him at first..i thought it was another actor portraying the young General Yi..ha!

        • Aii

          i could barely recognize Ji Jin-hee but seriously that headdress is EPIC!!!! and Ji Jin-Hee is an awesome actor…loved him in dong yi and it was because of him , i started watching this…cant wait for more 😀

          • KAI

            Yeah my best saguuk actors are ILL GOOK, JI JIN HEE, LEE TAE GON,BAE SOO BIN, PARK SHIN YOUNG..RYU TAE JOON, and many more hooray KDRAMA.

      • 1.1.2 Kiara

        Ji Jin Hee does sageuk better than anyone. He is basically the main draw here for me ( my first and current crush lol). Jewel in the Palace was my first sageuk and I have loved sageuks ever since.

        • Tha

          You took every word out of my mouth, Kiara! He does no wrong in sageuks!

      • 1.1.3 atomickitty

        JoAnne, if you haven’t seen Ji Jin Hee in sageuk, you HAVE to watch Dong Yi. Talk about meant for sageuk…

      • 1.1.4 dramabliss

        Ji Jin Hee is much more compelling when playing sageuk characters. Loved him in Dae Jang Geum and Dong Yi. He’s the main draw for me in The Great Seer, much more so than Ji Sung, who is also one of my favorite k-actors.

      • 1.1.5 Kim in Gran Couva

        Ji Jin Hee is also amazing in Dong yi and Jewel in the Palace. He is an incredibly sexy and good looking man, and a talented actor too.

    • 1.2 True2u

      The guy is amazing!!!!!!!!!!! I watched the first episode this morning and was impressed, I can’t wait for other episode!

      Ok fangirls this is my opinion, get it!? My Opinion!!! This is most definitely going to be the best fantasy drama for me this year!! A REAL fantasy drama with top notch acting!!! What the drama did in one episode faith couldn’t do with all the 18 episodes I’ve watched!!!

      • 1.2.1 Kiara

        Great Seer is more old school, heavy on the history than fantasy. Arang is the real fantasy type sageuk.

        • True2u

          Really? I have yet to see it. I’m waiting for it to finish airing then I will start it depending on the ending.

          The reason I consider this a fantasy was because of the dragon, tiger and ect. and individual who seek power.

          • Kiara

            Those are spirits with special reverence and importance related to Korean Shamanism and Buddhism in that era.

          • Kiara

            There was a blend of Shamannism and Buddhism during the Goryeo era. Thats why they are showing seers and monks in this drama.

        • Coco

          Well, based on epi 1 and 2 (2 more than 1), this is more epic and more fantasy than Arang. Epi 1 maybe a bit hard to take due to the unnecessary killing (of the warrior dancer) and the sex scene (unnecessary), but I totally loved epi 2. I’m looking forward to this.

          • Kiara

            Historical, politic, action, romance. I dont see the fantasy you are talking about at all.
            Arang is mostly fantasy, its even based on a ghost story and nothing to do with real history or any real event.

  2. Arhazivory

    Oh wow. I totally loved this premier and the 2nd ep got better. It’s great that you recapped the first episode at least. 😀

  3. kakashi

    hm. this looks interesting. thanks for the recap!

    • 3.1 kakashi

      (I’m ‘hm-ing’ because I was ‘hoping’ the crazy drama-watching schedule would ease up. But who needs sleep anyway?)

  4. saltandpepper

    4th to comment….yay 🙂

  5. MsB

    Loved it! Flat like I steppe into the movie 13th Warrior! All supernatural and fighting! My kind of drama! Hopefully done right!

  6. ricky

    I was hoping this show would get recapped here. Are you planning on recapping the whole show? Either way, thanks!

    Is it just me or was it weird how she handcuff’s herself to him, tosses the key, and then proceeds to help him escape? Totally pointless. You could totally skip two of those steps and get the same result. I swear, if she’s like that for the rest of the prologue (?) I’ll probably develop an ulcer.

    Definitely interested in the story of the princess and prisoner. Wished the prisoner put up more of a fight against the headdress guys because it seemed like he was training for 10 years. But whatever. The final scene was bad ass, though. Probably the best scene in the entire episode.

    • 6.1 Antic

      I think she expected him to try and ditch her at the earliest possible convenience, hence the handcuffs. Given that he did try to warn her off, I thought it seemed reasonable enough.

      • 6.1.1 ricky

        That makes perfect sense. You have no idea how much that part bothered me. Thanks for clearing that up!

        • bd

          The handcuffs made sense since she was afraid that he was going to ditch her.

          What didn’t make sense was her falling into the water and then floating down towards the bottom of the river when the water only came up about a third of a way up on her horse’s legs.

          • JoAnne

            It’s ALWAYS that way in every drama I’ve seen where someone falls in water. Perhaps Koreans should have ‘Dry Clean Only’ tag, because they all seem to shrink in water!

          • Msb

            I don’t know about Korea but I can take you to some lakes here in Virginia as well as other places with some serious drop offs but I give them poetic license to make it more dramatic

          • Quiet Thought

            Shrinking in water appears to be a Korean trait, along with poor peripheral vision, getting a fever whenever touched by raindrops, and the need to sleep with the lights on. As a foreigner, I’m learning so many things about the Korean nation from Kdramas!

    • 6.2 Kiara

      Dong-ryoon’s is a first and foremost a seer. I’m not sure about his fighting ability. The Mongols were known for their fierce fighting skills etc. I think finding his brother was the main reason he went there.

      • 6.2.1 ricky

        I guess when I saw him doing pullups in his cell and throwing knives I expected he had been training himself to fight as well.

        • anais

          I think he has been training his body for strength and agility, but there’s only so much martial arts training that can be done in underground solitary confinement. Knife throwing totally makes sense. I was impressed he was able to even maneuver around the soldiers to slit their throats.

  7. cv

    I really liked the first two episodes. ^_^ I like the setup of the story and the conflict so far is solid. The pace moves as right along considering there were so much things/storylines covered in two hours. Wowser! It’s going to be awsome for sure! *BEtter BE* haha!
    I’m actually anticipating this (long) Wed/Thurs. drama other then Arang and Third hospital. 😛
    IF anyone haven’t seen it yet, should give a try.

  8. shiku

    Ji jin he looks so sexy here. I love him in sagueks so I will definitely tune in to watch. Headsno2 will you be recapping the whole show?

  9. Village Mrembo

    The Great Seer & Horse Doctor r rocking my socks off at the moment! And JJH…crazy mofo, for once he’s not a kingly king with all that stuck up speech going on, love this playful side of him!

    • 9.1 Kiara

      I finally found subs for Horse Doctor at Hulu but I’m not really interested in the child actors for some reason. Usually they are good but they are not winning me over here. I believe the adults will be making their appearance this week then I’ll start watching because I’m dying see Cho Seung-Woo (finally in a drama).

      I like the first 2 eps of Great Seer, I’m liking how King Gongmin is portrayed here. Ji Jin Hee is rocking the Mongol tirbal crazy badass warrior.
      I’m not sold yet on The Great Seer but its looking good so far.

    • 9.2 Gaeina Lee

      Me too! Both Great Seer and Horse Doctor are rocking my week days. They have solid ensembles in both dramas, and good cinematography.

      JJH and JS are fabulous as usual. LYW and LSW are gonna be awesome. And Joo Jin Mo… duh! I’ll just awwww… ^^

  10. 10 beggar1015

    While the episode never lost its forward momentum, I also found it went a little too fast, sometimes leaving me behind. (Thanks for telling me the evil shaman’s name is Soo Ryun Gae. The show went so quick that I missed a lot of the characters names, let alone motivations.) And yeah, what did those hairy warriors have to do with Goryeo and the sacred site anyway?

    I guess you can’t have it both ways. You either get great pacing with the story or emotional connections with the characters. I’m still on a fence with this show. But thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2.

    And dare I ask (don’t hit me! don’t hit me!), does this mean you’re not going to recap Oohlala Spouses?

  11. 11 pixiemoonstardust

    ji jin hee. hot in that headdress. it’s also giving me princess mononoke flashbacks.

    • 11.1 Ann

      In PM the headdress wearing one was the girl wolf daughter, right? PM is my favorite anime ever.

  12. 12 Kiara

    OMG thank you Heads <3.

  13. 13 ps18

    let’s watch ^^

  14. 14 Betty

    Oh cool a recap for the Great seer. Thanks HeadsNo2 even if it’s a 1 time thing. Like usual it is a great recap.
    I loved the first 2 episodes. I watched them out of boringness and for now I don’t regret.

    HeadsNo2 said “Young Yi Seong-gye was an utter delight, though, and Ji Jin-hee‘s screen presence was like a bolt of charismatic and incredibly sexy show-stealing lightning to the trailing end of this episode.” —–> SO-TRUE!!! SO-HOT and charismatic!!!! Mooooooooooooooooooore please

  15. 15 Jelly

    Have watched Ep 1 & 2 and I’m hooked.

    Love Dong Ryun and Young Ji love story.

  16. 16 Janet

    i think I’m really going to love this sageuk!

  17. 17 Peridot

    Yes, Lee Seong-gye is definitely sexy!

    This show is definitely exciting, but I do think that some of the transitions between scenes (at least scenes that are supposed to effect us emotionally) would be a bit slower. I would, for example, have expected a stronger reaction from Young-ji after finding out that Dong-ryoon, whom she believed was dead, had actually been tortured and imprisoned for the last ten years. Beyond being thrilled and excited, I also want to connect with the characters. Nonetheless, I have hopes for this drama and am excited to learn what happens next!

  18. 18 owl

    Lots of fur, skraggly hair, and old history. Not sure I can get into this one, 14 century and all. With 6 more episodes of Goryeo in Faith, it may be all the historical fantasy time travel and divination type drama I want just now.

    I’m always open to a good love story though, if there are promising inklings of one soon, like by next week. HeadsNo2, your recap will help decide that for me, so thanks for your hard work!

  19. 19 Suzi Q

    There has been a lot of sageuk recently about King Gongmin with different perspectives.

    No body does sageuks like Ji Jin Hee. Like the comment about Jack Sparrow. Can’t wait until he discards the cheezy animal headress and he is dressed in costume. Always looks HOT!

    Beginning reminds me of Legend, so I hope it is as epic.

  20. 20 MEK

    omg i didnt realize it the “Man who cant Marry” dude. Gorgeous man!!! I think I’m going to like this drama. Korean History is turning out to be very interesting…mind you this all started with Faith – then I started doing some research to see if they come close to actual history…

    • 20.1 Nia

      Korean history has always been interesting…
      and I assure you…it starts wayyyyyyy before Faith…
      as there’s lots of sageuk drama for every dynasty…

  21. 21 Catherine

    Ji Jin-Hee was AMAZING in this episode

  22. 22 Blue

    It seems like a face pace storyline drama which is what i’d love very much!!
    the recap was amazing..please continue with tge remaining ep.wont want to miss recaps for such dramas.

  23. 23 racheose

    JI JIN HEE!! gosh i’m so in love with him XD even if he is more than half my age hahaha now i can’t wait to watch this (must resist for finals TT^TT)he and cha seung won are my ultimate crushes hahaha thanks for the recap though at least i can read it even if i can’t watch yet 🙂

  24. 24 bd

    The 1st 2 eps were pretty enjoyable; lots of action and the battle scene w/ JJH was pretty entertaining.

    Yeah, due to the quick pace, some of the emotional undertones weren’t fully investigated, but there was enough to start getting an emotional attachment to Dong-ryoon and Young-ji.

    Definitely kept my interest up which is not something that can be said for “Faith.”

    Thought that King Gongmin was a pretty interesting character and well played by the actor.

    That mock dance/battle was nicely choreographed and beautifully shot.

    It’ll be interesting how the whole age-thing works out. I figure the young Yi Seong-gye is in his 20s – which means by the time we get to the prologue scene set in 1388, Yi Seong-gye should be in his 60s.

    • 24.1 Peridot

      I actually think that he would be in his 50s by the time we get to 1388. When he meets Dong-ryoon, it has been ten years since the latter has been in prison. So this means, thirty more years will pass before he becomes king. I think that I did the math right lol! If we go with a minimum age of 20 (in the year 1352), then he will be fifty-two by the time he becomes king. But it might be safer to assume that he would be in his mid-fifties.

      • 24.1.1 bd

        I took into the account the 10 year leap to 1352.

        W/ 36 years passing – then Yi Seong-gye would be in his late 50s, and that’s while only being generous and making him a very young 20 in 1352.

        • dreamandwonder

          This may not mean a whole lot given that it’s dramaland and timelines may or may not be mutable, but the real-life Yi Seong-gye was 17 in 1352.

  25. 25 the68monkey

    So glad this is being recapped! Thanks, HeadsNo2!

    Question: How is Young-Ji a princess? I’m confused. Earlier, it looked like she was studying with the shamans, since she tried to give Dong-ryoon the ring to take with him; 10 years later she’s sitting at court when Gongmin orders she be killed for insulting Ambassador Yuan. Hmmmm. . . .

    I’m liking the Dong-ryoon character a lot, but wonder how much more screen time he’ll have before we jump forward in history and he may or may not still be alive.

    I can’t say I’m impressed with the actress playing Young-Ji. She’s not bringing much depth to this character so far. She’s out-acted by her love interest whenever the two are onscreen.

    I’m digging the whole wolf brothers tribe, but not sure how it fits in with anything historically related to this era in history. 😛 Nice to look at, though.

    • 25.1 Jelly

      I’m liking Dong-ryoon too. plus the actor does pretty well.

      Is Dong Ryoon and young ji ‘s baby will turn out to be Ji-Sang, who is the great seer and the general’s baby with the priestess be the other rival.

      I hope the pd-nim will not kill Dong ryoon yet.

  26. 26 Sonia

    Wait so when there is Gongnim around, there gotta be Choi Young too eh? Now would it just be epic if they had Lee Min Ho do a cameo for this drama! lol

  27. 27 sally_b

    YAY! HeadsNo2 is recapping this. (I really like your writing style)…plus I have endless respect for you having endured the ENTIRE Dr. Jin. I still think you should get an award for that.

    Halfway through the first episode of Seer, I was thinking, eh…this may not be my cup of tea, too much focus on the Baddies which always kills a drama for me.
    …then BAM ~Ji Jin Hee appears and I’m like….”OH YEAH, this show rocks.”

    The second episode had enough to keep my interest as well….the biggest question mark for me is if I’ll be in it for the long haul because 36 (!) is a LOT. Undoubtedly there will be a whole truckload of ‘filler’ episodes. If such are paced next to really GOOD episodes …they might keep me hooked…..oh and keep the Ji Jin Hee awesomeness on screen, that should do it.

  28. 28 Keren27

    i’m not one for sagueks but “the great seer” and “horse doctor” are reeling me in. can’t also wait for the next episode. thanks for the insightful recap Heads! ☺

  29. 29 glo

    HeadsNo2, thank you so much for recapping The Great Seer.

    I watched episode 1 & 2 and boy I love it.

    One of the reason is because of Ji Jin Hee, sageuk is his forte, I first saw him in DJG & then as a King in DY; so I was pleasantly surprised to see him as a chief / tribal leader who opposes his own country (aka Goryeo), but supports the Empire. I really want the writer to explore it a bit more, so we know the reason why he hate Goryeo. One thing that we all know from the history, he’s General Yi Seong Gye, the founder of Joseon dynasty, the first Joseon King.

    Honestly, I prefer King Gongmin & Queen Noguk in Faith rather than in The Great Seer. Maybe because I fall in love with RDH & PSY ^_^

    So far, the first 2 episodes are solid; the plot moves extremely fast; maybe because they’re not the main characters; they’re there merely as a prologue.

    • 29.1 Kiara

      Yi Seong Gye’s father was from Goryeo but was serving Yuan as a Mongol official. Yi Seong Gye was raised in a Mongol tribe and took his father’s position after he died. Later he returned to Goryeo and became a General.

      • 29.1.1 glo

        Thank you for your explanation, Kiara. So that explains why he’s the Chief of the Mongol tribe.

  30. 30 lovedramas

    The only reason I am watching this is for JJH. Boy – he does not disappoint. I definitely saw him channeling Jack Sparrow, but I really did not expect that he would be channeling Jack Sparrow, esp after the poster and the horrible facial hair he has in his other outfit. He is unrecognizable in that war outfit. I only recognized him by his voice. But wow, I love the crazy drunken warrior that he is as young YSG. Love love love. JJH oppa – fighting!!

    I also can’t wait to see the other adult leads. 🙂

  31. 31 midwestmz

    I normally would not get started on a 36 episode drama. For some reason did start this one. Found the first episode a little confusing, but you help those of us that are so fluidity challenged.

    Now, since I have a hang on how the foundation of the story line is going, looks interesting. This is a totally new angle on a sageuk then I have experienced before. Should I say that it has helped to watch “Faith” to have their ‘fore knowledge’ of the time and the peoples that this one covers. Would the characters of the time represented here, actually have available or use of such shamans, or use them in a manner close to being depicted here?? This is just an angle that has not been portrayed before in any production I have to seen date.

    I cannot say I am hooked, but I will try and hang in there and see how this one unfolds and develops.

  32. 32 Quiet Thought

    Exactly what tribe to the furry tribesmen belong to, anyway? I’ve never see the like before east of Norway.

    • 32.1 Ann

      Yeah, that is what I don’t understand. Yi is supposed to be a Korean general, so why is he playing furry dress-up in the woods?

      • 32.1.1 Quiet Thought

        . . . And what species of animal has a skull like that with teeth like that? It looks like the skull of a giant fanged opossum. I’m still going with Yeti, at this point.

  33. 33 Quiet Thought

    . . . Although he is obviously of the barbarian race that practices good dental hygiene from birth. Those are the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen under a headress.

    • 33.1 JoAnne

      prize for best thought goes to you!

    • 33.2 sally_b

      re: “Those are the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen under a headress.”

      LOLz!! yes indeed.
      (I always have the same thought when I see Kim Nam Gil in….anything. That man has glow-in-the-dark teeth) Not that I mind çuz those teeth are in THAT face. 😉

  34. 34 red

    i’m starting to like this show. but this is the guy who killed choi young (lee min ho) so i’ve a bit of an axe to wield. haha

    • 34.1 owl

      Wait, you mean the 16 yr old with appendicitis that Eui Soo saved?

  35. 35 Kim Yoonmi

    I have to admit that with the Great Seer it is warring with Faith. The characters felt rushed and it was a bit hard because the storyline seemed to jump a lot (A lot of seemingly inserted conflict out of nowhere without character reasons for why besides another great epic battle), even in the second episode. I might have to put it aside until Faith finishes then come back.

    I like Goingmin in Faith better because instead of purposefully helpless, he’s playing chess and going through a learning curve of what it means to be a King, which gives more simpathy points from me. And something about the Gongmin here feels a little rushed and uncapable about fixing his own problems so he needs the four Heavenly Gods to help him rather than sort his own crap out. I can’t quite get behind this Gongmin, so I ended up disliking him a whole lot.

    Anyway, finish Faith, then watch this. (Probably with Jeon Woochi which I ended up volunteering modding for. –;; Don’t know why… I’m still terrible at Sageuk…)

    I hope they fix the pacing so the plot makes more sense and give the characters space to breathe and establish themselves. That’s the weakness of this drama so far. I’ll hold out hope for at least a few more episodes.

  36. 36 Coco

    This is Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi re-written. It’s definitely a fantasy drama.

    • 36.1 Kiara

      Wrong, this is not Tae Wang Sa Shin the legend of the 19th king of Goguryeo (Damdeok) during the 3 kingdom era.
      This is the GORYEO era, from King Gongmin’s reign all the way to the establishment of Joseon.

  37. 37 liiilian

    I love the drama, even though as you point out, its quite weird how YJ react after knowing that her love one still alive on this world after 10 years. But for some reason, their love remind me of the love from Ju Mong’s mother for the general – which I always remember most out of sageuk drama. Thank you for the recap, I am looking forward to the next ep and I have a good feeling about it.

  38. 38 nonski

    i must admit i was wary of this sageuk or rather of the sageuk at first but my oh my if not the sexy, sexy Ji Jin Hee does the deal. 🙂 that aside, i found the story interesting enough to want me to watch episode 2, so that must be a good sign. 🙂

  39. 39 jomo

    “The leader, a young* Yi Seong-gye, sniffs at them like a dog”


    Thanks for the recap!
    What a stirrrrrrr-range start. I am glad you recapped this because I was mostly jumping from the show to Dwiki to Hancinema to try to figure out who was what and what was going on.

    I am glad you mentioned that some of our characters haven’t been conceived yet since I kinda was wondering where the heck the money was hiding out. I think I do prefer watching child actors to watching adult actors whose role will shrink in subsequent episodes. It makes me feel really bad for them…

    On to Ep 2 and see where and how fast that takes us…

  40. 40 glace

    someone asked earlier but I’m also curious as to how Young Ji is a princess ._.
    Recaps are especially helpful for sageuks! I hope this drama gets the attention it deserves cuz its pretty awesome and we get to see more continuing from Faith!

  41. 41 the68monkey

    I’m so sad this isn’t being followed and recapped regularly. Since Arang and the Magistrate and Faith have ended, The Great Seer is the best current offering out there. I’ve been trying to watch Full House Take 2, but it just doesn’t even fit in the so bad it’s good category for me. :/

    Ji Jin-hee is electrifying as the young, rough-around-the-edges Lee Sung-gye! At first I didn’t think much of the actress who plays Young-ji, but a scene in ep. 8 had me in tears (just in time for the actress switch to take place for ep. 9).

    Here’s to hoping this drama gets another look for recaps soon!

  42. 42 Tai

    Wow, I am glad I stumbled across this re cap and the feedback. Because now I know I wasn’t alone. I watch episode 1 x2 before I realized from the dailies to the editing… this is the way the film is made.

  43. 43 Shinubi Wang

    “But, we’ve still got Yi Seong-gye as an adult on screen…”.

    Yi Seong-gye was born in 1335 and that would make him 17 years old in this drama (as it was in 1352 that all these happened). He definitely did not looked 17 and to make matters worse, they got a 41 year old actor, Ji Jin-hee (born 1971) playing him!

    Even though this was fiction but based on historical figures and events, the producers could have at least got their timelines correct. What a let down!

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