Character stills and extended descriptions for MBC’s Ruler–Master of the Mask
We’re less than a month away from the premiere of the highly anticipated drama Ruler–Master of the Mask, finally!! *throws confetti* Production and character stills have been released for the upcoming MBC sageuk melo, starring Yoo Seung-ho (Remember–Son’s War) and Kim So-hyun (Bring It On, Ghost), so prepare yourself for a barrage of pretty.
These productions stills were taken back in early January when cameras first started rolling, and oh my days, does Yoo Seung-ho wear the ye olden times clothing well. I am beyond excited for this drama to start already, because I have a Park Bo-gum- and Kim Yoo-jung-shaped sageuk hole in my heart that needs to be filled, stat. Also, the whole political intrigue mixed with star-crossed lovers plot is giving me strong Princess’s Man flashbacks, which can only mean good things.
MBC has also released character stills and descriptions on their website, which gives us a more detailed look into each of the main six characters. Cautionary note: Korean broadcasters have an unfortunate tendency of sharing more than they maybe ought to before their shows air, so proceed at your own risk. SPOILER ALERT!
First, we have our prince behind the mask, Lee Sun, played by Yoo Seung-ho. He’s described as being born to wield power, but he gives up the throne for the sake of his people and his lover. As we know from previous articles, prince Sun himself doesn’t know why he is made to wear a mask, and so he goes searching through the palace records himself for the reason. What he finds is that he once suffered from an unknown illness, but instead of being treated by the royal physician, a mysterious figure named Woo-bo was called to his aid. Convinced that Woo-bo holds the key to the mask’s secret, Sun flees the palace to go search for him.
The prince’s aforementioned lover is Kim So-hyun’s Han Ga-eun character, who is said to be decidedly unladylike due to her upbringing in a family of warriors. Ga-eun loses her mother early and, coupled with her family’s financial woes, develops a steely, independent outer shell that hides a positive, gentle personality and is still a young girl at heart. Awww, I love her already. It looks like Ga-eun will also have a connection to Woo-bo, whom she visits to learn and dream of freedom. There, she will meet her first love Chun-soo, who shares her aspirations, but their relationship is cut short with the death of her father at the prince’s hand.
L (She’s So Lovable) will portray the peasant Lee Sun, who swaps places with the prince because of love. The peasant Sun was born with a fierce intellect and a temper to match, two traits completely unsuited for a low-born commoner and a butcher’s son. Uneducated and destitute, peasant Sun becomes enthralled with Ga-eun, who teaches him to read, gives him a name, and is basically the first person to treat him like a human being. No wonder he lurves her. He knows his crush can never be realized, so he gives up on his heart and his education. BUT, that’s when he meets the prince, who stops him from getting revenge when his butcher father is killed for stealing water. Looks like there’s bromance in the air, if only the love triangle doesn’t mess it up.
Next, we have our female second lead Kim Hwa-goon, played by Yoon So-hee (Memory). The granddaughter of the leader of shadow organization Pyeonsoohwae, Hwa-goon is used to having her own way. She starts out with a low opinion of the weak prince who has to live behind a mask but has a fateful encounter with the prince in a greenhouse, where she discovers he is not as meek as rumor has it. She starts a dangerous one-sided love that leads her to betray her family and also become the head of Pyeonsoohwae.
Our main villain is Dae Mok, portrayed by the masterful Heo Joon-ho (Beautiful Mind). His outward appearance is misleadingly warm and kind, but he possesses a sharp mind that is expert at using those around him to his advantage. Uh oh, these types are the scariest. Pyeonsoohwae used to be a figurative hunting dog for generations of kings, but Dae Mok decides to become the real power behind the throne after the previous king and his father contribute to his beloved wife’s death. Yeah, I can see Heo Joon-ho acting the heck out of this character.
And finally, rounding out our main cast is the mysterious Woo-bo, played by veteran comedic actor Park Chul-min (Moonlight Drawn By Clouds). Once a star scholar and official at Sungkyunkwan, the incident involving the prince’s illness leads to his royal physician brother’s death in prison and his own exile from the palace. He now lives a solitary life outside the palace walls, selling off his family’s possessions to help others and rejecting offers to return as a government official. A yangban (nobleman) by birth, Woo-bo rejects aristocratic norms and gives zero sh**s about his actions, language, and appearance, lol.
MBC’s Ruler–Master of the Mask will begin its run on May 10. *taps foot impatiently*
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