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Assassin-filled forests and masked dances in The King Loves

Romance sageuk The King Loves has released its first teaser, and it already shows signs of heartbreak as a tight friendship among a trio of friends devolves into a painful love triangle. Set in the Goryeo period, this pre-produced melodrama is about how misaligned love connections and twisted ambition leads to backstabbing and betrayal between two best friends as they become rivals in love and power.

Im Shi-wan (Misaeng) stars as a prince with dual sides, who masks his inner power-hungry side with a virtuous outer mask. His best friend is another royal, played by Hong Jong-hyun (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo), who ends up losing everything to Im Shi-wan and vows to take his one true love, played by Yoon-ah (The K2). She’s the daughter of the wealthiest merchant in Goryeo, and becomes the main source of contention between the two men as they begin to vie for her affections.

The teaser shows Yoon-ah and Hong Jong-hyun running through the market streets, and the three friends meet in a meadow of flowers. Then later, Im Shi-wan and Yoon-ah dance together at a night festival wearing masks, while Hong Jong-hyun watches from afar wearing an inscrutable expression through his mask.

A scene of assassins fighting in a sunlit bamboo forest is shown, and the mood changes to one of sadness as clips of Im Shi-wan and Yoon-ah crying are seen. The copy reads: “A beautiful and sad love story of two men and one woman.”

The last scenes are character shots as flower petals descend around them, introducing the three main characters: Wang Won (Im Shi-wan), Eun-shil (Yoon-ah), and Wang Rin (Hong Jong-hyun). Im Shi-wan narrates in the background: “This is the story of the me who loved you better than myself.”

Monday-Tuesday drama The King Loves will begin this July on MBC.

Via DongA Sports

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Beautiful scenario as usual but did people used to wear eye masks like that in Goryeo ??

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I don't know, but other recent shows with masks have been not to my taste. It's almost like some writers or producers think a dramatic mask is an adequate substitute for a good story. Spare me.

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The producers definitely want to add extra drama there. It doesn't seem to fit though.

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That was my first thought too lol. They look pretty european in both shape and the motifs on them. And the answer is definitely no. These are what masks on that time period looked like:
http://www.korea.net/upload/content/editImage/140826_korea_mask_9.jpg

It may be an example of sageuk's taking from other sageuk's rather than actual history, since Moon Lovers also had similarly ahistorical masks and was set in the same time period. With the mouth veil Yoona is wearing, I think something like those were worn by Chinese woman during some time periods, not sure if Koreans ever did though, but the motif on it is definitely a European design.

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Thanks for the info! It did look weird to see people in supposed-Goryeo wearing masks that wouldn't look out of place in a Phantom of The Opera-esque masquearade ball hah.

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I too remembered Phantom of the Opera scenes haha! XD

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Maybe they are not using these masks because it might creep out the audience rather than set the romantic mood lol.
But the motifs look too European style...

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No I don't think so

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I. can't. wait.
I hope this drama will give me the satisfying pain that I'd always received from other saeguk dramas. Let's just hope that I won't be having second lead syndrome on this drama. Cheeebal~

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....I don't know how to tell you, but I have read the book (story recap, to be exact) and trust me, you definitely would get SLS

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I got the feeling that I'd fall for second lead just by watching the trailer, but I'm still hoping that Si Wan's aura will overcome the syndrome.

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At the end of the day, the girl loved both guys but differently (at least she didn't give false hope to another guy and didn't walk doe-eyed whole book, I hope they wouldn't change that here), bromance was also there, even if guys were opponents, they didn't totally betrayed or hated each other.
Storyline is good, so it would be better if you simply enjoy that.

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Is it really sls if that's the guy she chooses? (if you're talking about who I think you are)

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I'm talking about HJH. Since the title itself is revolving the King, I bet the King will get the girl eventually?

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I'm also curious if they're gonna change the ending of the novel too.. i think the title didn't just circled around him being in love with the girl (and he wasn't romatically attracted to her btw). In the story, he both loves rin and san and his obsession just ruined him eventually. His bisexuality also makes it a more interesting too.

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I have read the book summary too and I feel like chemistry between the 3 leads is so important in the drama. I’m not too worried for siwan and yoona since its showing alr in their still cuts but I’m still skeptical with hong jonghyun tho. I’ve seen his most recent movie and I was so disappointed how he didn’t look convincing at all that he’s in love with his female lead. I’m concerned since he has to have that feeling with both won and san. I know it’s wrong to judge him just by seeing one movie so I hope he would prove me wrong in this drama. I ship rin and san in the novel so I hope hong jonghyun delivers.

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i wanna read the book. where i can read it? any web ? or bookshop? english translation i hope

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A user in onehallyu made a full summary in the 3 books. Check out TKIL's thread there and go ask to be in his message group so you could read it. It's also nice to follow the thread there.

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onehallyu.. okaay thanks really for the information
suppose if i wanna buy the book , no english translation then

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I read the book summary too and it feels like they would probably downplay the presence of Hong Jong-hyun's character Wang Rim in the drama.

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It's not really SLS when the girl loves and ends up with the supporting guy tho (I haven't read the novel but I remember reading the synopsis somewhere that Siwan's character has an unrequited love with the girl).

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most of the time, i always tend to go with the second lead that's why i'm so keen in watching this since in the novel he finally gets the lead girl lol. that's not very common in kdramas so it's gonna be interesting.

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I actually find the title ironic because when you read it without knowing the plot, you would think that it's going to be a fluffy romance similar to "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds", but the story is a lot bloodier than that. It's actually like "The King Loves [in His Own Special Way]" ?.

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Thats definitely a spoiler.

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Yeah but that has been going around ever since the casting for the drama hasn't been confirmed yet

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no spoiler alert? T-T good to know, though! i typically also favor second leads.

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I don't care much for the leads, but I do love broken bromances. I remember watching Kang To and Shunji destroy each other in Gaksital, and oh it hurt so good. Bring it on!

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Aurgh, Kang To and Shunji ♥ No other drama I've watched has yet to top the pain I felt for those 2. The 3 in Chicago Typewriter comes close.

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i have a soft spot for Yoon-ah ever since Love Rain haha...so this trailer kinda makes me wanna watch even though I'm about to pick up Seven Day Queen this week, was just waiting for it to get to the halfway point plus there's two new dramas premiering in July that I'm planning on watching...omg so much exciting new shows this summer!

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I liked her in Love Rain too! Some of us were just commenting on how we have an unexplainable fondness for this drama on the drama catnip feed about feuxcest!

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Excite!! seems like Eun shil was looking at Rin even though she was dancing with Wan. The teaser is already so good.

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I got that vibe too! And then I just smiled evilly to myself because I'm apparently a sadist.

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I want to love it, but the crying in the teaser is making me laugh, probably because I'm actually a terrible human being. I'll give it another chance when there's a bit more context & hope the romance pulls me in.

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Not bald people in korea back then, everybody with amazing long hair.

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I think the bald is Chinese during Qing.

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I always wonder how, even if you don't cut my hair for century or two it would still be till my shoulders (in best case scenario).

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Goryeo was a tributary state of Yuan (Mongolian Empire) around this timeline.
The Mongolian hairstyle requires shaving part or most of the men's hair. (pretty ugly if you ask me)

The Goryeo royalties were forced to marry Mongolian princesses. So I'd say there were definitely a strong Mongolian influence in their culture, the way they dress etc etc.

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Hmm. Interesting. I like the three leads, but I'm not sure if I can handle all the heartbreak and angst this is sure to delve out. I guess I'll decide after the first couple of episodes.

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Oh, I'm enchanted by the pretty and finally? something that my husband will watch!

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I've got a soft spot for bamboos so I'll probably check this out :), but hopefully I will have more reasons to stay than just my love for bamboos.

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@ 10 HyeMi,

If bamboo is what floats your boat, you might want to check out BICHEONMU / DANCE IN THE SKY (2008 drama with Joo Jin-mo, 14 eps.). The full 38-episode Mandarin-dubbed version with the same international cast was released in 2006 as FEI TIAN WU / FLYING HEAVENLY DANCE. There's lots of swordplay in the bamboo forest. And the music is beautiful. Here's "Nocturne" (F), track 2 of the Korean OST.

Bichunmoo drama ost
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_SBL1lfaO0

DAMO has Ha Ji-won slashing her way through the tops of the bamboo, too. If that's not enough, she's terrific in the film version, DUELIST, minus the bamboo. Her sword tangos with Gang Dong-won are worth the price of admission. ;-)

In either case, beware of the onion ninjas.

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Oh wow thanks so much for the recommendation. I'll give both a shot. They look beautiful!

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You're most welcome! Anything to spread the bamboo-and-sword tango joy. ;-)

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Oops! -- The Chinese version of BICHEONMU was 33 episodes instead of 38, I think.

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Please don't worry. If the drama is good I'm not usually intimidated by the length. 14 eps doesn't sound excessive either. :P

I'm looking for Eng subs for these, but from the first glances I must say the visuals in these two sageuks are really my taste. ???

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@HyeMi June 26, 2017 at 3:31 PM,

I'm so glad I went out on a limb and mentioned them. I think I was tipped off to BICHEONMOO / DANCE IN THE SKY in comments on DUELIST -- something about swirling robes and playing hide-and-seek among the clothes lines in the dye yard. (Similar scenes occurs in CHUNO -- and BALLAD OF THE PRINCE, but minus the sword fighting.)

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So is Fei Tian Wu a different version than Bichunmoo? That ost is so beautiful I want to give it a shot too, onion ninjas notwithstanding.

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@WishfulToki,

No -- it's the same international production -- just the entire story. The Korean drama was a subset of the full-length show. I recall reading somewhere that the Chinese version had back story that was missing from the Korean version, so the plot made more sense.

Junny very kindly tracked down a site with the Chinese version (alas, no English subtitles). See discussion in Open Thread #495 for details:

32 PakalanaPikake April 14, 2017 at 7:31 AM

I think I checked out BICHEONMOO after watching Si-won in the Mandarin-dubbed wuxia A BATTLE OF WITS, which was surprisingly accessible. I was not into martial arts flicks back in the 80s, but now that I've gotten addicted to sageuks, I can appreciate them much more. BATTLE OF WITS introduced me to the work of the late martial artist and actor Yu Chenghui. He (and teenager Jet Li) debuted in SHAOLIN TEMPLE, which I finally watched a couple of months ago, and thoroughly enjoyed. I don't think there's any bamboo to speak of in either film. But the martial arts sequences are well done. ;-)

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I got emotional just watching the teaser. I looks like a big tear-jerker, let me get the tissues ready.

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The trailer was a bit underwhelming but there has been plenty of shows with whatever trailers that end up being great

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Goryeo/Three Kingdoms is my favourite period in Korean history but for some reason I don't think any recent dramas have managed to capture it convincingly since the excellent Queen Seon Deok in 2009.

I think it might be because a lot of the recent productions set in Goryeo period (like Moon Lovers, Hwrang) are vehicles for non acting pretty boys and idols so the overall quality of the shows themselves is poor. It's a pity because Goryeo and Three Kingdoms period was a fascinating time with great hair and clothes and had lots of kickass women as well.

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What? Lee Jun ki, Park Hyungsik, Park Seo-joon, and Im Siwan are not "non acting pretty boys and idols". The problem with those shows was definitely mostly the writing and not the cast.

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Never said they were but IU, Baekhyun, Nam Joo-hyuk, Seohyun, Minho and V certainly are.

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Yes true, but they weren't the main characters except IU. I do see your point though since it seems those dramas went out of their way to cast many popular idols/models. Still there have been good and successful dramas that did that too, so I think it's ultimately more about the writing and a different/better cast wouldn't have made much of a difference. I'd definitely love to see more non-joseon era sagueks that are actually really good though.

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I don't think you have watched good thief bad thief where she is a lead and the responses from knetz haven't been bad about her

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Can't expect fusion sageuks to capture that time period convincingly.
Emperor Wang Geon (2000), Dawn of the Empire (2002), Age of Warriors (2003), Shin Don (2005), Jeong Do Jeon (2014), Tears of the Dragon (1996) are the closest you can get to what was written as history of Goryeo.

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I lost hope to see if the glorious days of sageuk will come again.. Heavy romance sageuk is not my thing regardless how well made it is except if it is something like Princess Man. That's why I rather watch Jackpot compared to the Moons last year, or even Ruler despite of mediocre writing. As long as I can figure something else beside romance that can attract my attention, I'll watch. It is sad that we might almost will never to see again, epic sageuk with three kingdom era, which is not focusing on romance solely..

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Preach....if you want to watch a real sageuk, go way back to the golden era.

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Maybe you should check out KBS1 sageuk dramas. They are usually the hardcore shows for the middle-aged audience and it focuses more on court intrigue than romance and comedy. Unfortunately, they are more male-centric.

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Jeong do jeon 2014 starred by Jo jae hyun is the one I am watching right now which is long, about 50 episodes. I am on episode 30 and I am still enjoying it! Quality sageuk, I must say.

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Hwarang wasn't set during the Goryeo period. It was set during the Silla period.

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Not sure I'll be in the mood for another tragic historical romance so soon after Seven Day Queen, and with a less experienced cast. But I have to say, the wig department is doing some fine work. Hong Jong-hyun looks miles better than he did in Moon Lovers.

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I fall for the cinematography, really can't wait for next week. Rooting for Hong Jong-hyun!! I just hope none of the leads will end up dead cause I'm getting strong Scarlet Heart Ryeo vibe.

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so beautiful <3
FYI, MBC said the king loves official title is the king in love.

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eun shil?? it's eun san tho..

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i wanna read the book.. does anyone here knows where we can get the access to read it or buy it maybe? english translation i hope

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This looks like a flop really.

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I really excited for this one for some reason. Strange because I generally hate sageuks so I hope this one doesn't disappoint.

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I need to clarify: The girl ends up with the best friend & not the prince??

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At least in the novel, yes.

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Thank you! If they maintain this in the drama, it'll be so refreshing. I always have second lead syndrome. Someone asked if the guy's still second lead if he got the girl. I think if she liked the other guy first, then yes! X)

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Btw i suggest that you would check out this drama's thread in onehallyu. There's a lot of pretty interesting infos there

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Thanks for this! I've never been there before.

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Next week already? Wow! So soon! I am excited to check this out. Im Siwan is back!!

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i smell flop..

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I kind of miss Hong Jonghyun's evil eyeliner and top bun from Moon Lovers...

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Are they just trying to leave us all breathless with the visuals? The actors...the cinematography, the colors...IT'S WORKING LOL

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This looks good, however in historical dramas there is too much political aspects going on, I`m in for romance.

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Im Shi-wan has soft voice

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i see masks in these teasers, i'm getting scared now. got disappointed with last 2 sageuks i started that featured a character with a mask.

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just to clarify, got disappointed with the writing rather than (most of) acting

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I like hong jong hyun's acting more. Why must he be 2nd lead?

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I'm rooting for Hong Jong-hyun in this too. Don't worry second lead is there to make you suffer for his syndrome? Let's hope this be good and oppa will get his first lead role soon.

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Looking forward to this!!! Siwonnie!!!!!! I hope it will be good.

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Siwannie (got autocorrected lol)

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The teaser looks pretty. I'm going to watch this for Siwan because this might be his last project before enlistment.

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It is. He's gonna enlist even before the drama will air.

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