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Two great warriors fight for an ancient city in tvN’s Arthdal Chronicles

As excited as I am for this epic-looking sageuk, I’m also equal parts apprehensive that the show will fall short of the massive expectations placed on it. That won’t be stopping me from checking it out though, and I’m really hoping that tvN’s Arthdal Chronicles will succeed in telling its epic tale without falling flat. In anticipation of the premiere of the show’s Part 1 (of 3) in several weeks, the show has been steadily releasing promo material, and the latest reports have released some new stills of its male leads, Song Joong-ki (Descended From the Sun) and Jang Dong-gun (Suits).

I love a good hero’s journey, and Song Joong-ki’s Eunseom character definitely fits the bill for a promising tale of literal rags to hero. His mother is (was?) a member of the Wahan tribe, but his father was a “Neantal” – which I’m pretty sure is what we think of as a Neanderthal – and so Eunseom was always considered a half-breed and outsider as he was raised among his mother’s people. He may seem carefree and naïve on the outside, but those aspects of his personality mask a dangerous warrior who will go up against the powerful Tagon (Jang Dong-gun).

Jang Dong-gun’s character sounds like a hero in his own right on paper: His father is the leader of the Saenyuk tribe and sits at the head of the alliance uniting all the different tribes in Arthdal, while he is himself a skilled strategist who leads an army for his father. While still a teenager, he led his tribe to victory in a great war, and has quelled rebellions stirred by tribal leaders. From the looks of it, Song Joong-ki’s Eunseom is going to have a formidable opponent in Tagon.

I don’t know if it’s because the show’s been on my radar lately, but Arthdal Chronicles vaguely looks and sounds like Game of Thrones, which is a great show to draw comparisons to. It’s not helping to dampen my expectations, though, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether Arthdal can meet them once it premieres.

The fantasy action adventure drama Arthdal Chronicles will premiere on tvN’s Saturday-Sunday slot on June 1.

Via X Sports News, Maeil Kyungje

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Damn! Jang Dong Gun looks sooo fine with long hair. That's my only opinion about this show for now.

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Jang Dong-gun's mane of glory is very, very beautiful.

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This looks quite good and hope it will deliver into the fantasy and bring us some good mythology and intresting characters!

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Past history tells me the more a show is promoted, the worse it really is. Looks nice though.

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Haha, god I know right? It's the Third Law of Kdrama

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Yes, but I first noticed this with American drama and film...

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Hoping this isn't like DOTS! Which had good parts but also wtf moments

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DOTS was mostly wtf for me. I never bought SJK's portrayal of a warrior.

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What??? The Description of his character said he was a half breed between a human (Homo sapiens) and a neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis)???? WRONG!!!

1st: Homo neanderthalensis are said to be extinct since around 40,000 years ago when the early Homo sapiens reached the continent that we call Europe today (Out-of-Africa II for some Human Evolution info if someone wants to know);

2nd: Homo neanderthalensis are a species of the genus Homo that is predominantly European and Middle Eastern called Eurasia (including the Denisovan). There is no way that this genus was in South Korea. The early Homo genus that we know that lived predominantly in Asia (Out-of-Africa I) was Homo erectus, and several remains, were found in China. Other sub-species of the genus Homo were found in Oceania, namely Homo floresiensis in Indonesia (another sub-species were found recently).

3rd: There have been studies of DNA of breeding between these species (Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and Denisovans), and I read a scientific article that explained that the first half-breeds were mainly "sick" (first generation). Had lots of health problems, because of genetic cross-over. To me, Song Joong-ki is protrayed rather healthy, and he looks more Homo sapiens to me.

But, no Homo neanderthalensis in South Korea, and much less during the timeline that this drama seems to promoto.

Sorry, folks, what a joke. I know this is just a drama, and needs to be viewed just for entertainment. But, dramas also have an input on history and how it perceives, because many people nowadays don't bother to read or study. Dramas need to be informative and educational as well. And as a pre-historian and historian myself, this is a joke.

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You're right. But, let's cut them some slack for poetic licence and all, and get entertained though...

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This, haha, I actually laughed out loud when I read he was part Neanderthal, all I could think, was really kdrama? really? neanderthal? I will watch anyway, also Jang Dong Gun looks so much better with weight on, i hope he keeps it.

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I mean we're all part Neanderthal. I think korea might have been infiltrated by the Young Earth Creationists.

Honestly, the more I hear about this show the more it seems like an hilarious train wreck. I'm tempted to watch it just for that. But I'm afraid my train wreck schedule is full for now. Maybe I'll ride the rails after it's crashed and burned.

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No quite. A researcher from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology made a study of ancient DNA, and he discovered that Europeans and Asians have neanderthal DNA, while Africans have 0% (of course, it was just database = but it explains the Out-of-Africa II, because Africa had the first early Homo sapiens, and they never met a neanderthal until they went to Eurasia, so the generations of the Homo sapiens in Africa that never went to Eurasia, never breed with Neanderthals and Denisovans). It's just theories that make sense to me. But, it's very interesting to study.

But, I agree with you on this production. It seems like a train wreck. I'll probably check it out just for entertainment purposes.

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What time does the train depart? Can I sit next to you and we can laugh together?

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I'll let you know the schedule when it's available. I guess it depends on how ordinary Absolute Boyfriend and Abyss are.

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Can I join? xD

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@kathia
All aboard the Televisual Disaster Express

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"...infiltrated by Young Earth Creationists..." ha, ha, ha. I actually have "friends" who are "young earth creationists". Whatever. After all, time is relative.
But I'm wondering just what percentage "neanderthal" will he be? Will we be able to tell just by looking?

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None I guess. They just wrote he is/was half-breed. I doubt the production will care to make him look that way. They just named him "half", and that's it xD

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Impressive explanation. Thank you!

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Your welcome! ;)

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I was thinking the same lol.
The first thing I thought was that the physique of a Neandertal would be way different. JGK has ZERO traits to be even considered (even in fantasy) mixed.

On the other hand (about what you said) mixed descendants from Neandertal and Crogmagnon has been said for decades to be impossible (I remember reading The Clan of the Cave Bear saga when I was young and my dad saying it was pure fantasy bc those two species didn't even interact, they weren't contemporary. Now I can hear the author laughing. Hard.)

Later that 'mayyyyybe' they were contemporary.

Then that yeah, maybe in some places they cohexisted -Neandertal in their extinction period, and the Cromagnon in their rise one- and the later basically finished the job.
But they always insisted that they could never procreate with each other.

Until La Sima de los Huesos in Spain. Where they found countless bone remains that contradicted everything we thought (that's the thing with history and archeology, nothing is set in stone, until the next discovery). Even those who thought it 'could' exist mixed individuals, it was thought they would be fragile, or sick, or deformed. But La Sima de los Huesos proved that wrong. They were healthy and the comunity there cohexisted as one.

I don't know in what time is this story set, so I have no idea what they're aiming for. What I do know is that JGK looks NOTHING like a Neandertal, considering he's playing a mixed race (and this is literally, not like the concept we have now). No flat and big noses, no flat and low forehead, no strong jaw, no big and strong arms and legs, no bulky frame...nothing. He has nothing.

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Thanks for your post...Spain...I was in Atapuerca two years ago and it was amazing.

But, yes, lots of different species of the genus Homo could've lived in the same timeline and in the same continent. About breeding, I remember the early years of my youth that people said it was not possible. But, it was possible. Neanderthals and Denisovans breed with each other, and there are macro remains that prove that. But cross-breeding differs from individual to individual. Those between Neanderthals and Denisovans were mainly sick. There are consequences, but, those consequences differ between individuals and their genetic input. For example, Equus caballus (horse) and Equus asinus (donkey) are able to cross-breed, but the individuals born from that link, cannot breed because they are born sterile.

Probably those from La Sima de los Huesos had genetic properties that matched those of the other groups they cross-breed. I think it's all about genetics, and if they match or not.

Science is an endless research, and it never stops. New information about the past will continue to surface. It's all very fascinating indeed.

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This is what I don't understand about kdrama sometimes. They spent million of dollars and years of production but didn't bother to do basic research.
I remember a few years ago I read an article about tv show, Star Trek Enterprise, the producer hired scientists (PhD in physics and engineering) from Stanford and MIT to assist the writing team.
I thought a producer from an industry as big and competitive as Korean film and tv show industry would do the same thing, but apparently I'm wrong.

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Song Joong Ki, how much i have miss you. I think his character here will be different than any character he is playing i think. Based on teaser I saw.
Gosh Jun and Jul will be my heaven, because my biased come back on my small screen. How much i have wait this moment to come.

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you had me at song joong-ki half naked with or without the hair and jang dong gun sporting long frocks! seriously though i am rooting for this to be awesome and thrill us all with its epic story and characters!

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I don't really see any similitudes with Games of Throne. If I'm not a fan of the story of the last season, the costumes, places, in short all the production looks great. I don't see that for now for this drama.

I have some issues with their looks. JDG looks great with those muscle, but the perfect brushing kills the bad guy vibe. And why a perm and brown hair for SJK? It looks kind of ridiculous and not like a charismatic "wild" man...

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i'm just glad Jang Dong Gun isn't anorexic looking as he did in Gentleman's Dignity... this beefy/healthy look is fabulous on him!

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Jang Dong Geun looks like Jesus with a side part

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lol - best comment yet

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SjK's character sounds a bit like the kid in How To Train Your Dragon 🤣. From scrawny kid to saviour. Ehehe

And....he is channeling his wolf boy character vibes. I forgot the name of that wolf movie of his 😅

I'm distracted by JDG's triangle beard. But his hair can challenge Thor's fabulous locks. 💇🏻‍♂️💇🏻‍♀️

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In werewolf boy, he seems more aloof. Might due to his char was unable to speak. In here it seems his character is more like Naruto to me. What should I explain it, like he seems has strong ability but still naive from the real world.

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his father was a “Neantal” – which I’m pretty sure is what we think of as a Neanderthal

Now, that's one pretty Neanderthal there. Definitely not the face you'd expect from a Neanderthal

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Oh, no! Due to all these comments, I'm pretty sure I'm going to laugh a lot if I watch much of this drama. I can't decide if they look manly or ridiculous.

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Based on the stills...SJK does not look manly in my eyes. Meanwhile I'm distracted by JDG's hair and triangle beard.

Mianhae SJK and JDG 😅

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So we'll go with ridiculous.

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They are actually a timely reminder of how I have neglected my hair.

If I had a wee bit of discipline like Jang Dong Gun, I'd have his luscious waves. I bet it's silky smooth too! Mine is unfortunately like Song Joong Ki's(minus the Obasan's perm), dried and frizzed. A hair mask after coloring and a perm is the order of the day.

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At first I took you too seriously...

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I am digging this look on Song Joong Ki! and Jang Dong Gun looks amazing too!
Joong Ki looks like a cross between his werewolf character and Hrithik Roshan for some reason (well to me)
Actually, this is kinda like Mohenjodaro lol (kinda only in the sense that it is about a very very early civilization)

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And like Mohenjodaro it will be a mess? (jk)

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Lol I really hope not!
This is brand new territory(right?) for a kdrama to be doled out in installments.

So fingers crossed for now!
I love sagueks and this is a 'new' (old haha) kinda story, one that I haven't seen before, so I really want it to be good!

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" In anticipation of the premiere of the show’s Part 1 (of 3) in several weeks"

What? It has three parts? Anyone, help?

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They already filmed all the episodes but they are divided in 3 seasons.

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The promo material looks interesting but I still need something more to get hooked.

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It’s available on Netflix US so I may watch it. Not excited though. But looks like a high cost production so will check it out for that.

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I'm just thrilled this is a historical (even if it is fantastical) that is set in a different period then Joseon. I love historicals but I'm burnt out on every drama ever being set in Joseon. I'm super excited for this and really hope it turns out well.

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At first I saw SJK and I though "Daaamn". Then I read the article and at the end I saw JDG picture and my brain just got fried adhajshgjsfgjsdhgfjsadhfjsdfj
Like, HOW some people gets more and more attractive with age??? JFC asdhsakfdhksdjfhksjd

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Hm, I don't know. The more I look at the stills the more I am unconvinced of this "fantasy world".. It looks to me like the whole appearance of the characters - mostly all the costumes and makeup and all, look so artificially done? Like they don't look lived-in, worn, real clothes; or real dirt on their faces.. looks very costume-y to me 🤷

And like you, I also saw similarities with GoT. Especially the stills of the lady in the red dress (the Villainess actress, forgot her name) and Jang Dong Gun wearing the fur coat/armour

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I have incredibly low expectations for this...but also totally planning to watch it, so *sheepish shrug*

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Why can't they just stick with the mythical story? There is no credible resources to go that far into historical territory.
The myth that this drama is based on was written during the 13th century by a monk as a hobby.

In the story, Song-ki's character is a son of a heavenly prince and a bear woman. This is the same story that is shown in the beginning of LEGEND OF THE FOUR GODS but the focus wasn't on Dangun but his father and his reincarnation as Gwanggaeto the Great.

This is almost as expensive as LOTFG (40 billion won) and twice the budget of KINGDOM.
Good luck to the cast and crew!

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omg learned that One, the actor playing Cha Si An, is young Ta Gon!!!!!!! <3

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lol i'm VERY worried this drama is going to try too hard and fall flat on it's face lol

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The Lannister send their regards...😁

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