Dong Yi or Jewel in the Crown came to a close recently with the airing of its 60th episode thus ending another great historical drama. So today I thought I’d like to tell you about this drama.
During the period this drama was televised on air ‘Dong Yi’ was among the weekly list of the top10 dramas. Coincidently, the renowned director, Lee Byung Hoon, of this drama was also the director of another mega historical drama ‘Dae Jang Geum’ ‘or Jewel in The Palace’. The two ‘Jewels’ are a must see for Korean historical drama lovers.
Filled with pageantry, romance, adventure and action this drama is sure to please its audience. Like most historical dramas Dong Yi has its fair share of conspiracy, jealousy, rivalry, love, hate, betrayal, loyalty and the fight for power. Anyway it gave me many hours of enjoyment watching this drama but sometimes the wait for the following episodes to be uploaded each week was a real torture indeed. You see we had to depend on the translators for the English subtitles.
‘Dong Yi’ is a moving historical drama based on a true story, set in the Chosun Dynasty of old Korea, during the reign of King Sukjong.
During the Joseon Dynasty, Dong Yi has a peaceful and happy childhood until her father and brother are framed for killing nobles and executed. Determined to clear her family's name, she enters the palace as a servant to find a court lady who could be the key to finding out the truth.
With her resilience, persistence and strong sense of justice, she soon gains the favor of King Suk-jong and finds an ally in Queen In-hyeon as she battles the wiles of the devious Jang Hee-bin who will stop at nothing to be queen.
The story focuses on the tumultuous life of Dong Yi,who gains the trust of Queen Inhyeon and later the favor of the king who takes her as a royal concubine with the rank of sook-bin and where she shone ever so brilliantly. It also depicts how Dong Yi cleverly maneuvers through the deadly political infighting in the royal courts in order to survive and protect her son, Yeongjo, fathered by the king and who was to become the 21st king of Joseon, . She raises her son into a well-balanced and educated person through her strict discipline. She becomes embroiled in a fierce battle against Queen Jang Hee-bin over whose son will ascend the throne.
Jang Hee Bin is another royal concubine, much loved by King Sukjong but the Queen Mother detested her and had her exiled from the palace. She comes out of exile later on and returns to the palace, whereupon she bears a son to the king. She had this great ambition to become queen herself and plotted to depose of Queen Inhyeon with the help of her family members, namely her brother and mother and some of the high ranking court officials who supported her. Queen Inhyeon was framed by her for a crime she didn’t commit and the king removed her status and exiled her, after which she was crowned queen. But her greed, jealousy and hate was to bring her own downfall in the end. The conspiracies seem to be endless in this drama. She has a bitter rivalry against Dong Yi throughout the episodes and always opposes Dong Yi on every matter they confront.
Dong Yi is also the story of King Sukjong who succeeds in reasserting the royal powers of the throne, which had been weakened by court politics. Ascending the throne at the tender age of 14, he grows into a charismatic and excellent leader. He has a strong will to get things done and strikes fear among his subjects. He is impressed with Dong Yi’s charming personality and intellect and later falls deeply in love with her.
Not to be outdone are the two princes born of different mothers but who were so friendly towards each other. I even shed a few tears, they were so touching in their roles.
Then there is the sacrifice someone had to make in favor of the king. During the day, Cha Cheon-soo works at the royal police station, inspecting bodies suspected of dying from foul play, while at night, he assumes the identity of the leader of the underground Geomgye secret society that fights corruption and misdeeds. He dedicates himself to protecting Dong Yi, whom he loves dearly.
So now that Dong Yi has ended I will have to look for another historical drama to watch. I can’t make up my mind, there are so many on my waiting list. By the way are you all watching Sungkyunkwan Scandal? I love it! I’ll be so sad when it ends soon as there are only a few episodes left. So see you again next week.
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