31 Best Historical Korean Dramas To Watch: In today’s entertainment world, you have a lot of things to choose from. Amongst these things, genres play a very important role. Through these genres, we understand diverse ways of exchanging information and cultural perspectives. People adapt to new things. They could be easily influenced by all the different factors that cultural changes provide us with. Korean dramas have taken over the world pretty quickly. The best part about being a K-drama fan would be changing our viewpoints as it connects our cultures despite any differences. Also, things are changing a lot over the years.
Korea’s entertainment industry is growing along with the quality of the script and the dramas. As new talented actors are making their way to the industry, these things are becoming more advanced. It simply proves the point that Korean dramas are not only growing in Korea but also around the world. The media is very influential, and they easily control the people around them. Thus, they play an important role in the widespread of Korean culture. Whenever there’s an extremely emotional scene, we get hurt from the things portrayed in the drama. So, they play a powerful part in controlling all the emotions of the audience. Today, let’s get to know about the 31 best historical Korean dramas to watch.
1. Jang Ok-Jung, Living By Love
Jang Ok-Jung, Living By Love tells us the story of Jang Hui Bin. In the Joseon era, she’s known to be one of the most popular concubines. Moreover, this drama will take us on a journey with Jang Hui Bin’s transformation into a concubine, we’ll get to know about her childhood and her early years of adulthood. She rose from a commoner to a maid and then became the King’s lover. As an adult, Jang runs a boutique named, Booyongjung for a living. Her clothes became very popular. She always wanted to acquire good earnings. Saving her mother from slavery was her ultimate wish. But due to some unforeseen circumstances, it quickly goes downhill.
2. The Emperor: Owner Of The Mask
The Emperor: Owner Of The Mask talks about the story of Prince Lee Sun’s battle with the Pyeonsuhwe society because they hold the ultimate strength all over the Kingdom, the worst part about this society is that they even control the water supply in the village and use it for their personal use. Moreover, this historical series is a blend of genres like politics, action, and love. Since Lee Sun is the Crown prince, he has to stand up for the rights of the people. This action surely makes Han Ga Eun fall in love with him even though he killed her father. This is a beautifully crafted historical drama because you’ll encounter numerous plot twists and courtroom drama with love as the main genre.
3. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Sungkyunkwan Scandal talks about the time when women were not allowed to study or acquire any sort of education. Among all this chaos, Kim Yoon-Hee is the only person to take this risky step by disguising herself as her younger brother. So as Kim Yoon-Shik, she starts her educational journey. Yoon-Hee goes through a series of bizarre jobs like working at a bookstore and being a test taker. She’s ready to make ends meet just for the entrance examination in the popular Sungkyunkwan. This is one of the highest preferred universities from the Joseon Era. Soon, she gets caught by Lee Sun Joon, but he helps her because of her capabilities. Now she has to make sure that no one else recognizes her.
4. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
Hwarang revolves around the tale of Queen Jiso and the Silla Kingdom. She took over the throne after Beopheung passed away. Jiso always kept her secrets hidden from the people and the Kingdom. Her biggest secret was her son Sammaekjong. She kept him out of Seorabeol to save him from the assassins. But, with time, Sammaekjong loses his patience and seeks more prestige and power. But it’s not only him, other nobles want to pursue the Kingdom’s throne. This, in turn, makes Jiso frightened because she doesn’t want to give up on her Kingdom. To fight away these nobles, Jiso decides to break their malicious mind. She creates a new elite group of people known as the Hwarang. The Hwarang will unite every Kingdom together, and any one of them could become the King.
5. The King In Love
The King In Love Talks about the love story from the Goryeo Era. The young and confident emperor Won has a massive wish to conquer. He has his childhood friend Wang Rin and a beautiful woman San. These three together will change each other’s destiny. As time goes on, they get to know each other well and create an unbreakable bond. But little did they know, this bond would end up in a Love triangle.
The Prince falls in love with San and would do anything to make the ends meet and to keep her safe from all the dangers because he loves her more than he loves himself. But, Wang Rin fell in love with her too. He decides to suppress his feelings because he doesn’t want to hurt his closest friend and break all the promises with him. But what will happen when San realizes that she loves Wang Rin too?
6. Queen For Seven Days
Queen For Seven Days is based on a tragic story from the Joseon Era. This is the love story between King Jung Jong and Queen Dan Kyung. She was crowned as a queen, but within a week, she was dethroned because of the rivalry between the Kingdom’s political divisions. They monitored the King’s decisions from the very beginning. Since the queen was forcefully removed from the Kingdom and as per the historical story, the King would always remember her and would walk outside every day to look for her in the mountain’s direction. However, when she realized this, she would climb up to the mountain and place her favorite red skirt on a rock. This would make him realize that Dan Kyung still aspired to be with him.
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7. Empress Ki
Empress Ki talks about the story of Genghis Khan, who built a massive empire that began from Asia and extended up to East Europe. Along with this, the drama emphasizes the strength of a woman, that held tremendous superiority within her heart. She belonged to a small kingdom in Goryeo. Moreover, she was forcefully taken away to be a Gungnyeo for slavery. But her strength took over everything, and the tables were turned instantly. This Korean girl won over the Kingdom and stepped onto her unexpected journey in the Yuan dynasty. She became the last empress of the Kingdom, ‘Empress Ki’.
8. Love In The Moonlight
Love In The Moonlight talks about the story of a woman named Hong Ra On. She disguises herself as a man and provides tips to men for relationships. Well, due to some unforeseen circumstances, she ends up meeting Crown Prince Hyo Myeong. She had to meet him because of a letter that she wrote for a person that visits her for dating advice. But, the Prince doesn’t recognize her as a woman. Even then, she is not sure about that. But as time moves on, Prince Hyo Myeong gains a lot of interest and curiosity for her. This is known by his eunuchs, and they drag her with them to make her a part of their community.
9. 100 Days My Prince
100 Days My Prince talks about the love story of Lee Yul and Hong Shim. Yul is a Crown Prince from the Joseon Dynasty, and he loves to get his work done perfectly. He’s least interested in other people’s lives. Since he’s rude and cold to many people, they fail to understand his lonely and frail side. On the other hand, Hong Shim is a brave and level-headed woman. She looks after her father and herself. Lee Yul passed a law that states that the people in his Kingdom must be married before they turn 28.
One day, Prince Lee Yul gets injured very badly, and after he wakes up, he realizes that the Hong family is taking care of him. But little did he know that he was suffering from amnesia. He forgot about his real identity for a while and went around the Kingdom like a commoner. As time goes on, Hong Shim turns out to be the oldest woman that’s not married yet. As per his law, she has to get married or face severe penalties from the Kingdom’s officials. But guess what? Yul proposes to Shim for marriage. But what will happen when his memory comes back?
10. The Princess’ Man
The Princess’s man talks about the story of a determined and strong-headed Princess, Se Ryung. She is the daughter of Grand Prince Su Yang, and he aspires to become a King one day. As time goes on, the Princess ends up falling in love with Kim Seung-Yoo- the son of her father’s rival. This creates a huge issue as their relationship hinders Su Yang’s plans to get the throne. Call it fate or coincidence, they began their love story when Se- Ryung lost her control while riding a horse. However, when the horse stumbled its way towards the cliff, she is saved by Seung-Yoo before something happens to her. This is the reason behind their blooming relationship.
11. My Country: The New Age
My Country: The New Age is the story between the timeline of the Goryeo dynasty and the Joseon dynasty. It simply tells us about the misunderstanding between two people that become rivals to each other because of their changing opinion and perspectives, and they raised their swords against each other. Moreover, Seo Hwi is a fighter, and his father is an outstanding commander.
Seo Hwi is pretty sure with his actions and never follows anything that will create a rift between him and his morals. Despite anything, he still faces all his challenges with a big bright smile and a heart full of strength. Moreover, Seo-Hwi gets into a huge misunderstanding with Nam Sun Ho- a sweet and smart person. But he was always belittled by people because he belonged to the lower class. His dream was to get into military service, but he couldn’t pass the exams because of all the corrupted people in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is a 2019’s historical drama. It revolves around the mysterious plague that covered the entire Kingdom. It’s been ten days since the King collapsed from it. No one is allowed to meet the King personally apart from Queen Jo and Jo Hak Joo. Even though they’ve passed it like this, rumors started surfacing from everywhere that the King had passed away. As time goes on, Prince Lee Chang accidentally notices a shadowy monster in the palace and decides to dig it up.
To find out the exact reason behind the King’s illness, he visited a physician in Dongnae. They find numerous dead bodies piled up underneath a building. Amongst these people, only one was found to be alive, and that was a medical staff named Seo-Bi. He finally finds her, and she warns them about the most disturbing information, that those people are not dead. The undead will wake up and start killing soon.
13. Mr. Sunshine
Mr. Sunshine explores the story of a young boy named Eugene Choi, he was born into a servant’s family. In 1871 he moved to the States, and years later, he came back as a US Marine Officer. As time goes on, he gets married to Go Ae Shin- an aristocrat’s granddaughter. However, they face certain problems when Kim Hui-Seong hinders their married life. He is a nobleman, and her marriage was arranged with him since she was a child. Around the same time, Eugene unravels a conspiracy by the Empire of Japan to colonize Korea, and from here on, he begins fighting for his country!
14. My Sassy Girl
My Sassy Girl centers on the Love story of a scholar Gyeon Woo. He’s also known as “Joseon’s national treasure” and the sassy princess Hye-Myung. This story is from the Joseon era is about two different people from opposite poles. Moreover, people don’t like her. Hye-Myung often runs out from the palace to look for her mother. One day on this adventurous journey, she stumbles upon Gyeon Woo. At first they their bond begins with a lot of hate for each other, but then gradually, they fall in love. What will happen when they become committed to each other? Will the trouble maker Hye-Myung maintain her stance with the cold-hearted Gyeon Woo?
15. Tale Of Nokdu
The Tale of Nokdu explores the story of Jeon Nok Du that lives with his family on an island. He’s an intelligent man, and he’s also known for being a good swordsman. His father never let him leave the island and visit the capital. However, his family gets attacked by a group of female assassins, and Nok Du reaches a village after chasing them. There he meets Dong Dong Ju and saves her from a huge trouble. Meanwhile, he decides to disguise himself as a woman to find out what exactly happened that day. Through this, he might be a step closer to the reasons behind his mother’s disappearance.
16. River Where The Moon Rises
Princess Pyeong Gang was raised as a soldier. She’s got an endless ambition to become the first Empress of Goguryeo. Pyeong will do everything that’s within her capability to turn her dreams into reality. She is a brave and strong-hearted woman. Even though she knows that there will be a lot of problems, she’s still willing to take a risk. However, her life changes tremendously when she meets On Dal, his ambitions are different from hers. He loves peace, and his aim is to attain happiness and harmony in life.
17. Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency
Lee Soo grew up as an ordinary blacksmith. He was clueless that he would ever become a ruler. When he turned twenty-three, he gained the utmost supremacy. As a King, Lee Soo is trying to adapt all the dynamics from the palace and the Kingdom. He loved a girl named Gae Dong, and Lee was sure that he would marry her. But as a king, it’s nearly impossible. Lee Soo is sure that he cannot speak against the rules and restrictions of the palace. Believe it or not, he hires the best matchmaking agency to set him up with his first love. Moreover, it is going to be a tough job, as creating changes in the minds of the people is a difficult task, and they’re risking their lives for it.
18. Mr. Queen
Mr. Queen explores the transition between the modern age and the Joseon period. Jang Bong-hwan is a chef that works at the Blue House. He is always known for his open-mindedness. However, one day he mysteriously wakes up to find his soul in the body of Queen Cheorin from the Joseon Era. There he understands all new aspects of the Kingdom. He notices that King Cheoljong is a reasonable and decent king, but he is only a king for show. His wife, Queen Sun, won is the reason behind all the plans and strategies. Everything seems to be fine until Queen Cheorin figures out the fact that King Cheoljong has a pessimistic side to him, and he’s vaguely scheming something.
19. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo explores the story of Go Ha Jin’s adventure in the Goryeo Dynasty. One morning she is mysteriously transported to the body of a 16-year-old Hae Soo. To her surprise, she’s living with a Prince named Wang Wook, as time moves on, she falls in love with him. Unfortunately, she gets married to the 4th Prince Wang So. People all over the Kingdom are scared of him, and thus he is also labelled as the ‘Wolf-Dog’. As time passes by, Ha-Jin gets entangled along with many other princes and their sneaky politics for acquiring the Kingdom.
20. The Crowned Clown
The Crowned Clown talks about the political struggles during the Joseon Era. These problems are surrounding King Yi Heon. To avoid getting killed, he appoints a clown named Ha Sun at the palace so that he can disguise himself as King Yi Heon. Since Ha Sun is almost identical to the King. It would make it easier for him to place the clown at his place. At a very young age, Ha Sun’s parents died in a pandemic.
He was on the verge of dying due to hunger, but he was saved by a group of clowns. Since he grew up with them, he completely turned himself into a part of their clan. Due to their striking similarities, Ha Sun would always portray the King in all their performances. He takes his place as the King, but Ha Sun is scared at the same time that his real identity will be known.
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21. Moon Embracing The Sun
Moon Embracing The Sun talks about the story of a 13-year-old Heo Yeon Woo. She is the daughter of a prominent official. One day She visits the royal palace with her mother for her brother’s congratulatory ceremony. During her visit, she stumbles upon Prince Lee Hwon. Initially, they fall for each other, and she is selected as the Princess of the Kingdom. Days before their marriage, she was ordered to be killed by the Dowager Queen.
She wants Yoon Bo Gyeong to marry the crown prince, so she can acquire more powers. Moreover, she plays a powerful spell on Yeon Woo through which she gets an unknown sickness. But, after her death, Yeon Woo is revived back mysteriously, but she lost her memories. Prince Lee Hwon refuses to marry anyone else. Many years pass by, and she’s finally back eight years later, as a shaman named Wol.
22. Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung
Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung talks about Hae-Ryung’s story in the 19th century. Currently, she is busy with her internship at the Kingdom because she wants to become a historian. But in the Joseon era, women were not allowed to become a historian. Now, Hae-Ryung has to take little steps at a time to create her own life in this century. But people are very orthodox, and it might be a huge struggle for her. Hae-Ryung’s biggest wish is to become a historian and prove to everyone that men and women are equal in terms of humanity, duty, and love.
23. The Tale Of Arang
The Tale of Arang is also known as Arang and the Magistrate. It talks about the story of a cold-hearted official named Eun Oh Who. For a very long time, he’s been roaming around the capital to look for his mother, who disappeared because of his mistake. Moreover, he can see ghosts, and they bother him every time. Eun Oh has become so strong that he is not scared of them anymore. That’s how he stumbles upon a spirit named Arang. From there on, they share many things about their lives, and he comprehends that she was murdered. Since Arang is desperate for revenge, Eun Oh will surely help her out to get her vengeance.
24. Lovers Of The Red Sky
Lovers of the Red Sky is a tale from the Joseon Era, the story talks about the life of Hong Chun Ki, she is a painter. In the Joseon Era, a woman was considered unsuitable for such professions. Even though she was born as a blind child, Chun Ki still managed to get some of her vision back. Her talents got her enrolled in a popular Art School in the capital.
As time goes on, she encounters Ha Ram, he is an astrologer, and her life is the exact opposite of hers. In his case, he was born with a vision, but due to an accident, he lost it as he grew up. Through the color of the sky, he can figure out the future despite being blind, and that’s his talent. Soon, Hong Chun Ki falls for him, and she is committed to getting his love. But the duo gets stuck between two princes. Prince Yang Myung and Prince Joo Hyang. Will they ever get together?
This historical drama focuses on the life of Dong Yi. This tale is based on the real story of Choi Suk Bin. Yi worked as a maid in the palace, but her beauty attracted many men. King Suk Jong was one of them. He selected her as his concubine. The King wanted Choi to bear his child. After the birth of his son- Yung Su, Dong Yi changed her name to Choi Suk Bin. In the past, her father and brother were part of the Sword Fraternity, but they were falsely charged with murdering an official. To get justice for her family, she gets into the palace with a fake identity to reveal the truth behind their deaths.
26. The Rebel
The Rebel is also known as The Rebel Thief, Who Stole The People. This story is about Hong Gil Dong, who’s known for winning the hearts of his people. He’s considered to be a prominent figure in the Joseon Era. Even though the people from the Kingdom loved him, the officials hated him. King Yeonsangun was never appreciated by his people, while Hong Gil Dong successfully became popular amongst them. This gave rise to a huge tension between these two men, now Hong Gil Dong has to fight for his rights.
27. Deep Rooted Tree
Deep Rooted Tree talks about King Se Jong’s accidental mistake that killed his in-laws. Apart from everyone, two slaves survive this disaster. Ddol Bok and Dam accused the King, and now they want to kill him and take vengeance for all the loved ones that died. Ddol Bok keeps this in his mind and becomes a great warrior after practicing for many years. Dam, on the other hand, becomes a part of the Kingdom’s court as So Yi.
But she feels bad that she couldn’t say anything to provide justice for other slaves. Ddol Bok hides his real identity and returns to the palace as Kang Chae Yoon to fulfill his vow. Moreover, he has to sort out the issues related to the deaths of many scholars across the Kingdom. A secretive clan under the name “Hidden Root’ was the reason behind their deaths. This community was created to provide more prestige and respect to the ministers than the King. Since the King killed Jeong Do Jeon and his whole family, his nephew is back to get his revenge as the head of the hidden root.
Deep Rooted Tree
Haechi talks about the Joseon Era. Four different individuals are working together to restore Saheonbu and make Prince Lee Geum the King. Lee Geum is a level-headed Prince, but the officials never recognized him to be worthy because his mother belonged to the lower class. On the other hand, Yeo Ji is known for her martial arts, and her ways of proceeding with certain investigations are amazing. She’s one of the best out of everyone. Park Moon Soo is a decent and honest man, applying for the public officer examination and Dal Moon belongs to a popular clown clan. These four individuals will have to go through endless battles with the Kingdom to get the throne.
29. Flowers Of The Prison
Flowers of the Prison explores the story of a young and smart girl named Ok Nyeo. Since she was born in prison, she learned different skills and knowledge. She stumbled upon many people that belonged to all the different aspects of her life. She wanders the capital, to find out the class that she belonged to. Since the Joseon Era was very particular with their rules and regulations. To get her deserved respect in the society, Ok Nyeo has to fight for her basic rights.
30. Hwang Jini
Hwang Jini Is the story about the daughter of a female performer and a nobleman. Since her mother was a performer, she left Hwang Jini at the temple because she didn’t want her daughter to repeat the same fate. She’s taken in by the people of the temple, and years later, she follows a group of entertainers and meets her mother for the first time. Unknown to this fact, Jini shows her amazing capabilities by playing music and dancing.
As time goes on, she stumbles upon a man named Kim Eun-ho and falls in love with him. Since he belonged to a noble family, they couldn’t escape society, and Eunho dies. On the other hand, Jini becomes an alcoholic and lives a terrible life. One day, while she was heavily drunk, Jini decided to kill herself, and that’s when she is saved by Kim Jung-Han. Hwang Jini became a prestigious woman with her artistic talents, and she surely left her mark in history.
31. More Than A Maid
More than a Maid centres on the story of Guk In-Yeob, a beautiful girl that is the only child in a nobleman’s family. Since In-Yeon is very gorgeous, she’s very popular among the people. Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances she loses everything and falls to the lower class. In-Yeob has to become brave and overcome all her problems. Then she discovers Servant Moo Myung, a strikingly beautiful man in Hanyang. But he’s not a servant, in reality, he hides his real identity for a reason.