Netflix premiered the South Korean television series The Glory was released in 2 parts, with the First part on December 30. 2022 and the second part on March 10, 2023. The Glory was written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by Ahn Gil-Ho, where the series gained a massive viewership because of the star cast, the thriller storyline, and the unique closure of the drama.
The Glory follows the storyline of 17 years old Moon D0-Hyun (Song Hye-Kyo), who survived the horrific school violence done by her rich peers and seeks revenge on her bullies who tore her apart in her childhood.
Moon Do-Hyun, who at the verge of committing suicide, drops out of school due to the abuse. After decades of hardships and controlled anger, planned a scheme and goes on a search for her former friends seeking revenge so as to make them pay for their crimes by taking up a job as a homeroom teacher at the same elementary school she was bullied as a child.
The drama unfolds a journey of revenge, redemption, and self-reflection as the characters in the drama navigate the complex maze of revenge through power, trauma, and broken relationships.
The Cast and Characters
The Glory’s main cast includes Song Hye-Kyo, who is known for her work in That Winter, The wind Blows (2013), and Descendants of The sun. (2016) portrayed the character of Moon Do-Hyun, the high schooler who became the victim of school bullying by her peers who abused, burned, and mocked her, giving her various scars. Moon Dong-eun (Song Hye-Kyo), after dropping from school, goes on seeking revenge on her assailants.
Jung Ji-soo, who portrayed the teenage Moon Dong-eun, and Lee Do-Hyun played the character of the medical intern at the Seoul Joo Hospital owned by his family Lim Ji-Yeon played the character of the spoiled, rich Park Yeon jin, the main assailant of Dong-eun. Shin Ye-Eun played the character of young high schooler Park Yeon-jin, the spoiled child who took her anger on her juniors by giving them horrifying scars.
Yeom Hye-ran played the character of Kang Hyeon-Nam, a housemaid for Park Yeon-jin. After being frustrated by her husband Hyeon-Nam (Yeom Hye-ran) approaches Dong-eun (Song Hye-Kyo) to kill her househusband in return, and she helps Dong-eun in her revenge journey.
Park Sung-Hoon, played the character of Jeon Jae-jun, a boy growing up with the silver spoon and owned a golf club and a boutique. Jung Sung-il played the character of the CEO Ha Do-Yeong of a prominent construction company and Yeon-jin’s Husband.
Kim Hieora played the character of Lee Sa-ra, one of the school assailants of Dong-eun’s life miserable during high school and an old painter. Cha Joo-young played the character of Choi Hye-Jeong, a flight attendant desperate to live a rich life, and Dong-eun’s assailant. Kim Gun-woo played the character of Son Myeong-o, who works on the orders of Jae-jun and is involved in narcotics. Son Myeong-o is one of the assailants in Dong-eun’s bullying.
Facts You Should Know!
1. The Reason Behind The Glory
Kim Eun-sook, the writer of the Drama The Glory, got the idea when her younger daughter asked her a disturbing question that whether it would hurt more if she hit someone to death or was beaten to death.
Kim Eun Sook told in the interview that the question horrified her. She told that she had heard a lot of stories from the victims of school bullying and understood that though they went through a lot after all, the thing they truly wanted was a sincere apology from the perpetrators, who are in High school, and never get punished and are just sent to juvenile’s custody.
Kim Eun-sook said she thought, what is the real meaning of the sincere apology they all are looking for? Kim Eun-sook came up with the answer that the violence which was caused to the victims made them lose their human dignity, honor, and glory. And that is the beginning of when one receives an apology. To this answer, Kim Eun-sook named the drama “The Glory.”
2. Based on a real-life Bullying case held in 2006
The Glory has been a talk since its first announcement. Starred the Hallyu stars Song Hye-Kyo and Lee Do-Hyun, raised the most sensitive and heartbreaking issues in the South Korean Community, i.e., school violence and school Bullying.
The Glory is based on Two real-life school bullying cases, among which is the most horrifying case of school violence, i.e., The Curling Iron School Violence Case, which was thought by the audience was a fiction made for drama but had actually happened.
The Curling Iron was shown as the tool Yeon-jin used to burn Dong-eun in school. The case in real life happened in 2006 at Cheongju Middle School. The perpetrator was Kim, a 15-year-old girl who assaulted her friend a year younger than her by burning her with the curling iron and beating her with baseball bats. The actual case was more horrifying than what was shown in The Glory drama.
3. The Jaepyeong Construction tower.
In episode 1, we see the Jaepyeong Construction Tower and also the clips of the advertisement of the Jaepyeong tower shown on the Tv, which was owned by Yeon-jin’s Husband, Ha Do-Yeong.
4. Song-Hye Kyo Doing Her First Thriller drama
Song Hye-Kyo is a Hallyu star of the Korean industry and is known for her remarkable work in the dramas like Descendants of the sun and That Winter, the wind blows, and has worked in many romantic dramas.
The Glory was Song Hye-kyo’s first drama where she had to show a whole different side of her acting which gained a lot of appreciation from the viewers to which. Song Hye-Kyo said that After working in The Glory, she now questioned what she was doing in all the past years and why she hadn’t tried showing her bold thriller side of hers.
5. The mystery of Myeong-0 killer
Myeong-o, one of the assailants in Dong-eun’s school abuse case, worked with Dong-eun to take his anger on Yeon-jin and Jae-jun, who treated him like their slave, after knowing the fact that Yeon-jin killed So-hee in high school and Jae-jun became her alibi to save her.
Myeong-o went to meet Yeon-jin and went missing, to which all thought he went to Russia or had passed out after drinking or having drugs. Later when Dong-eun, through Hye-young, filed the missing complaint against Myeong-o, Dong-eun revealed that Yeon-jin Killed Myeong-o in the heat of the moment.
6. Park Yeon-jin’s child Real Father.
Park Yeon-Jin’s daughter Ye-sol was in starting shown as a child with color blindness, to which Yeon-jin told Ye-sol not to tell her father, which was the first time to start the question, why?
Then later Dong-Eun when approached Ye-sol for the first time in the park when Ye-sol was hanging upside down while talking and told Dong-eun she liked to talk this way as people then can criticize even if you can’t see the colors.
Later in the drama, Dong-eun dug up the secret behind Ye-sol’s biological father, who came out to be Jung Jae-jun, who was also colored blind by birth.
7. The Glory meaningful Poster
The Glory poster for season 2 was made with a lot of considerations highlighting all the pieces which had a reason behind them in the drama.
- The Green Heels –One of the most prominent objects in the drama that goes on with the story.
- The Golden Watch- The golden watch is of Dong-Eun’s homeroom teacher, who, when Dong-eun stated the reason for her dropping out of school, took out his watch from his hand to beat Dong-eun for not correcting her reason for dropping out. The watch was then passed to The son of the Homeroom teacher, who then killed his father after knowing the fact of what he did with Dong-eun.
- The Blue Shopping Bags- The Blue shopping bags are from Jae-jun Boutique, which has become a prime spot in the drama and a place for secrets.
- The Go- The Go is a Traditional Korean game that was shown in the drama as the medium through which Dong-eun planned the revenge scheme what will be her next moves.
- The Devil’s Trumpet – The toxic flowers that are resembling of the revenge of Dong-eun.
- The Blue Sneakers – The sneakers are the ones Dong-eun wore during high school, where she was bullied.
- The Pencil – The pencil was like a hair clip to Lee Sa-ra, who was an artist. She later used it as a murder weapon against Hye-young.
8. The Green Heels
In the Drama the Glory, the green heels are a remarkable thing that repeatedly comes to light in the drama. The first time the heels are shown is when Do-Yeong gifts the Heels to Yeon-jin as a gift to her.
After that, the same heels are shown when Dong-eun approaches Ye-sol in the park wearing those heels, which Ye-sol recognizes, stating that they are the same heels her mother, Yeon-jin, also has.
The heels again emerged when Lee Sa-ra, while in an unstable state while thinking about where Myeong-oh went missing, painted the heels on the canvas, which gave the speculations that Lee Sa-ra knows something about Myeong-oh.
The green heels become the prominent feature in the drama as it was then worn by Hye-Yeong, to which Sa-Ra teases her that she took them from Yeon-Jin. The heels became the key aspect for Yeon-jin as they were the heels she wore when she killed Myeong-oh.
9. The screening of the Cast regarding Past Bullying, But The Director wasn’t
As The Glory was based on the revenge storyline revolving around high school bullying and abuse, Director Ahn Gil Ho checked the background of each and every cast member to see if they had any history of bullying, as stated by Cha Joo-young in an interview. Though despite the cast having a clear history, Director Ahn Gil Ho had a background of violence in the past.
Director Ahn Gil, while studying in the Philippines in 1996, had a girlfriend who became a target of teasing at school, and in anger, Ahn Gil Ho indulged in a violent fight which was unforgettable and had issued a proper apology for his unforgivable action and controversy, stated by Kim Mun Hui, Lawyer of Director Ahn Gil Ho.
10. Lee Sa-ra (Kim Hieora) performed with a real snake.
The episode 12, When Dong-eun goes to church to take revenge on Lee Sa-ra by leading her out to do drugs, Lee Sa-ra, in the addiction to the high dose of drugs, starts hallucinating the snake from her painting being moved out to whom she said to go back in the painting.
Kim Hieora, in an interview, stated that the snake was real. It was not a computer graphic. She was told that for the scene, she would be paired with the snake as her co-star, and as the snake was used in multiple shows, she was told to call him “Sunbae-nim snack.”. In Korea, Sunbae is used to address people who are older in age or experience.
11. Cha Joo-young Didn’t Use a Body Double For her Nude Scene.
In Episode 13, When Yeon-jin goes to see Shin Yeong-jin at his apartment and has a verbal fight with Hye-Yeong where Hye-Yeong expresses her getting married to Yeong-jin soon and then taking off her robe, which was a nude scene.
Cha Joo-young told in the interview that for the other nude scenes, she had used a body double, but for the nude scene with Yeon-jin, she didn’t use the Body-double though some editing was done.
12. The white dress controversy
In Glory Episode 2, Kim Hye-Yeong went to meet Yeon-jin and Lee Sa-ra on the rooftop wearing a revealing White dress, stirred up in both the drama Glory as well as online too as it became a controversial topic.
Cho Joo-young, who played the character of Kim Hye-Young, in an interview with Allure, stated that a less revealing dress was originally given to her for the scene, but The Director then allegedly pushed her to wear the white dress for the scene to justify the bold character of Hye-young. However, netizens criticized the Director for making Joo-young wear revealing dresses in the drama.
13. Song Hye-Kyo went on a strict diet for her character Moon Dong-eun
Song Hye-Kyo stated in an interview that for the drama The Glory, I went to a strict diet, especially for the scene where I had to show my scare to Yeo-Jeong, for which she only ate bananas and didn’t even drink water the day before the shooting of the scene.
As to depict the character of Dong-eun and her hardships, a change in appearance was needed. Song Hye-Kyo stated that while making her own body going through the hardship faced due to the dieting and special effects, the scene came out perfectly as it was imagined.
14. Devil’s Trumpet and the Angel Trumpets are actually poisonous.
In the opening scene of The Glory episode 1, On the rooftop of Dong-eun’s apartment, there is a terrace garden with Devil’s trumpet, and Angel Trumpet has shown by her landlady. Both the Devil’s trumpet and the Angel Trumpet, according to the United State Forest Service and the Carolina State University, are poisonous.
The Devil’s Trumpet, also Known as Datura, is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the nightshade family, and the Angel’s Trumpet, also known as Brugmansia, belongs to Solanaceae Family. Both of the plants are considered as toxic as they can bring hallucinations to people and, in some cases, also can cause death.
15. Foreshadows the moments in the drama.
The Glory, throughout the drama with present scenarios, gives flashbacks of the past alongside, with this in episode 1, there are some brief moments that were shown as foreshadows of the later events which were going to occur in the drama.
One of the scenes was when Dong-eun’s new landlady breaks an earthen pot, and there was a brief moment clip of a girl falling from the roof. This was the event of Yoon So-hee, the girl who was murdered by Yeon-jin, and was discussed later in the series.
The second scene was when Yeon jin’s mother told Yeon jin that she should keep her distance from people having O’s in their name, pointing towards Myeong-oh and Hae-Jeong, as prescribed by the Shaman Yeon-jin’s mother frequently went, as those people will tend to destroy Yeon-jin. Not to forget the revenge of Moon Dong-eun, who had O’s in her name too.
16. Dong-eun’s Flash Cards.
After dropping out of high school, Dong-eun started working in a textile factory, where she studied by herself while working. She made flashcards of the English words and Korean translations. On the flashcards there, we can see the word Glory “영광” on the bottom of her second flashcard.
17. Park Yeon-jin sings the 2000s classic “Two of us” By Chae-Yoon
In episode 4, when Dong-eun was getting bullied in the school gym, Yeon-jin, while sitting on the stage, sang the song “Two of us,” the 2000s classic by Chae-Yoon, which was released in 2004 and gained popularity at the time release.
The song was chosen when Dong eun and others were in the school. It was the year 2004, and to be précised on details, even while choosing songs, they chose the 2004 hits.
18. Hyeon-Nam referred to Demia,n, a Herma Hesse novel that is popular in South Korea.
In episode 5, when Hyeon-Nam and Dong-eun are in the car regarding the spying Hyeon-Nam is doing, Hyeon-Nam quotes a novel that she called “Raemian,” stating that her daughter reads the novel. Dong-eun corrects her that it’s “Daemian,” a 1919 novel by Herman Hesse.
The Daemian is a popular novel in Korea, according to the LA Review of books. Also, apart from that, the reference to Daemian has been used in the most popular work of the BTS 2016 album “Wings.”
19. Sneak Peek of Dong-Eun’s name on Yeong-Jeong’s phone
In episode 5 of The Glory, we get a sneak peek at Yeo-Jeong’s phone when he gets a text from Dong-eun. Yeo-Jeong affectionately saved Dong-Eun’s name as Dong!Eun!Hoo!Bae! (동! 은! 후! 배!).
In Korea, Hoobae (후배) is used to refer to a junior or younger person.
20. Reason why Yeo-Jeong listened to Park Yeon-jin’s weather forecasting.
In episode 6, Dong-eun said to Yeo-Jeong that see watches weather forecasting daily. To this note, Yeo-Jeong starts to listen to the weather forecasting which was done by Park Yeon-Jin and, after listening, sends forecasting messages to Dong-eun, believing that she will reply to him back.
21. Do-Yeong compares her daughter Ye-sol to Korean soccer player Son Heung-min
In episode 7, Do-Yeong tells Ye-sol after her soccer match that she did an incredible job, just like Son Heung-min.
Son Heung-min plays for Premier League Club Tottenham Hotspur, United Kingdom, and is the captain of the South Korean National Team of South Korea, which recently competed in the FIFA world cup held in Qatar.
22. Yeon-Jin enters Dong-Eun’s apartment as Dong-eun imagines she will.
In episode 1, Dong-eun imagined that if Yeon-jin came to her apartment, she would come while wearing her heels.
In episode 8, when Yeon-jin breached-in into Dong-eun’s apartment, she was seen wearing her heels as Dong-eun imagined she will as she was well versed in the nature of Yeon-jin.
23. Sun-a is playing the K-pop band The Boyz song on the radio.
In episode 10, When Hyeon-Nam and Sun-a flee from Semyeong because of Yeon-jin, Sun-a gets trilled seeing the thriller side of her mother, Hyeon-Nam, Sun-a plays the song “Thrill Ride” by the Korean Boy Band-The Boyz.
24. Myeong-o tattoo justifying his death.
Myeong-0 Tattoo on his neck, which read “Memento Mori” in Latin, means “Remember you must Die.” Dong-eun earlier stated to Myeong-Oh that she gained strength after seeing his tattoo in the school because of its meaning.
When Dong-eun and Yeo-Jeong went to inspect Myeong-oh, only his neck was visible, on which half of his tattoo was shown as “Mori,” which means “Death,” justifying that Myeong-0has no longer remembers his death now as he faced his demise.
25. Dong-Eun and the Church Choir
In episode 12, Dong-eun goes to the church of Le Sa-ra’s father’s church, where he sees planted drugs to take down Lee Sa-ra with a Live telecast in the church.
The Choir lyrics in the church included “Glory, Hallelujah,” which means and also to the drama title. Dong-eun attended the choir even after the people rushed out to see Lee Sa-ra and ended with “Amen,” which was a reaction to both her reHusbandor Lee Sa-ra was completed successfully as she had planned and also the choir. Is ended.
26. Sun-a altered the name of “Demian” for Hyeong-Nam, Her mother.
In episode 5, Hyeon-Nam quoted Herman Hesse’s “Demian” to Dong-Eun, mistakenly referred the title as “Raemian.”
In episode 15, When Hyeon-Nam went through the stuff of her daughter Sun-a after her Husband died in the car accident, she came across her daughter Sun-a copy of “Demian” whose title Sun-a altered in both Roman and Korean to reflect her mother’s mistaken Title.
27. Ha Do-Yeong True Feelings and the gimbap
Ha Do-Yeong, who, when asked by Dong-eun to eat a gimbap at the convenience store, stated that he was watching his carbs listening, and dong-eun just took it, saying, “After all, you are not going to eat.
“Do-Yeong, in episode 16, went to the same convenience store alone and ate the gimbap alone after he signed a divorce from Yeon-jin in person too. It was speculated that Ha Do-Yeong really had feeling for Dong-eun from the first time he saw her at the Go house.
To give closure to the speculations, Kim Eun-sook too said that Ha Do-Yeong eating the gimbap was a scene to show that Do-Yeong didn’t want to give Yeon-jin divorce as he thought that it was because Yeon-jin was able to cross paths with Dong’eun and after giving the divorce he won’t be able to meet or see Dong-eun.
28. Yeon-Jin Greeting Dong-eun in prison the same way she did in school
In episode 16, When Dong-eun goes to visit Yeon-jin, who is in prison for the charges of murder and violence, Yeon-jin greets Dong-Eun by saying, “What took you so long? I missed you so much,” which is the same way Yeon-jin greeted her in 2004 during the high school times when she bullied and abused her.
29. Dong-eun after revenge tattoo
In episode 16, The Glory, after perfectly executing the revenge plan, Dong-eun starts her new journey. We can see a tattoo over the scar on her hand. The tattoo was The Devil’s Trumpet-the flower which was given to her by her landlady when she shifted to the penthouse in front of Yeon-jin’s house.
30. Dong-eun captures the butterfly for her revenge.
Dong-eun, forgetting her revenge to get started, got a pawn who worked for her on the front end. To that Pawn, Dong-eun referred to as the Butterfly. Dong-eun first approached Myeong-o, who was one of her assailants in high school, to give offer to work for her in taking revenge on Park Yeon-jin.
Dong-eun knew that Myeong-o had enough anger for his friends that he won’t be able to refuse her offer. Later when Myeong-o went missing, Dong-eun stated she needed another butterfly that could open its wings and fly, which was Joo Yeo-Jeong.
31. The cruelty of jealousy
The Glory shows the jealousy that is developed among a group of rich spoiled children. Park Yeon-jin, Son Myeong-o, Lee Sa-ra, Choi Hye-Jeong, and Jeon Jae-jun, who have been friends since high school as they grew up developed jealousy, anger, and hatred for each other, targeted Dong-eun, resulting in breaking their so-called fake friend group by Getting them to take down each other.
32. Dong-Eun and Yeo-Jeong, a meet which was planned
Dong-eun and Yeo-Jeong’s meeting as a patient in the Jo Hospital seemed to be a random meeting of a patient and a doctor. Yeo-Jeong followed Dong-eun as he was into her and wanted to know her, but by the end of the drama, it was revealed that Yeo-Jeong on purpose approached Dong-eun to solve the case of Yoon So-hee, one of the victims of school bullying who committed suicide which was suspicious.
33. The body shaming and criticism of Song Hye-Kyo.
Song Hye-Kyo, who played the character of Moon Dong-eun as an adult who seeks revenge though, got a lot of appreciation for her bold acting, but in episode 6, when Dong-eun revealed her scars to Yeo-Jeong which was one of the most iconic scenes in The Glory.
The scene was itself impressive as Dong-eun exposed her weakness before Yeo-Jeong, but some netizens posted malicious comments and body-shammed Song Hye-Kyo on her appearance, which was thought created to show the characteristics of Dong-eun as malnourished, exhausted, and traumatized.
34. The Glory and Netflix Rating disappointing development
The Glory reached the top 3 when it was released on Netflix in its starting days but got a lesser rating due to Netflix’s decision to launch The Glory by splitting the drama into two parts. Though it is not a new concept, Netflix has done the same with a few other Korean dramas like Money Heist-Joint Economic Area and Alienoid.
Netflix though did this to prevent its viewers from leaving the platform, but the strategy resulted in huge failure. Some viewers found it a disturbance in their watch flow, while others found it convenient to just wait for the second part to release and then binge-watch, which apparently didn’t gain much viewership or hype as part one got.
35. The message of “The Glory.”
The Glory beautifully developed a poignant message about the lasting impact of childhood trauma and the power of forgiveness and healing. The message of how one’s Glory is important to live a happy life and how if one’s soul is crushed by someone how revenge leads to closure in life.
Throughout the drama, exploring various characters, the series explored the importance of confronting past traumas and finding closure in order to move forward and lead a life that was lost.
The Glory is surely The 2023 revenge drama you must watch. With a well-developed storyline and plenty of twists and turns throughout the drama, it surely keeps the viewers captative. Not only the drama focuses on sensitive topics, but also the execution of it with the cinematography and the action scenes are a feast to the eyes.
The Glory is a must-watch drama as it touches the loop of emotions from friendship and love to forgiveness. Each character is well-developed, adding depth to the storyline.