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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo Review: A Definite Watch

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Credits: SBS)

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is one of the best dramas of 2016. It is a historical fantasy romance South Korean television series of 2016. It aired on SBS TV. Cho Yoon Young wrote the series under the direction of Kim Kyu Tae.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo has 20 intense and engrossing episodes with 2 special episodes. Each episode focused on real-life truths, historical-modern romance, melodrama, wicked schemes, politics, etc. The first episode was released on the 29th of August, and the last episode was on the 1st of November. 

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo deal with a 21st-century lady, ferried back in time in the Goryeo Dynasty during the rule of King Taejo. She woke up in the body of a 16-year-old girl who had to live with that identity. Gradually, she realized she was becoming entangled in court politics and confrontations among the Wang Princes. She also fell in love with one of the Princes there, known for his fearsome aura. 

Characters of the Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

One thing about Moon Lover that people would not stop talking about is the prodigious star-stubbed cast. Every character had a momentous part to play in the story. Their personal stories were as vital as those of the main leads. 

cast of moon lovers

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo Cast Members (Credits: SBS)

Wang So

Lee Joon Gi played the role of ruthless Wang So, the 4th Prince. Wang So always wore a mask on his face and was aspersing ticketed as a wolf-dog. He liked his presence and barely had business with others. At first, Wang So appeared to be rigid and ferocious, and people around him feared him because of his demeanor. But he was just a misunderstood person who never felt the love and affection from others.

Wang So started to change after he met Hae Soo, who made him fall for her. And she was the one who realized that he was hiding his misery behind that outer apathy appearance. Lee Joon Gi has acted in some incredible dramas, including The Scholar Who Walks the Night (2015), Lawless Lawyer (2018), Flower of Evil (2020), and Again My Life (2022).    

wang so

Wang So (Credits: SBS)

Go Ha Jin / Hae Soo

The charming and the nation’s favorite actress, Lee Ji Eun, popularly known as IU, played the role of Go Ha-jin / Hae Soo. Ha-jin traverses back in time to the era of the Goryeo Dynasty, where she found herself in the identity of Hae Soo.

She was a person full of positivity and always stood up to injustice. Hae Soo became close to the princes and cared about her dear ones. At first, she fell for the 8th Prince but subsequently fell for the 4th Prince.

And Hae Soo was the first to see that he was in despair and ultimately decided to help him. IU impressed the audience with her acting along with her singing, including her roles in Dream High (2011), My Mister (2018), Hotel Del Luna (2019), and Broker (2022). 

hae soo

Go Ha-jin / Hae Soo (Credits: SBS)

Wang Wook

Kang Ha Neul played the role of Wang Wook, the 8th Prince. Wang Wook was seen as a likable character by few and as despicable by others. Nevertheless, he was always kind to Hae Soo, and that’s what made her fall in love with him.

But for Wang So, Wang Wook was just another opponent for love and the throne. Kang Ha Neul has appeared in quite good dramas, including Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014), When the Camellia Blooms (2019), and Insider (2022). 

wang wook

Wang Wook (Credits: SBS)

The Plot Of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo was an adaptation of the Chinese novel Bu Bu Jing Xin. The audience adored the series while it was airing, and they continued to like so. The series revolved around a 21st-century girl, Go Ha Jin.

It was a tough day for her as she got backstabbed by her boyfriend as well as her best friend. While keeping up all her thoughts together, Ha Jin was sitting near a pier when she caught someone dying out of drowning, and she tried to rescue that person. Ha Jin was submerged in the water when an eclipse occurred suddenly. She then woke up in the body of Hae Soo during King Taejo’s rule in the Goryeo Dynasty. 

Ha Jin, now in the year 914, known as Hae Soo, was a cousin of the Lady who married wang Wook, the 8th Prince in the Wang family. After living with that identity for a while, she bonded with the Princes. Hae Soo was the one who held the Princes all together.

But, soon, she became the reason for the rivalry, especially between the 8th Prince and the 4th Prince, Wang So. Wang so was known for his relentless demeanor with masking his face. Hae Soo initially developed feeling for Wang Wook, but later, she realized she always had her eyes on and felt connected to Wang So. 

As the narrative unfolded, Hae Soo tried to find a way to strive as she inadvertently became a part of the politics of the Royal palace. And as everyone keeping an eye on the throne. In this blood-bath fight for a crown, the audience witnessed many devastating deaths of loved ones, the central betrayer and their reasons for doing so, and that there were characters who deserved love and care. 

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo Review

Firstly, the period drama is not to everyone’s taste, but this one is a must-watch. The storyline was developed with such beautiful and intense dialogues, and the concept was worth applauding. And every character was well-written with fine details. The audience could feel disconnected from the story only if the cast didn’t act the way they did.

From the main leads to the other significant characters’ everybody gave life to the roles they played and made them more meaningful. IU stole the hearts of the audience with her magical performance as Hae Soo. She depicted all the emotions gracefully, be it fear, agony, happiness, funny or cute scenes.

Hae Soo was like the ray of sunshine that brought immense positivity with her in that heavy and dark atmosphere. Lee Joon Gi as Wang Soo was no joke. Joon Gi gave justice to the character and presented it as it should be. His performance was so realistic.

Initially, as a heartless and unfriendly prince, then was able to express all his feelings and wanting to be loved; the audience could feel all of it. Joon Gi’s way of delivering dialogues with full intensity was appreciated by everyone. Wang Soo’s competitor in the series, Kang Ha Neul as Wang Wook, was no less than him. Viewers had mixed emotions about his character, but his performance deserved applause. 

Everyone in the cast did a remarkable job, including Kim San ho as Crown Prince Wang Mu, Nam Joo Hyuk as Wang Baek-ah, Ji Soo as Wang Jung, Byun Baek Hyun as Wang Eun, Hong Jong Hyun as Wang Yo, and many more.

There were many plot love stories, but the most impressive of them was Hae Soo and Wang Soo’s. They made each other’s lonely life into a colorful one. And not to forget about how Hae Soo was the very first one to notice the solitude and distress of Wang Soo, and then she decided to help him. It drew them together.

They had incredible chemistry that the audience wanted them to pair up in another project as well. Even Hae Soo and Wang Wook’s chemistry was liked by many as it had potential, but because of numerous complications, it couldn’t happen. We also witnessed the love triangle and fierce competition to win Hae Soo’s over and for the throne.

Other love tales were beautiful to watch but heartbreaking at the same time. One-sided love, young, innocent, and pure love, etc., left a lasting impression. One more aspect that needed to be admired was the costumes, props, and settings used in the series.

The team worked hard for it as they studied everything that was demanded and fitted the story and characters. It helps the audience to understand the characters and expresses the context. The spirited war for the throne was something intriguing, and the princes could go to any length to retain it. And that an aggressively passionate romance didn’t overpower the historical appeal. 

Our Verdict

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is a masterpiece. It has a perfect combination of exceptional writing, impressive acting, depiction of extreme battles, love stories, soundtracks, cinematography, etc. The soundtracks, or OSTs’ was the cherry on top. It flawlessly conveyed the mood of the scenes. It kept you obsessed and left fans humming it all over.

The cinematography was astonishing. Everyone had a good time watching it. The ending was bittersweet. With each passing episode, they were taking one piece of our hearts with them. We need season 2 because fans couldn’t accept the tragic ending. All the unfortunate deaths shattered us as they didn’t deserve it. The climax made everyone cry buckets. 

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo taught us many things, including the challenging truths of life, how sometimes even blood relations could turn against you, sacrificing life for someone shows profound love, and how good parenting is crucial. 

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is one of the most heart-wrenching yet comforting dramas. 

Our Rating: ⭐ (4.2/5).

Also Read: Boys Over Flowers Review: Is It Worth A Watch?

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I'm a journalist and a content writer at OtakuKart. Writing makes me happy and gives me confidence. If you love Kdrama and Kpop then that makes two of us.

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