Arthdal Chronicles: Part One Korean Drama Review

I’ve binge watched this Korean drama these past couple days this week……  I apologize for the delay on posting this review. But on the bright side, I was able to touch this up a little bit more…  To make sure I gave all of my thoughts on this…especially since this a Korean drama that I was really excited about!!! Hehe… Woohoo!!

Disclaimer: Pictures of the show, cast are not mine. And just add, info on the cast I got from Wikipedia, MyDramaList and Asian wiki.✌️  By the way, just to sneak in, you can find this Korean drama on Netflix

Anyways been a long time coming and finally presenting…

Arthdal Chronicles: Part One Korean Drama Review

First off… please don’t take what I say seriously… just with a grain of salt, like with music. I do not have a professional degree in film, literature and television… Not at all…nada zilch degree. But I love movies books and tv shows, most especially if they capture my interest somehow. Despite the lack of degree on this area, I will still do this review as a Tv show lover and a TV drama lover and a book lover…. And just to clarify too, sorry if at some points I might run on with my words or have any grammatical errors… but I will definitely be honest about my thoughts and feelings in this review.

Just to add…According to articles online…Arthdal Chronicles is divided into 3 parts…1-6; 7-12 and 13-18 episodes! Also, part one and two will be release at the same time.  While for part three, episodes 13-18,  viewers will have to wait until it is released later this September…

Moving on… I will first talk about the cast Song Joong Ki, Kim Ji Won, Kang Dong-gun and Kim Ok-vin!

Song Joong Ki is a popular South Korean actor who rose to fame in 2010 in the historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal and was one of the original cast members of popular variety show Running Man. Then in 2012, he played his first TV leading role in melodrama The Innocent Man and starred in featured films with the most notable one as the title character of 2012 box office hit A Werewolf Boy.  Then after completing his mandatory military service, he took the lead role in pan-Asia hit drama Descendants of the Sun which cemented his status as top Hallyu star!

In Arthdal Chronicles, Song Joong-ki plays the dual role of Eun-seom and Saya. Twin brothers who have been separated at birth and according to the old Arthdal prophecy “The child born on the day when the blue comet appears will bring calamity.” The brothers are offspring of a relationship considered unacceptable in Arthdal. They are mixed race of Saram also known as human and Neanthal. I will talk about more of the two characters he plays later.

Kim Ji-won is a popular South Korean actress who entered the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, and was known as the Oran C Girl and the Lollipop Girl.  She then made her acting debut in 2008 in drama Mrs. Saigon. She first gained attention in the 2011 sitcom High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged which led to her being cast in her first major television role in the musical What’s Up and film debut in Romantic Heaven.  She also starred in high school drama To The Beautiful You and horror film Horror Stories.  Her breakthrough role came when she co-starred in teen drama Heirs which won her the New Star Awards at the SBS Drama Awards. Which led her to her role in crime thriller Gap-dong and web series One Sunny Day. Which lead her to her 2017 role as an army surgeon is pan-Asia hit drama Descendants of the Sun which brought her even further recognition outside of Korea. Thus in 2017, she got her first leading role in romance sports drama Fight for My Way which solidified her status as a leading actress. And her latest drama, Arthdal Chronicles, is currently playing on Netflix and which this review is for.

In Arthdal Chronicles, Kim Jiwon plays Tan-ya. The anointed successor of the next Great Spiritual Mother of the Wahan and the prophesized child of the blue comet. Born on the same day as Eun-seom and Saya but in the Wahan prophesy, it says that “The one who will break the shell will arrive on the day of the blue comet, accompanied by death. Wahan will ceased to be Wahan.” Tan-ya is the love interest of both Eun-seom and Saya, but is in love with and the childhood friend of Eun-seom.

Kang Dong-gun is a popular South Korean actor.  He is considered as one of the highest-paid actors and celebrity endorsers in Korea. He also topped consistently in surveys by industry insiders and most bankable stars. He is best known for his leading roles in films like 2001’s Friend and 2004’s Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War. He starred in several films and dramas since then… such as the tv drama A Gentleman’s Dignity, Dangerous Liaisons, Suits, a several part historical period zombie action film Rampant which is currently on Netflix and which I will also make a review of as well. And his latest…Arthdal Chronicles that is released this year on Netflix which I am currently and will be doing a three part review of.

In Arthdal Chronicles, Kang Dong-gun plays Tagon, who is the first son of San-ung, the leader of the Arthdal Union.  Anyways Tagon, blessed with both intelligence and physicality, making him a genius stragtegist and warrior. He is also the head of the Daekan troops. He is the hero whose war strategy helped the Arthdal Union triumph over the Neanthals in the Great War. With every triumph, his reputation rises and as it does, so does his father’s wariness of him.  Also no one, but Sanung, Eun-seom and Tae Al-ha knows that Ta-gon is an Igutu, mixed blood of human and Neanthal.

Kim Ok-vin is a South Korean actress. She made her debut in online beauty contest in 2004 and began her acting career with a role in the 2005 film Voice. She appeared in numerous projects including the tv series Over the Rainbow, 2011’s Poseidon, 2013’s The Blade and Petal, most recent 2019’s Arthdal Chronicles and films like Dasepo Naughty Girls and the The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan, 2017’s The Villaness, the Discloser.  She also received several award nominations, including winning Best Actress in 2009 Sitges Film Festivals for her role in Thirst. She is also know to be well trained in martial arts as a child, attained third dan in Hapkido and second dan in Taekwondo. Practices muay thai and boxing well having various other interest. It is also known that she has a IQ of 141 and is ambidextrous.

In Arthdal Chronicles, Kim Ok-vin plays Tae h Ala.  Tae Al-ha is the daughter of the Hae Tribe Chieft, Mi-hol, who is a scientist, warrior and ambitious politician. Because of his ambitious cruel father, Tae Al-ha learned at a young age, that if you do not become strong, you die. If you cannot be a strong person, you must stand on the side of strong person. And correct judgement about who is strong matters most. Unlike, the rest of her tribe, she is most interested in power and in Tagon, although both had an agreement if their lives is in danger they can let eachother go with no regrets especially she because a femme fatale spy for family at a young age.

Now…I will move on to the short recap of PART ONE of ARTHDAL CHRONICLES…

The story opens in the mythical prehistoric land called Arth, where its inhabitants of the ancient city of Arthdal not only had to contend with power struggles within the Arthdal Union…who are tribes of Saram also known as the human race. They also had to deal with being in a war against the Neanthals, a race of human-like beasts that can dream and have monstrous strength, with blue lips, purple blood, blue-scabbed areas on their bodies as their distinctive features.

Anyways, Tagon who was a young man at the time and the member of the Arthdal Union and the son of the leader Sanung, devised a strategic plan to wipe out the entire Neanthal race…and because of the young man they were successful… although there were still some surviving Neanthals you were exceptionally stronger.  This will bring Tagon great popularity and recognition amongst the people of Arthdal, while with his father will make his father even more wary of him.

Meanwhile, Asa Hon who was tasked to deliver the “gifts” to the Neanthal, unknowingly will lead to their doom. She will first hand witness the Saram, the human race.  She escapes with the Neanthal Ragaz.  And not too long after, while the Daekan Troops hunt the remaining surviving Neanthals, she conceives twin baby boys with Ragaz…Eun-seom and Saya…

It was while Ragaz was in the forest carrying the oldest twin, Saya, looking for medicine for the youngest twin Eun-seom that Asa Hon was having her first dream…where the founder of Arthdal in child form visits her in her dream… cursing her for having relations and conceiving with a man-beast thus resulting in twin alien offsprings that will bring calamity. Then telling her as repentence, she must let him take the twins but she denies him, so he tells her he will take her lover Ragaz and will later come for her too so she should run far as she can because he will find her. And before, the founder god leaves her dreams he tells her that she must not chase the one who sings. Asa Hon then wakes up from dream, she rushes to where her lover Ragaz and older baby son Saya are. Meanwhile, Ragaz after hiding his older twin baby, fights the Daekan Troops who are after him to wipe out the remaining Neanthals who were successful in killing him, with the vital kill shot made by Tagon.  Most of the Daekon Troops have already left when Asa Hon arrives and carefully hides because the young Tagon (played by ONE aka Jung Jaewon) and two of his men were still there.  Tagon and the two men, discover the oldest baby son Saya and realizes he is an Igutu due to the mass of dark blue scabs on his back, the two men were about to kill Saya when Tagon kills his two men and takes Saya with him, and as he walks away he sings… Remembering the founder’s warning in her dream, Asa Hon does not follow Tagon to try to take her older baby son back, instead she goes to the spot Ragaz is hanging dead and mourns for him. She then decides to hike beyond the Great Black Cliff believing that area is not where the founder god’s power will touch in order save both her and her youngest baby son Eunseom…

Asa Hon arrives at the Great Black Cliff but cannot find the right tunnel that will lead safely to the very bottom of the cliff towards the great valley where she hopes the gods’ powers will not touch. So there Asa Hon and baby Eunseom remains in one of the caves of the cliff for years trying to find the right tunnel leading safely down to cliff to the valley….

It was years later, Eunseom as a young boy finds the right tunnel that he and his mom Asa Hon are finally able to get down and walk through the valley to heads towards lark, but not before crossing a barren field that burns your feet if not wearing strong protective shoes…. Asa Hon carries young boy Eunseom on her back…

When they finally reach lark, Asa Hon was not in good condition collapse so Eunseom while trying to get medical herbs, they were attacked by wolves. Eunseom was about to unleash some of his beast-like abilities when they were saved by the Wahans along with young Tan-ya…

As Asa Hon awakens and already at the verge of death…Eunseom appears in front of him and she notices young Tan-ya who has the same shadowed image of the founder god…flowers adorning her hair and a horn-like instrument in her hand…that Asa Hon cries in despair now believing in the founder god’s words…

She furiously tells Eunseom once the last blue scabs comes of his back, he must return to back where they’ve come from and hands him an necklace that signifies her tribe, Arthdal…the White Mountain Tribe. And as she dies she wonders if she brought her son to the founder god or her son is the embodiment of founder god…

Years later, Eun-seom and Tan-ya are now grown up…

Eun-seom has outstanding abilities and personality especially since he is originally from beyond the Great Black Cliff that it causes a big issue amongst the Wahans that he is on the verge of banishment…. The issues include him being able to dream when the only one who should is the Spiritual Mother and Tan-ya who is next in line to become a spiritual mother… Most especially since he can dream and Tan-ya can’t. So he is accused of stealing Tan-ya dreams especially since they know he was born the same time Tan-ya was at the night of the blue comet. Another is the fact the he planted things into the ground and he wants to ride a horse…

Tan-ya on the other hand, who not only can’t dream, she is not able to learn the intricate dance of the Great Spiritual Mother…so Eun-seom before he leaves because almost all the scabs have fallen off his back wants to make sure she learns it well from him before he goes because his special ability to copy any maneuver after seeing it once…

At the same time, Tagon and the Daekan Troops have descended form the Great Black Cliff under orders of his father San-ung, to conquer lark…

I will end the recap here, because from her is when the main story of episode 1-6 begins…and also I won’t give any more spoilers away…

Finally, I will talk about thoughts and overall review on PART ONE of ARTHDAL CHRONICLES…

On the first 6 episodes of Arthdal Chronicles…episodes 1 – 6…for me, I was blown away on how amazing the story was. I loved it…it does seem to be a slow start in the first episode, but you won’t be able to understand a thing if you skip it!

Next part I will give my thoughts on that allegedly Arthdal Chronicles is the copycat of Game of Thrones. I will say right of the bat. No! It is not! That accusation is too much of a stretch in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, slightly off topic but it does have to do with my review…I like Game of Thrones but I want to mention unlike people mentioning that this show is a copycat of Game of Thrones…it is NOT! As far as similarities it can go is likely the costumes and cinematography, and GOT fans saying Arthdal Chronicles is a copycat…that is a stretch! Yes, this is an ancient times drama and power play is involved in the story but even the story and/or plotline is different. But unlike GOT, there are no dragons and no White Walkers and no Children of the Forest.  In GOT, there are wolves but real ones. While is Arthdal Chronicles, there is one wolf but an apparition of a figure spiritual body.  Also, in GOT, there is a clairvoyant aka the Third Eye Raven who has psychic abilities and basicially sees all and GOT has the Priestess Melisandre who is a shadowbinder, cast glamors and manipulate and have prophetic visions by looking into the fire. While in Arthdal Chronicles has a Priestess, who must be able to dream to be spiritual mothers and has a White Mountain Tribe who deal with religious rites and ceremonies and can communicate the wills of God.  Anyways, I will not expound too much anymore so I won’t spoil anything.

Anyways moving on with my review… I found the first six episodes as amazing and the characters are undeniably talented and played their parts well.  Yes, it did start out a bit dragging in the first episode, but for me, I just take it as that’s how all introductory goes.. a slow start… most especially with historical fantasy shows.

In the first 6 episodes, I can see that the main pairs…Eun-seom and Tanya…Tagon and Tae Al ha…have deep respect and care for their significant other.  The dynamics between the two characters of Eun-seom and Tanya was beautiful and pure while Tagon and Tae Al ha was deep and passionate. Individually, they are amazing, and I love each main character’s storyline whether they play a good person or a bad person or both in the story.

Also, in the first 6 episodes, I felt that the supporting characters played their roles really well. I exceptionally liked the character of Cho-seol the Spiritual Mother, Yeol-son, Moo-baek, Do-ti, Hae Tu-ak and Chae-eun because these six played a significant part in the progression of the story and the main characters’ storylines.  I will not explain any more except that these six are definitely characters to look forward too.

Anyways if you made it up to here… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of Part One of Arthdal Chronicles….the first six episodes…1-6!!!  Hopefully, this review builds your curiosity in checking out Arthdal Chronicles!  I will follow up with my review on Part Two of Arthdal Chronicles, episodes 7-12!!! And hopefully the last part, Part Three later this year!

And if you are interested in my content, please subscribe to and follow here on my website. I will start making even more reviews here soon on #books #anime #movies #tvshows #cds etc. Most especially on future KPOP artists’ album reviews and possibly MV interpretation/ review as well. 

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#Korean #KoreanShows #KoreanTV #Drama #Action #TVshow #TV #KimJiWon #SongJoongKi #JangDonggun #KimOkvin #Mythology #Fantasy #Ancient #Historical #mythical #swordplay #warriors

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