I’ve binge watched this Korean drama this earlier this month… well Part One and Part two of this show…along with some other shows…hehe…Anyways, I was mostly done, but either way I apologize for being behind schedule on posting this review. Iwasn’t able to post this til now cause well 😷… But taking it as a good thing cause it gave me time to touch this review up a little bit more… To make sure I gave all of my thoughts on this…especially since this will be my first Korean drama review for this month!!! 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 Two 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 was be release at the same time. While for part three, episodes 13-18, viewers will have to wait until it is released soon this month, September…actually this Saturday! Woohoo! Although all the episodes for Part 3 will not be completely until the end of the month. So likely, my Part 3 review will be delayed until next month in October!
Moving on… I will first talk about the cast Song Joong Ki, Kim Ji Won, Jang Dong-gun and Kim Ok-vin! This is more of a repeat of Part One’s introductory of the cast members but here is goes…
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.
Jang 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, Jang 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 strategist 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 Sanpung, 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 Al-ha. Tae Al-ha is the daughter of the Hae Tribe Chief, 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 are in danger they can let eachother go with no regrets especially she because a femme fatale spy for family at a young age while Tagon if revealed as the feared surviving Igutu, he will be damned.
Now…I will move on to the summary recap of PART TWO of ARTHDAL CHRONICLES…
In Part Two, Episodes 7 – 12 of Arthdal Chronicles… Tanya meets a person with a familiar face…Saya who looks exactly like Eunseom and is unknown to others except by a select few as an Igutu but with longer hair and somewhat delicate feminine features and has sly manipulative personality! And who happens to be the secret adopted son of Tagon, the newly appointed Arthdal Union’s leader and was brought up by Tae Al-ha in secret at the highest tower of their Hae Tribes’ Fortess of Fire!
While Eunseom on the other hand, who from Part One was free trying to rescue the Wahan people, gets injured, gets framed for Tagon’s father, the leader of the Arthdal Union’s death! Eunseom was thought to be died during his confrontation to Mubaek, of Tagon’s men from the Daekan force, who is a fierce warrior but has always regretted not being able to save Asa Hon, Eunseom and Saya’s birth mother, during the genocide attack against the Neanthals and was already getting clues that the people of lark with their native tongue, the Wahans are descendants of Arthdal’s founder, Asa Shin….
Anyways as I was saying…Eunseom was though to have died to all especially Tanya gets captured during his confrontation with Mubaek after he was ordered to be killed after he was framed by Tagon for murdering Tagon’s father, Sanung, the Arthdal Union’s leader! Mubaek actually took him away to a safe place to heal at the home of Harim, the same man who feels guilty for creatin the concoction that killed many Neanthals including not filling in Asa Hon of that plan. Also helping Eunseom recuperate is Chae-eun, Harim’s daughter who has no prejudice against Igutus and Neanthals and was the first one who helped Eunseom upon his arrival to Arthdal to save the Wahan people. Once, Eunseom was well enough, he tries to rescue the Wahan’s who are being taken to mine farther away from Arthdal, but was captured and brought along with them. It was then at this time, Eunseom, seems to lose the will to fight back, and mindlessly does the task of mining especially after one of the Wahan’s berates him, calling him names and then committing suicide right in front of him.
Meanwhile with Tanya is with Saya, she heard of Eunseom is death, nearly tries to kill herself but learns from Saya that the only way she can get justice and learn the truth of Eunseom’s “death” and save her fellow Wahans is to gain power! As so she decides to use Saya to find means to rise into power and slowly starts developing an alliance with him feeling that he has a connection with Eunseom and after learning that her people originated from Arthdal and are likely the descendants of the founder of Arthdal and her possibly being the true direct descendant of the Great Mother Asa Shin, the one who may be known by another name amongst the Wahan people!
Meanwhile, both Tagon and Tae Al-ha, make it that quest to stay in power and outwit and destroy their enemies…namely the Hae tribe especially Hae Mi-hol, Tae Al-ha’s father who forced Tae Al-ha to become a spy and a femme fatale and the Asa Clan…the indirect descendants of Asa Shin who have the “right” to make a say in Arthdal unless the direct descendant is revealed. Also, Tagon and Tae Al-ha need to make sure their secrets aren’t revealed as well for it could not only lead to their suffering but it will lead to their death as well!
I will stop here on the recap…hopefully I didn’t give away too much even though it is likely I did… I hope this summary recap still gains your interest and makes you want to watch Arthdal Chronicles!
Finally, I will talk about thoughts and overall review on PART TWO of ARTHDAL CHRONICLES…
First and foremost, I felt like I must give my thoughts once again on Arthdal Chronicles is allegedly the copycat of Game of Thrones. And once again like I’ve explained before in the Part One of the review of this show…I will say once again in this review too, that right of the bat. No! It is not! That accusation is too much of a stretch in my opinion. And like I said before… Don’t get me wrong, slightly off topic but it does have to do with my review hehe peace…yes! 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! I will once again repeat myself here in this Part Two review but anyways…as far as similarities it can go I will say it is more towards 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. Also, 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 or the spiritual apparition of the Arthdal people’s founding god. Another is 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 the spiritual mother and also the priest particularly from the White Mountain Tribe who deal with religious rites and ceremonies and can communicate the wills of God from reading and looking through a special and spiritual flames of the undying fire. Anyways, I will not expound too much anymore so I won’t spoil anything.
In Part two of Arthdal Chronicles…I thought it was totally amazing and I truly felt I was engrossed by the entire story even though it is only the second part of the series that I have watched so far! But I loved the momentum even though you can sense that Arthdal Chronicles is definitely getting closer to its conclusion.
I also enjoyed the little surprises that showed up in this part, although what I can mention from those surprises because it was hinted before during the show’s promotions are the cameos of two popular KPOP idols! One is a popular female idol from this current generation KPOP and one is a male idol from if I remember correctly the golden era of the early beginnings of hallyu wave in the 2nd generation KPOP… respectively BLACKPINK’s Jisoo and 2PM’s Nichkhun who was most especially well known for his pair up as KhunToria with f(X)’s Victoria Song aka Song Qian in Korean variety show We Got Married. Anyways, both Jisoo and Nichkhun’s characters, Saenarae and Rottip respectively play an important role whether in the past and future to Saya’s and Eunseom’s storyline…once again, I will not expound too much so I won’t spoil anything lol. But I find their character’s involvement in both Saya’s and Eunseom’s storyline quite fascinating!
Another thing I enjoyed, was Song Joong Ki playing the dual role of Eunseom and Saya, who of course are unaware of their connection to one another and are polar opposites in a sense. Eunseom is kind, curious, brave and righteous while Saya may seem weak but he is cunning, bidding his time, observant, and manipulative. I cannot really say one is good and the other is bad, since both were brought up differently…. Eunseom was unaware of his blood and being an Igutu and how people feared Igutus… Yes, Eunseom was kind of kept at arms-length from being different but the Wahans still treated him well enough. Also, the impression I got from Eunseom, even if he dealt with hard things he was able to surpass them and still be in good spirits although that definitely will change cause the hardships he will experience in Arthdal as a Igutu is going to be a wakeup call for him. Saya on the other hand, was the older twin that taken away from the dead Ragaz, the Neanthal that bonded with Asa Hon years before after surviving the Neanthal genocide…. Saya was taken away by the teenage Tagon years before as the prophesied to Asa Hon as stay away from the one who sings… Saya not knowing his true parentage but knows Tagon as his father…only knows the risks if his existence by others if found and it will affect Tagon and Tae al-ha too…his existence means death! So, he is kept away hidden for years in the Fortress of Fire under Tae al-ha’s watch, since no one else besides Tae al-ha knows Tagon adopted a child. Also, Saya haven’t met Tagon for years after Tagon claimed his as his own, because Sanung who isn’t and shouldn’t be aware of Saya’s existence, sent Tagon to conquer lark and it took Tagon and his army many years and many slaves to make the contraptions needed to come down the Great Cliff to conquer lark where the Wahans, Eunseom and Tan-ya were.
Anyways, I really thought Song Joong-ki played exceptionally well as the dual role of Eunseom and Saya! I liked both characters relationship with Tan-ya, played by the talented Kim Jiwon, who I felt also played exceptionally well in her role. With Eunseom with Tan-ya, it’s a relationship build on friendship they had for years and could obviously blossom into something more if Wahans weren’t conquered along with the other tribes of lark since Eunseom and Tan-ya obviously liked eachother. While with Saya and Tan-ya, there is a “darker” relationship with a sense of familiarity and curiously on Saya’s part because he feels that he sees Tan-ya in his dreams but they never met before until she become his maid due to certain circumstances in episodes 6 and 7. While with Tan-ya on Saya, she wants to use him to protect her as well as get power in order to get justice for her people and Eunseom who she doesn’t know is still alive. Anyways it is interesting now, so far Tanya is the only one who is aware that Eunseom has a twin and that is of course Saya, and it is interesting how since she cannot fully trust Saya yet she cannot inform him of his long lost brother. Also what I love about their connection through Tanya is, she knows they, Eunseom and Saya, have a connection is because they have been dreaming what they other is experiencing but always believed it is their own “dream”. i found this quite fascinating!
Anyways, moving on….
For Jang Donggun and Kim Okvin, respectively playing Tagon and Tae al-ha, there is no doubt on how amazing they are. Talented, attractive and badass even though they ugh! At, some points who may loathe them especially towards their treatment towards both Eunseom, Tan-ya and even Saya. You can’t help…well I can’t help but pity Tagon and Tae al-ha, cause they obviously went through so much according to the snippets from their backstories that is and that they even had to make a vow with eachother that no matter how much they love eachother that if lives are ever in danger they can let eachother go… They are still kind of hateful, conniving and opportunistic though…but you can’t help but pity them cause their individual backstories are either range from harsh to tragic. At the same time, you can tell where Saya got some of his traits from even though he is NOT blood-related to Tagon and Taealha, but they are still the ones who brought him up for years in the secret room of the Fortress of Fire…well mainly Taealha, so it is no wonder Saya is considered as the “darker” twin.
Another tidbit, I love but unfortunately I cannot expound too much so I won’t spoil the progress of the story is the supporting characters are totally awesome in this story. I exceptionally love Mubaek played by Park Hae-joon who originally in Part One, you wouldn’t love his character cause he was one of the soldiers who brought so much tragedy and destruction towards the Wahans and the other tribes of lark, but in this one the journey he goes through while discovering the hidden past of the Wahans that could possibly bring forth major changes to future of Arthdal…I found that fascinating. Besides Mu-baek, I exceptionally liked the characters of Yeol-son, Dalsae, Moongtae, Rottip played by Nichkhun, Do-ti, Sateunik, Ipsaeng, Nunbyeol 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, I thoroughly enjoyed this show and I cannot wait for Part 3 to be fully released on NETFLIX, two episodes per week until the end of this month that is… Only sad thing, it will officially end the at the end of this month but I feel and I hope it ends beautifully cause I really loved the story!
Anyways if you made it up to here… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of Part TWO of Arthdal Chronicles…. Episode 7-12!!! Hopefully, this review builds your curiosity in checking out Arthdal Chronicles!
I will follow up on this review though with the final review of this series, the review on the Conclusion Part! Part Three of Arthdal Chronicles, episodes 13-18, most likely the end of this month or by the beginning of October!
Btw if you haven’t checked it out yet, please check out my review of Part One episodes 1-6 of Arthdal Chronicles!
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