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[Drama 2008] The Great King Sejong 대왕세종 大王世宗

Guest huangsy

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Guest huangsy

[KBS1] Kim Sang Gyung, Lee Yoon Ji, Lee Chun Hee, Kim Myung Gon
KBS1 period drama debuts on 5 January 2008 Saturday.

(King Sejong was the king who invented the Korean language, Hangeul or Hangul. See http://lei.snu.ac.kr/click-korean/I_KOR_01/intro.html )

Director : Kim Seong Geun 김성근 and Kim Won-seok

Scriptwriter : Yun Seon-ju 윤선주

Official Site : http://www.kbs.co.kr/drama/3jong

English site : http://kbsworld.kbs.co.kr/programs/programs_intro.html?no=53

Preview VODs : http://www.kbs.co.kr/drama/3jong/view/preview/index.html

Cast (grouped into 3 tiers):

List is 8 pages long !









(1) Younger cast :

Lee Hyun Woo 이현우 , Nam Ji Hyun 남지현, Yoo Tae Ung 유태웅 , Lee Joon 이 준

(2) Cho Sung Ha 조성하, Jung Heung Chae 정흥채, Yoon Gi Won 윤기원, Kim Gab Soo 김갑수

(3) Kim Yung Chul 김영철, Choi Myung Gil 최명길, Lee Chun Hee이천희, Kim Myung Gon 김명곤

(4) Other cast not grouped above :

Kim Sang Gyung 김상경, Lee Yoon Ji 이윤지, Park Sang Min박상민

Oh Yeon Seo 오연서, Lee Jung Hyun 이정현

“Sejong the Great “is a full scale politic drama describing how King Sejong and his loyal retainers cooperate and contrive to make his dynasty a better place. While King Sejong was in throne, the Chosun Dynasty enjoyed the most fortunate and happy age ever.

The drama shows the dramatic processes of how so many new cultural heritages have been devised. At that time, “Hangul”, the native phonemic alphabet system for Korean language was first invented and introduced. Before it was made up, Chinese characters had been used for a written communication, which makes it extremely difficult for ordinary people to learn and use. “Hangul” is easy to learn for its simple and scientific principles, so wide-spread people instantly use the alphabet. Other than “hangul” itself, there had been so many cultural heritages created during his regime including a rain gauge, a sundial, an hourglass to name a few.

Also, King Sejong’s pragmatic diplomacy is concentrated in the drama. Then, the Chosun Dynasty was facing a powerful Myoung Empire of China, and King Sejong demonstrates the essence of pragmatism with dignity.

The drama location is a real palace such as Kyungbok Palace, Changduk Palace with touches of King Sejong, so the sceneries will give much more authentic fun to the King Sejong’s historical drama.

Se-Jong (Kim Sang Kyung)

Se-jong the Great is the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He is best remembered for creating the native Korean alphabet hangul, despite strong opposition from the scholars educated in hanja.

Tae-Jong (Kim Young Chul)

Tae-Jong is the father of King Se-jong and the third king of the Joseon Dynasty.

Queen Won-Kyung (Choi Myung Gil)

Queen Won-Kyung is the mother of Se-jong and King Tae-jong's wife.

Queen So-Hyun (Lee Yun Ji)

The first wife of King Se-jong.

Source : http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/tv/program/...htm?pg_code=155

I. Why King Se-jong? Why now?

1) The public wants a model of positive leadership.

When asked, few Koreans can answer which president they like and respect. They are used to the pattern that the people’s elected leaders end up disappointing the voters. Thus, people want a new kind of leader. They earn for a leader who will solidify the people, strengthen the economy and take rank with the global powers.

The public needs a leader on whom they can pin their hope. They want to be excited about his ideals and dreams and run with him to realize them. In the history of the Korean dynasty Joseon, there was such a leader. He is the Great King Se-jong.

2) The public wants to be proud of the nation’s history. Recapturing the history of victory and the golden age will instill in Koreans a sense of pride.

Conspiracies, rivalry and jealousy in the royal court or households have been the center of most historical dramas. It is partly because such stories of conflict and rivalry best provides the dramatic tension. Until now, therefore, the good kings and heroes such as Great King Se-jong and Admiral Yi Sun-sin have been considered a taboo as a main character of a television drama. Moreover, it will be challenging to find and dramatize entertaining factors in the life of a national hero. The staff of the drama Great King Se-jong goes against such views.

King Se-jong is considered as the king who realized the most fortunate and happy age in the history and established the strong kingship.

However, it is not hard to guess that the king must have spent many days and nights in agonies and faced struggles to realize the peace and prosperity.

The swan may be gliding on the lake gracefully but, under the surface, it is paddling fiercely.

In the making of the drama “Great King Se-jong,” we want to focus on the leader and his subjects who made hard efforts to establish a beautiful, powerful country rather than talk about power-hungry figures.

Highlighting their positive values will instill the sense of price in Koreans, and moreover help them dream of better tomorrow.

II. Who is King Se-jong?

1) He was a prepared leader.

As a prince, King Se-jong did not spare time and efforts to study and develop himself. He loved reading more than any other kings did. One may earn a country with the sword but must rule the country with knowledge. King Se-jong knew the importance of knowledge and strived to gain the knowledge. He was a prepared leader.

2) King Se-jong devoted his life to the happiness of his people.

In 1446, King Se-jong has created the native Korean alphabet, hangul. He created 28 letters so that anyone can learn the letters easily, read and use them everyday. He took pity on people who did not learn the burrowed Chinese letters which did not correspond well with the spoken Korean language. This is the epitome of his governing philosophy. He followed the principle that a ruler should have mercy on the people and work for them.

3) King Se-jong valued talents.

King Se-jong led a Joseon Renaissance with his ministers, who were steadfast to the king’s philosophy. However, many of his men had shortcomings. For instance, Yun Hoe earned a fame as a genius writer but was an uncontrollable drunker. Sin Suk-ju was brilliant and tactful but also sneaky and lazy. General Kim Jong-seo was both talented in pen and sword but had many enemies due to his hot temper. The ingenious inventor Jang Yeong-sil was a person of a low birth as his father was a merchant and his mother a slave. Prime Minister Hwnag Hi was the king’s political foe originally. Hwang had strongly opposed King Se-jong, when he was a prince, becoming the heir to the throne. If the king did not see beyond their apparent handicaps, they may have been forgotten in the history. Nonetheless, the king had an eye to see through what’s on the outside and appoint the right person to the right job. From the scholars at the royal library Jip-hyeon-jeon who had leading role in creating the Hanguland the inventor and scientist Jang Yeong-sil who produced the rain gauge, sun dial and water clocks to the famous statesman Hwang Hi could leave their name in the history book thanks to the king.

4) King Se-jong governed the kingdom with justice.

Whereas his predecessor and father, King Tae-jong focused on strengthening the royal power, King Se-jong sought the balance between the king and vassal power. King Tae-jong discriminated between friends and foes. He had absolute trust in his side but purged others including his own brothers and relatives. King Se-jong was different. Since taking the throne, he thought about for whom and why he had to strengthen the kingship. He hired anyone who was willing to work for the country including his political opponents. He listened to criticisms. King Se-jong was the leader who could embrace both his friends and enemies.

III. The drama Great King Se-jong

1) The political drama will show passion and conviction of the newborn Joseon

In most historical dramas, the palace was often the venue of dark schemes and lovers’ quarrels. However, the drama Great King Se-jong will present the royal court as the center of Joseon’s politics. The royal palace of Joseon had administrative areas including meeting halls, the royal secretariat, advisory body and library beside the king’s private quarters. Near the palace were located six main ministries: Ministries of Interior, Finance, Culture and Education, Justice, Defense and Industry. The new drama will illustrate how the palace and the ministries worked to run the entire country and portray the conflict and resolution among the statesmen.

2) Apart from the stereotype image of Great King Se-jong as the nation’s most revered king, the drama will depict King Se-jong as a person who fought against his limits and manage to become the great leader.

“People look up to heaven for food; and the country considers the people as its heavenly duty” says King Se-jong as a prince. However, as a mere prince but not the crowned one, to have interest in the politics and make such a remark was considered as treacherous. The young prince did not have the ambition to take the power, but he wanted to make the people happy. Where there is a will, there is a way. He disciplined himself hard. He studied from Confucius teachings, mathematics to foreign languages. He was well-prepared. With the powers in his hands, he never forgot his duties. In the face of the public good, he was willing to set his personal feelings aside albeit painful. He was courageous and, when called for, did not hesitate to make a bold decision. His proactive life will present a lesson to the modern people, who lead passive lives dragged by daily responsibilities.

3) It will present how King Se-jong and his men cooperated. People living the modern days will learn from their good example of how an organization must be run.

“The Great King Se-jong” is the story of how many people enabled King Se-jong to become a great leader. King Se-jong sacrificed himself for the welfare of the nation and its people. Inspired, many followed in the footsteps of the king and put the national interest before their personal gains. Nonetheless, one can easily imagine that the statesmen probably had conflicts and disagreements among themselves as their good intentions come head-to-head. The drama will show how they might have resolved the conflicts through discussions.

4) It will present how the famous rain gauge, sun dial and water clock and other historical and cultural treasures were born.

Among many of King Se-jong’s achievements, the Korean alphabet Hangulwas necessary to establish the rule of law and educate the people. Also, to have the Korean letters corresponding to the spoken language could serve as the source of national pride. King Se-jong strived to set up Joseon as an independent country but not as a subject country of China’s Ming Dynasty. Therefore, it was essential to develop the local letters since people used the Chinese characters in writing.

Meanwhile, inventions such as the rain gauge, sun dial and water clock were closely related to the nation’s economic stability. For years, Joseon suffered from severed draught. Faced with such natural disasters, the previous King Tae-jong sought the mercy of the higher beings. When there is a draught, King Tae-jong offered sacrifices praying for rain. When the waters were rough, he had the rituals performed to appease the son god. However, unlike his father, King Se-jong approached the problem scientifically.

5) King Se-jong managed the diplomatic relations with the powerful Ming while maintaining the country’s independence. He sought utilitarian diplomacy.

In July, 1449, the then Ming’s emperor asked for King Se-jong to dispatch 100-thousand troops to invade Mongolia. At the time, beside the royal guards in the Joseon’s capital Seoul, the number of Joseon’s entire military forces was barely over 100-thousand. King Se-jong turned down the Ming emperor’s demand indirectly saying he would do his best to guard his given territory. It reflected that the king would not do anything against the national interest even if the request came from the most powerful. Most of the time, King Se-jong was appeasing to Ming. It was not because he was a coward but because he was aware that the peace and security of the small Joseon depended on Ming with the regional hegemony. King Se-jong was willing to put down his pride and dignity to prevent a war in his country. He was truly a good king and leader.




01 소원 - K.will(케이윌)

02 달 - 영지

03 동틀 녘

04 萬仁 (만인)

05 갈등

06 風雲地歌 (풍운지가)

07 정벌

08 어딘가에서...

09 세상의 끝

10 칼의 춤

11 돌아오는 길

12 광야를 날다

13 님이여..님이여..

14 초승달

15 기억의 시작

16 님의 노래 - 한규원

















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Thank you very much for the pictures! This looks like big budget with beautiful sets und lavish custome design. I hope that KBS will release the DVD next year with English subtitles, unlike "Capital Scandal" (I'm still angry about that).

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Guest dramaok

i heard this was like really long like over 100 episodes.

anyone know how many eppies for sure?


Kim Sang-Kyeong as King Sejong.


Lee Yun-Ji as Sejong's Queen.


Lee Cheon-Hee.


Character Relationship chart (from dc).

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Drama Wiki says 80 episodes:


With Kim Sang-Kyung as the lead actor, this will be a great drama and I can't help but to look at the pictures again and again. I can't wait for more news and of course for the first video footage. I think this could be a drama in the budget range of ~20-25 billion won. The sets and customes are simply fantastic.

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little cheoros gonna be in this? :D ..

anyways sounds fun... but i hope kim heesun being cast isnt true...shes like...drama poison. everything shes in flops these dyas.

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Guest dramaok

nono it's not kim hee seon.

it's about oh yeon-seo, the 'kim hee seon lookalike' actress.


oh yeon-seo

club luv member.

previous dramas: stranger than heaven; sharp

nickname: the second kim hee-seon

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Guest huangsy

nono it's not kim hee seon.

it's about oh yeon-seo, the 'kim hee seon lookalike' actress.

oops, my apologies !

really look so alike !

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Guest dramaok

whooaa lee jung hyun. Thats an interesting choice. What character does she play?

hehe Lee Jeong-Hyeon is such a random casting.. hm.. iono about this.. b

but her role is a great role.

she will play 'Lady Shin-Bin of Kim-ssi'.. a palace maid who falls in love with King Sejong,

while she tends to his wife, the queen. of all of Sejong's women (he had 9 wives lol), Shin-Bin is the one who received most love from him. and she bore him 8 princes.

she will be in competion with Lee Yoon-Ji who plays Queen So-Hyeon, and Yoon Se-Ah, who plays Lady Hye-Bin of Yang-ssi.

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Guest hjnlight7

haiyo.. malaysia's astro just started broadcasting kbs station and DJY.. but this sejong thing starts next year and i'll be away, so will not be able to watch....

can anyone post up the episodes when it airs? hahhaha.. really look forward to it...

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