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[Drama 2013/2014] ♚ Empress Ki (기황후) ♚

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I miss this drama! Still one of the best! Really touching, beautiful story of a brave woman named Seung Nyang. She was daebak! And when it comes to the lovelines in her life, I think that WY was her first love, and very important part of her life, but puppy emperor was her true love, the one she shared her life with. So in the end, the horse riding scene only in the episode 4 is really symbolic, in that aspect. She already chose him there. Even though he didn't have that big of a part in her heart back then, he did eventually.  It was really beautiful love story and I've never seen another main lead quite like uri paeha. The way he loved Nyang all his life, unconditionally, still leaves me breathless and at a loss of words.

Rest in peace Paeha. <3


I'll continue praising this drama and OTP forever, can't get over it, and I don't even want to.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone, still thinking about this drama....

I rewatched the last ~10 episodes, and was thinking about what the writers were trying to convey in this last fifth of the drama. I know for many of us these episodes were the cause of much frustration because former allies turned on eachother and in particular, Golta's betrayal seemed to come out of left field. The actor playing Golta shared in an interview that he only found out he was the Merchant Leader about two months before the end of the show, and that he was basically asked to act like a completely different person from the cute, older brother figure to Tahwan.

I've come to the conclusion that this choice was made both for dramatic effect (omg! the cute Golta is actually evil!) but also to benefit Tahwan's character as the man that Nyangie loves (and viewers love). I've read spoilers from the novel both here and in other threads, and Tahwan was supposed to be addicted to drugs during this last stretch of the drama (possibly reflecting what may have happened historically), and was overall a pretty despicable person, going as far to order Maha to kill Wang Yoo, knowing that Maha is Wang Yoo's son. In addition, novel Nyang was not in love with novel Tahwan and was upfront about wanting to rule in his place.

As the drama progressed, the writers were faced with a challenge: viewers loved Tahwan, and the Ki-Tahwan pairing, and wanted him to be a competent emperor. However they couldn't distort history so significantly as to make this happen since according to history he lost interest in ruling toward the end of his reign.

Their 'solution' was to have Golta, someone with easy access to the Emperor, drug him to the point of ill-health (starting in ep 49), thereby ensuring in the story that Ki will rule as regent, real history will be reflected, and Tahwan would also remain a good husband and father figure that viewers wanted him to be. That is, his addiction and lack of involvement in politics is because of a betrayal from someone whom he thought was loyal. Moreover, Tahwan would be responsible for eliminating his betrayer, Golta and his allies, thus protecting Nyang and Ayu.

Although I am sad that Tahwan was robbed of his faithful eunuch, I am much more grateful that this was done to redeem Tahwan after many difficult episodes. I also have some thoughts about why the writers made Ki and Tahwan's relationship antagonistic in the last 10 episodes, other than for historical accuracy, but I'll post on that later.

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On 22 October 2015 at 4:13 AM, sarsu said:

I miss this drama! Still one of the best! Really touching, beautiful story of a brave woman named Seung Nyang. She was daebak! And when it comes to the lovelines in her life, I think that WY was her first love, and very important part of her life, but puppy emperor was her true love, the one she shared her life with. So in the end, the horse riding scene only in the episode 4 is really symbolic, in that aspect. She already chose him there. Even though he didn't have that big of a part in her heart back then, he did eventually.  It was really beautiful love story and I've never seen another main lead quite like uri paeha. The way he loved Nyang all his life, unconditionally, still leaves me breathless and at a loss of words.

Rest in peace Paeha. <3


I'll continue praising this drama and OTP forever, can't get over it, and I don't even want to.

Love the way Paeha loved & grew for Nyang! Watched it again for the fourth time before K2!

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  • 9 months later...

I know that I am 4 years late but I just finished watching this drama...and I got so hooked into it that I don't think I will be able to move on properly unless I post what I think about it [especially the ending]

Just like everyone else, I also think that TH realized that SN is lying about TT being victorious, that's why we see him crying a bit while laying on SN's lap. He was afraid to be remembered as a foolish emperor and yet something worst happened, his empire went down with him.

For me, TH didn't die because he finally heard SN saying that she loves him. I think he will die even without SN saying that she love him too because, he's already tired. He is tired of fighting, he fought so hard for his life, he fought so hard to become an emperor, he fought so hard in order to prove himself but in the end..it all went to naught.
So it's like him finally giving up, finally tired of fighting, he just wanted to rest and leave everything behind but at least before he die, there is something that he wanted to do and that is to let SN know how much he loves her.

For me, that TH is at his strongest  because he showed that he's finally rid of his insecurities and doubt. When SN told him that she love him too, he nodded, which means he already "knew" that she loves him and for him it doesn't matter whatever kind of love is that, whether she loves him as much as he does or whether she loves him  more than WY, there was no hint of doubt in him anymore..he believe it when SN said that she loves him. Why?
Because that is the moment that TH is about to lose everything that he can be proud of.

Golta told him that if he is not the emperor, then SN will never stay with him. And yet, in that moment, he lost the empire that he's been proud of, he lost his title as an emperor, he failed to protect his empire, he failed to protect the land that he is supposed to give SN and their son and yet, despite all of that SN lied to protect his feelings and she is still willing to go anywhere with him even after he lost those things that he could offer her.
That is the kind of love that TH have always wanted to have and a person that he always wished he have.; Someone who will stay with him, protect him and love him even if he is not the emperor.

So what Golta told him was wrong, because he was foolish, he is weak, he failed and can no longer protect his own family and yet SN is willing to stay with him and protect him.

SN's reaction to TH's death shouldn't be compared to WY because...they died in different ways.
SN already knew that TH doesn't have much to live...but I do believe that deep in her heart, there is this tiny bit of hope that TH will live as long as he can, that TH will not leave her alone because that is what he promised her...and then reality hits her. Notice that TH tried his best to hold onto SN's hand as long as he can...so when his hand fell down, it was a sign that yes, he kept his promise that he will never let her go as long as he is alive, so when his hand fell down..it shows that he finally let go and this is what SN feared the most...the day that TH will abandon her and leave her alone.
That's why SN's face at first was in disbelief, after he let go of her hand she looked at him as if checking if he's still breathing and when she finally realized that he's gone...the feeling that she's been cramming inside her finally came out. That was it...the unthinkable happened, TH really left her. Her crying wasn't as loud as  her cry for WY and it reminds me of those scenes we often see in dramas when someone died and someone is making a fuss about it then the other person will say "be quiet s/he's sleeping...you will wake her/him up"
Sn's crying over TH reminds me of those scenes, it was painful but she knew TH well enough...he is someone who will cling to life as much as he can...so him finally giving up just shows how tired he must be...he fought so hard for so long and now he's tired and want to rest...and SN's crying was of that someone who wanted to cry so loud but doesn't want to disturb him from his rest.

Her saying that she truly loves him for me is her desperate attempt to let her feelings reach him. Why? Because we viewers saw how TH nodded but SN didn't see that, therefore she didn't know that her feelings reached him. For me, SN was in there trying her best to let him know how much she loves him..and for how long...which is something she was never able to do when he was still alive because she was too busy for her revenge and later on, for her ambition and because she was busy with her own goals...she ended up wasting time, the time that she could've spent with him and all of those time was wasted because in the end, what she also fought for, all went to naught.

The beach scene in the end reminds me of what Dangkise said to TH that he will "always always be, SN's second choice" and that scene prove it wrong. Because the first time that SN had to choose between WY and TH, she chose TH therefore he wasn't always her second choice because he was her first choice. And her last choice as well.
She may have chosen to ride with TH because of the reason that her majesty will be uncomfortable(although we will never know whether she just wanted to show respect to him not to hurt his feelings or what) but that just shows it, she was comfortable with TH. That was her, acting like a good servant to WY but treated TH as someone of her equal, not an emperor, an enemy or what knot but someone whom she is comfortable sharing her troubles with.
So TH and SN's last moment together and the beach scene, prove that Dangkise and Golta was wrong.

I also think that when SN talked about the moment that she serve TH and cleaned his ears..I do believe that what she was about to confess was her feelings for him that time. That probably she started to feel something for him since then.
Because even before that..she and TH already shared some moments together. Like when he tried to make her eat and cheered her on (the same memories that made her cry when WY proposed to her.)

All in All despite everything that happened. I love how, TH is definitely nothing compared to WY. He is not perfect, he is not honorable, not strong warrior, not a good ruler, he failed in a lot of things but in the end despite all of his short comings, SN loved him. Which is why I believe he let go of his insecurities in those final moments. Because there is someone who loves him and accepted him despite all of his short comings.

I just wish that TH heard everything that SN wanted to say, especially if she was going to confessed that she loves him all this time.

About what she said to WY I think, it was her feeling guilty for his death. WY did a lot of things for her, she wouldn't have succeed if WY didn't help her too. There were lots of times that she was almost in danger and her plan is about to fail but WY saves her. WY helped and protected her until the very end, but she wasn't able to do anything to repay that kindness..and in the end she even caused his death. But what strike me the most is her line " Please forget me, but I will not, I will repay everything you did for me" that was a line of someone with full of gratitude for what he's done and at the same time, knowing that he did all of that because he loves her. However, there is that thing...she will not be able to return his feelings to her that's it will be better if he will forget her but she will help him when he needs help just like how what he did in his life time.

I think the only thing I can complain in this series is the way WY died. Although I understand why TH had to kill  him...we all know that WY will never tell anyone that secret. But all of us saw how his companions tried to hide that secret from him but in the end he still found out. They tried to keep that secret from everyone but in the end, Lady Soh, Dangkise and the emperor still find out. And we know just how much words held power in their time, especially for the women of emperor. We saw how Lady Park almost got in trouble because of rumors and how Maha was kicked out just by mere words. SN and Ayu are both in very sensitive position, a position were rumors can destroy them and kill them. There are so many people who will try to get the throne and will do everything to get that throne so just by that tiny rumor, if that rumor about SN and WY having a child came out then they will be in dangerous position. But once WY died, those rumors will be nothing but rumors because the other person in question is dead.

But still, there was part of me that still wish that Pregnancy arc didn't happen. And that WY had a happy ending at least, he could've ended up with Bisu instead. He deserve a happy ending because he is such a good person.
Another thing is that....Golta, I wish he wasn't made as a traitor because I really like him. Re-watching the series made me even more sad to think that he will end up as a traitor in the end...although it made me understand TH more...that when he betrayed TH, TH didn't feel hatred towards him because he like him and he trusted him so it wasn't hatred that he felt for Golta but sadness and pain, pity that all of those memories they shared together were all an act. But still..it made me so sad...because I also liked Golta.

In the end, I just cannot help but think of what would've happen if SN didn't aim for the throne. Things started to change with her and TH after he asked WY for help to become an empress by finding El Temur's treasure. She started to ignored TH because she was busy thinking about those treasures. In the end, she wasn't able to use that treasure for her own goal. She became General Bayan's enemy as well because she started to  meddle in TH's decision. I just wondered, what would've happened if she just became content as TH's consort and enjoy life with him. Because in the end, she became an empress because of TH's firm decision and the outcome of their empire was still the same.

Edited by yanki
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  • 1 year later...

I am late to this show. I am now at the episode where Seung Nyang's and Wang Yu's son has become older and has been completely brainwashed by the Empress Dowager and her retinue. So he has gone to Koryo to trick his father who doesn't know he is his son, into returning to Yuan court with him. The fact that it's a child asking him to go to Yuan is one thing, given the relationship between Koryo and Yuan and the known fact that Yuan has always wanted to annex Koryo, shouldn't Wang Yu know better than to go? It doesn't make sense.. Its so frustrating. I mean he's supposed to be a good guy, but he's always suffering or getting humiliated in the show. Tragedy upon tragedy keeps befalling on Wang yu, and i can say he could have saved himself from some of these. Others do not operate with the same noble values such as integrity and honour.  

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In my opinion, Gi Seungnyang’s attraction to Wang Yu was not romantic, but loyalty to her King and the people of Goryeo. Why I say this is due to a scene where Wang Yu in a round-about fashion ‘proposes’ to her when he gives her a beautiful hairpin, asking her to wear it if she agrees. Her gut reaction is to not wear it and he is miserably disappointed. But later she dons the hairpin almost as if she has resigned herself to that fate. On the other hand, Wang Yu was initially emotionally attracted to what he believed was a young man which then grew into a physical attraction once he realized the boy was actually a woman. As hard as he tries, once they have separated and gone their own way, which was mutually agreed upon, he cannot seem to stop himself from involving himself in her affairs and often rescuing her. All the way through the production, the writing and suggestion are that Wang Yu and Gi Seungnyang shared this resolute love and allegiance to one another, but the script doesn’t lay that foundation. At least, not in my opinion! I wish there’d been more attention to developing the romantic aspects of their relationship to drive a stronger contrast between this relationship and the one Gi Seungnyang shares with Emperor Ta Hwan.


In my opinion, Gi Seungnyang’s initial reaction to Ta Hwan is one of general annoyance and frustration. She seems irritated by his immaturity and paralyzing fear, which is perfectly understandable given everything she has witnessed and been subjected to. She then appears resigned to her fate as a maid in his court, but when she is elevated to serve him as a Lady of the court she sees an opportunity to enact her revenge and accumulated hatred of the Yuan Dynasty. Fortunately, she learns first-hand who the true villain is and her feelings toward Emperor Ta Hwan soften. Ta Hwan is initially oblivious to Gi Seungnyang, except for his understanding that the ‘young man’ is a loyal and faithful servant of King Wang Yu, who he views as an enemy of the Yuan court. It is because of this that he actively pursues to seek favour with Gi Seungnyang while snubbing King Wang Yu. However, once he realizes that Gi Seungnyang is a female he becomes increasingly physically and emotionally attached to her. Basically, he falls head over heels in love with her and even when she irritates him or makes careless mistakes that endanger their lives or the lives of those around them, he still cherishes her. I believe that Gi Seungnyang, while resigned to her fate and eager to remove El Temür from power, reaches a point in her relationship with Emperor Ta Hwan where she loves him completely and takes action to protect him and his kingdom. On the surface, it doesn’t appear to be a perfect love, whereas the script paints Wang Yu’s love as the perfect love, but I feel that the story was beautifully written to portray how some love stories are just meant to be and others are ill-fated.


Without the audience knowing or understanding, writers Jang Young-chul and Jung Kyung-soon used symbolism during the Ta Hwan rescue scenes early on in the drama and then flashed back to them in the final scenes. What was symbolic?

At the rescue scene, King Wang Yu and Ta Hwan are seated on horses and each makes an offer to Gi Seungnyang to ride with him. She is positioned firmly between the two. She carefully considers each offer and then accepts Ta Hwan’s hand.


The audience’s initial instinct might be to consider that she did not want to inconvenience her King to whom she feels an undying loyalty and respect for rescuing her as a child. This is not to be confused with love, which is what she does eventually feel toward King Wang Yu, the father of her first child. I, however, believe that her spirit was more in tune with her destiny than her conscious mind and so the decision to ride with Ta Hwan was one that was made at a subconscious level.


Throughout the drama, Gi Seungnyang is caught in the middle of these two men. Her destiny belongs to one man, the one she subconsciously chose, the other relationship was ill-fated and simply not meant to be. I believe that when she made the conscious choice to be in the competition to become the Emperor’s concubine, she set aside all feelings, affection and love for King Wang Yu. Not simply because she believed him to be dead, or because she believed she had lost their love-child, but because she has steeled herself to taking out El Temür. In the process, she grows closer to Emperor Ta Hwan, recognizes his unconditional love for her and steps into her predestined position by his side, as a faithful, loving and supportive wife. This symbolically mirrors her behaviour immediately following her decision to ride with Ta Hwan. She clings to Ta Hwan tightly, periodically looking over her shoulder as King Wang Yu’s horse trails behind, just as he clings to her tightly every opportunity he is given later in the story. Their destinies were intertwined before they even understood or could appreciate the feelings they have for each other.


Perhaps being stuck between the two men was symbolic of the fact that she was stuck between Yuan, her adopted kingdom and Goryeo, her homeland? There is more than one way to interpret the supposed symbolism. I say supposed because it is unclear whether Jang Young-chul and Jung Kyung-soon intended the symbolism to be part of the overall story or not, or whether the directors, Han Hee and Lee Sung-joon determined to use the visual symbolism to aid the story. Perhaps neither the writers nor the directors understood that the scene and flashback had any symbolism to it?


Ultimately, the drama ended with Gi Seungnyang triumphantly coming out on top as Empress, but the human toll paid to achieve that position was indescribable. She lost the two men she loved and cherished, she lost her oldest son, she lost her ally, but she annihilated every single one of her and her husband’s enemies and helped straighten the path for the kingdom of Goryeo. The final episode was emotionally challenging, not only for the audience but also for the actors and actresses. The final episode was a release for the cast and crew after working together for upwards of nine months.

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Hi. I love last scene. Its remind viewer the question " if th didn't have anything is sy chose him (golta`s last scene) ?. and is th sy`s second choice (tangeshi last scene) ? "


Answer is when th didn't have anything and was a 18 year baby boy :grin: (when he was exiled) she's first choice was him even against a king.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The moment sy desided to work with wy (start of ep 39) she destroyed every thing and kiled everyone . just you need a litte thinking . afthrmath:
1] yombo so  saw wy & sn together at temple and start sending fake letters.
2]sy for getting youn-chol`s gold leave th alone and bcz of th dont wanted to be alone leen on bayan and easily agreed with starting war .
3]bcz of letters th dont trust sy competely anymore.
4]taltal died rebalion started afthermath of wasr.
5]wy died bcz sy told th that she work with wy.
6]th died bcz 5 years of drug , lonlyness , depression and in the end poisn . if sy stick with th and didnt make him lonly in that sensetive perid of time , these wouldnt happend, never
7]all sadness and missery sy had after 5 year jump was bcz of that letters and 5 yr drug .....
just need a little thinking.
every missery she had brought by herself.

sry fo type misakes

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there are 2 kind of caring for someone .1- caring by heart that is called "loving" . 2-caring by mind that is called "respecting & liking".
after waching all episods we finily know that what was defrence betwin caring sy to th & wy .

wy : sy always respected wy and like him as his lord . even when wy gave sy the hairpin bcz of respect for her king she finily accepted that ( and  sacrefice felling to th).

th : sy has been love with th from ep4 . but bcz of th lying about her father she blocked her felling in her heart by her mind . but finily heart wins battle against mind . 

i remember in secret garden series hjw charecter said "some times a person hate otherone to the death but meanwile she\he  is in  love with that person"

after witnesing events happend betwin sy th in last 10 eps and after every event sy easily forgives th , its bcz she has unconditional love for th. 

when sy become servent in palace some times when she is drunk and sick , she saw th as wy if u remember . why she saw th as wy ? why not golta or dokman or other males ? can u anwser this? 

in ep 33 she saied that she starting to feel afraid . bcz when th wanted to kiss her , she wanted to th kiss her too but her mind (bcz of past events) wont alow her to close her eyes .
she start to afraid that she may not to block her feeling that started from ep4.

when sy crying over wy dead body , she said he finily freed from that cursed relation with her and said
 to in next life forget her , bcz if these events repet 10000 times again she wont be able to  fall in love with  him (just repect as king) and she will always fall in love with th even he has many flaws.

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I was reading some of comment and i think some veiwer are confiused about some scenes of series .

1 -some people saying bcz of sy and taltal in some scenes stare at each other then they love each other . they not . tt is sy`s teacher and always sy respect him . tt story is little diffrent . when sy come to palace 2nd time as consort tt tought only reason is revenge but in ep36 when tt explains plan for war with youn chol to th , th tells to sy to leave palace sy refiuses , th said they maybe lost the battle and sy will be in denger , sy respons how can i let you to face that situation(face enemy when th lost battle) alone and save myself we fight together and we win . in that moment tt look at sy and smiled . in this moment some veiwers tought tt loves sy , they wrong , smile wasnt for sy , he smiled bcz relized that sy didnt come to palace only for revenge , she`s come bcz she is love with empror .  after ep36 there many moments sy and th had problem with each other and only taltal came to them and remide them thair loved one , a) so many time tt reminded sy to she must be greatefull that what  emperor did to her and she must be in th side and she must not angry about emperors killing wy and other ..... b)when th punished sy and send her to temple only tt came and reminded th that if u want true loyality sy must be ur side and bring her back .

tt always was there to remind sy & th thair love in bad situations.

its not ok to lower taltal`s nobel personality with these thoughts that he must have affair with sy and run away with her .

2-some people think wy was sy`s first love but after waching all of episodes we know her first and last and true love was ony th (from ep4) . even accepting hairpin from wy wasnt from love , it was like a command from her king and bcz of respect sy had for wy she finily accept it .

for me this is the reson wy`s life after knowing sy become so pityful .

3-some people many time asked "why so many hate wy" , personaly i dont hate him but i understand why they hate him a} in first 1-6 episodes wy was in love with a boy ( when sy was boy)  . we know in reality he was a girl but veiwers when saw wy huging boy sy left and right , bring him to his room to sleep at ep1 , telling boy sy to sleep in his room but sy just wanted to be with th after horserace at beach ep4. this actions of wy was disgusting for many viewers (for me was sweet and funny) . b) every time when sy & th relation going to be happy the moment wy appears happines goes away . in the beach after race - in palace when sy was maid - after sy became consor - end ep49 when wy saved th&sy lifes - .....and. many other .spacialy for sy-th shipers wy was symbol of sadness for th-sy relation .c) for some ppl wy charecter was boaring bcz he didnt had up&down in his personality and he was same as always :)) . d) ......

4- in ep34 when she finaly went to th`s chamber (olala secne) . some ppls said she done it bcz of resposibility as consort , no they wrong . we all know sy had unconditional love for th from ep4 . but bcz of her father she blocked that love until ep 33 . in ep34 before olala she is siting on chair , shes tuching her lips , her eyes are red , her hand is betwin her legs , her body is hot and  gathered around . (in this secne director is so tricky) in that secne her body and heart want to have olala with her love one , her body need to have olala with th but her mind wont alow it but finaly heart wins battle against mind and she calls hondana . in bath shes woried 
 and i think its about her virginity ( in olala she segest to put out light bcz of that) . in bath hondana smiles bcz even she relized whats going on with her from sy`s body language . . 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi . In this show WY died 3 times (2 of them was false) . every time after SY know about it she totaly forget him after 1-2 day .(from her actions its like a heavy burden lifted from her shulders) . bcz of these i said she never loved WY and TH was hers first and only love . If someones loved one dies she/he cant forget her/him in years and cant act normal , he/she always feels like something wrong in her/his life . (if she/he be in real and pure love )

Imagine this . if any point of show WY kills TH for any reason (even before sy being cosort or even for saving her life) . is she ever forgive wy ?

If any of u can forget about you loved one after 1-2 day and act like nothing happend , in that case yes SY loved Wy sooo much .


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  • partyon changed the title to [Drama 2013/2014] ♚ Empress Ki (기황후) ♚

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