GoW Character List (Part 2)
1. Choe Chung Heon
Choe Chung Heon was the founder of the Choe Military Regime. He seized political power in 1196 after disposing another military dictator, Yi Ui Min during King Myeong Jong's reign. In his 25 years term as the Prime Minister of the Goryeo Empire, Choe Chung Heon replaced 4 kings and assumed the authority of the King. He was addressed as Hapha - a title for a dictator/sovereign. He was authoritative, astute and bold leader. He implemented a ten-point indictment in an attempt to eradicate corruption and the decadence of the government.
Two of Choe Chung Heon's sons, Choe U and Choe Hyang, were featured in the drama. He made it clear to Choe U that even as the elder son, it didn't naturally mean that the latter will succeed him in his position as Hapha. He had to fight for it and proved his ability to lead the country. Choe Chung Heon often played janggi (Korean chess) with official-cum-poet Yi Gyu Bo, whilst discussing national affairs with him. Even though Gim Deok Myeong nangjang was his close attendant, he was in fact a member of the Gang of Four reporting to Choe Hyang. Choe Chung Heon identified his personal bodyguard, General Gim Yak Seon as his future grandson-in-law. Choe Chung Heon recognized that his death could trigger internal instability among the '2 camps' and he took steps to mitigate it and indirectly helped his preferred heir.
For more information on Choe Chung Heon, refer to "Edward J.Shultz, Ch'oe Ch'unghon: His Rise to Power."
2. Choe U
Choe U is the elder son of Choe Chung Heon. He was a Grade 3 Official, holding the post of Chumirwon busa, i.e. the Head of the Security Council. Choe U was a principled and impartial person and drew a clear distinction between personal and state affairs. He was also cautious and thought through issues carefully before taking action. However, once he had made up his mind, nothing could stop him. Choe U valued living a life of honor and determined to uphold the pride of the nation. Even though he was trained as a warrior, he would also seek advice from the civilian officials. Choe U also had an eye for talent and treated his men well. His royal followers include generals Dae Jip Seong, Ju Suk, Gim Gyeong Son, Pak Song Bi, Song Gil Yu, and slave retainers, Gim Jun, Choe Yang Baek and Yi Gong Ju.
His wife was Madam Jeong - the daughter of General Jeong Suk Cheom who later was accused of inciting the monk rebellion. He had 2 'seochu' sons (born with a courtesan), Man Jong and Man Jeon, and a daughter, Song I (born with Madam Jeong).
3. Madam Jeong
Wife of Choe U and daughter of Hadong Jeong clansman Jeong Suk Cheom. She was the mother of Choe Song I. Madam Jeong was caring and understanding lady. However, she was always in poor health and died early.
4. Choe Hyang
Choe Hyang was the younger son of Choe Chung Heon. He married Prince Such'onhu Hang's daughter and was given a title Count of Bo Seong. Choe Hyang held the chancellor appointment of Chamji jeongsa, one rank higher than his elder brother, Choe U. His connection with the imperial family and with the backing of the military made him a strong contender for the Hapha's position. His aides were generals Choe Jun Mun, Yi Yun Sim, Ryu Song Jeol and Gim Deok Myeong (collectively known as the 'Gang of Four'). However, Choe Hyang's indecisiveness and lack of courage led to his downfall.
5. Man Jong
Elder son of Choe U. It was rumored that his mother was Seo Ryeon Bang was originally a courtesan. Because he and his younger brother, Man Jeon came from a lowly background, they were not well-regarded by Choe U. Furthermore, the 2 brothers were good-for-nothing and their behavior was lascivious. Choe U fell in love to Wol A at the first sight and was persistent to make her his wife. Subsequently, he committed an unpardonable crime and was almost disowned and sentenced to death (together with Man Jeon) by Choe U. The 2 brothers were lucky to escape death and instead was banished faraway to become monks.
6. Man Jeon
Younger son of Choe U. Compared with his brother, Man Jeon was more timid and was careful not to step out of line as that could put his life in danger. Together with his brother, they indulged in wine and pleasures at the brothel. Man Jeon was more levelheaded and often advised his brother not to go overboard.