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Hong Gil Dong (2008)

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Based on a fictional book about a Robin Hood in Korea, Hong Gildong, this drama is very loosely based off of that book and the time it was set in.

Hong Gil Dong was the illegitimate son of a high ranked minister. A local monk took him under his wing and taught him martial arts. Hong Gil Dong was inspired to fight for the injustice in this society that divided people into nobles and ordinary citizens whereby the former enjoyed all the privileges due solely to their birth.

Drama Title: Hong Gil Dong or 쾌도 홍길동

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Action, Sageuk

Episodes: 24

Broadcast period: 2008-Jan-02 to 2008-Mar-26

Character Analysis

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Kang Ji Hwan as Hong Gil Dong

This guy is one of my most adored actors in the entire nation of Korea. He can pull comedy and then flip 180 degrees and give you suspense and seriousness. He made this drama into one of my most favorite fusion sageuks. His acting was excellent, and his main character was very strong and moved the show.

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Sung Yu Ri as Heo Yi Nok / Ryu Yi Nok

I've watched other Sung Yu Ri dramas and she wasn't really good in them, except for this one. I think she gave alot of effort in and really sold her character. Take my word, that this is the only drama she has excelled in.

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Jang Geun Suk as Lee Chang Hwi

He was supposed to play the overly emotional and moping "next" crown prince of Korea. I didn't really feel for his character (his background and his situation) but Jang Geun Suk always delivers on his characters. Should cut his hair though, thats not a good look.

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Kim Ri Na as Seo Eun Hye

The spoiled noble girl that fell for Hong Gil Dong's manly charms. There always has to be a 2nd female in this or someone's gonna be left out of the party right? This role didn't really evaluate her acting chops and her character was just there to be the annoying princess syndrome or the plot device.

Storyline Analysis

The story started out as a comedy and then around ep 5 it started to get pretty serious. I enjoy dramas like this and there were alot of tearful heartfelt moments in it. The comedy line does seem to stray away when all seriousness kicked in, but nothing can be a comedy forever or its gonna get pretty boring. I'm not gonna talk about more, or this is gonna turn into a spoiler and not a review right?

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Hong Gil Dong Toying with his Future Wife

Character Relationship Analysis

Hong Gil Dong and Heo Yi Nok

The main couple, the devastated couple, the couple that went through more hardships then you could ever imagine. I really adore this couple and enjoyed watching their scenes together. The chemistry between the two felt very realistic and their personalities compliment each other. Top couple for this drama.

Lee Chang Hwi and Heo Yi Nok

Jang Geun Suk looked too young for Sung Yu Ri. It felt like a Noona-Dong Saeng relationship instead of a possible love line. She wasn't really into him, she was clueless (character-wise), while he pined for her.

Hong Gil Dong and Seo Eun Hye

This relationship was doomed from the start. Firstly, she was all into him because he saved her. Secondly, she looks way too young for Kang Ji Hwan. Thirdly, there was no way they could marry because the Korean Laws back then denied them so. So anyways, this would never work unless they ran away into a hut to conceive their love

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Oh.. don't be too happy Yi Nok.. this might not be a happy story...

Original Sound Track

The soundtrack was very beautiful and symbolic thanks to the main track If by SNSD's TaeYeon. As I am a sucker for good ballad songs, I really felt the dramatic-ness of the song in the drama.

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I guess I had to spoil something.

Favorite Scenes

1) Yi Nok working with "nature" while Gil Dong is in the river with her.

2) The dramatic ending of 6.

3) All the superb crying scenes that they do.

4) When everything crumbles and we get to see who really cared for Gil Dong (his father).

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Backhugs are a staple in Korean Dramas


This was one of my most adored historical Korean dramas. It did really well in mixing fusion sageuk themes and delivering its story well. The scenery was beautiful, the camera angles were great, and Tae Yeon's song is still in my mind as I find these pictures today. If you're a lover of sageuks, comedies, and Kang Ji Hwan, start on this today. If not, still watch it and post your comments!

Final Rating 8.5 out of 10
8.5 Stars out of 10. It lacked a few minor details but overall, a very stout and symbolic drama.
  • sadhumati and rafanjell like this


I just loved this drama - I can't believe I waited 3 years to watch it! Not a fan of fusion period pieces so I was hesitant to watch this. Seeing Lie To Me got me curious about Kang Ji Hawn - he really did make the drama!

My faves parts were when he first "won" Yi Nok for his bride and he's in a rush to do "it" - hilarious! Totally found him entertaining as the thug who made the townsfolk buy her medicine balls in the beginning; then the uproarious part when he hit the giant and his smarted badly from the pain in his fist for doing so.

Yup, one of my faves too!

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