The King's Affection Fiction or Non-Fiction 연모는 픽션일까요 논픽션일까요?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The King's Affection
 Screenshot from Netflix.

The King's Affection

WARNING: Some spoilers from episode 1 and 2.
The K-drama, The King's Affection, has stolen my heart, Friends. Starring Eunbin Park as Lee Hwi and Rowoon as Jung Ji-un, this storyline is magnificent. I have become a big geek when it comes to historical K-dramas since entering my 30s (I am now 36). One of my older mommy friends told me it's because I am getting older and starting to appreciate more of my heritage. Maybe she's right.

The King's Affection is set during the Joseon Dynasty period during a time when having twins was an ominous sign. Unfortunately, the Crown Princess Consort bore twins, one son and one daughter. The Crown Princess was forced to have her newborn daughter killed from the orders of her father, Lord Sangheon. As a mother trying to save her baby, the Crown Princess Consort did what she had to do to save her daughter, Dam-yi. (You'll have to watch for yourself how she managed to deceive everyone.) The Crown Princess secretly sends her daughter away to a rare temple outside the palace with a palace guard so that Dam-yi could live out her own life. 

Fast forward a little, due to some unforeseen events, Dam-yi returns back to the palace as a court lady where she meets her twin brother, Lee Hwi, who is the Crown Prince. The two were unaware of each other and while they were fraternal twins, they looked identical. Taking full advantage of their identical appearance, the Crown Prince tells Dam-yi to play his role while he leaves the palace grounds. Unfortunately, a tragic event happens and Dam-yi is forced to play Crown Prince for the rest of her life.

Dam-yi lives her life as Crown Prince Lee Hwi and is later reunited with a boy, Jung Ji-un, whom she met right around the time when she unexpectedly assumed the role of Crown Prince.  Jung Ji-un ends up becoming the royal tutor and she is forced to meet with him regularly while trying to keep her secret. 

You'll have to watch to find out how this K-drama unfolds. I don't want to spoil this wonderful storyline which has continuously received high viewership in South Korea. It is a heart-wrenching tale of suffering, perseverance, love, and sacrifice. 

The King's Affection poster
Image resource from The King's Affection Official Site

Is Lee Hwi a Real Person in History?

You may be wondering if any of these characters are true, particularly Lee Hwi. Unfortunately, Lee Hwi is a fictional character from... a manhwa (comic book). Yes, I know. I'm sure you were all excited about learning about someone from history, right? 

The King's Affection (연모) is based off a manhwa with the same title, Yeonmo (연모; Affection) written by Lee Soyoung. The commencement of this brilliant manhwa was a decade ago in 2011 and finished in 2014.

Was there a Lee Hwi in the history of the Joseon Dynasty? Yes, there was! After several days of digging into the internet, including the National Library of Korea and history blogs, I did not find much. So, I turned to both my parents.

What did they find? They found out there were 3 people with the name Lee Hwi during the Joseon Dynasty period, none of which ascended to be the Crown Prince or King. 

Are you as disappointed as I am? I was looking forward to finding out more about the real "Crown Prince Lee Hwi". Unfortunately (or fortunately), this K-drama has all fictitious characters.

The Most Memorable Scene in This Drama

The most memorable scene in this K-drama for me was at the end of episode 12, when Dam-yi had no choice but to reveal her identity to the man she grew affection toward.

This scene left my heart clenching and I am glad that I was on the late bus to watch this K-drama as to not have to wait to see what happens next.

When Dam-yi says "이게 나의 비밀입니다," (this is my secret) my heart sunk so much and ached for this character. To reveal her true identity to someone after keeping it a secret for so many years and not knowing the outcomes of "spilling the beans", I don't know how I would've felt.

Lee Hwi's gazing eyes (Actress Park Eunbin)

Dam-yi's eyes show her vulnerability. (Actress Park Eunbin)

Jung Ji-un's gazing eyes (Rowoon)

Jung Ji-un's eyes of disbelief and shock. (Actor Rowoon)

Do I recommend this K-drama? Absolutely. Though it has its intense moments which could make your heart drop or skip a beat, this is a K-drama worth investing your time in watching. 

Have you read or watched Yeonmo (The King's Affection)? What are your thoughts on the manhwa or Kdrama? If you have followed both, what are the similarities or differences in these two formats of the story?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!




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