The series begins at the end of King Jinheung’s reign and continues until the end of Queen Seondeok’s reign. Deokman was born as one of the twin daughters of King Jinpyeong and Queen Maya, but due to a prophecy, King Jinpyeong had to send his daughter away from the palace with the help of his clumsy but loyal servant Seohwa, in order to save Queen Maya from being ousted by Mishil, whose ambition was to become Queen. Seohwa raised Deokman as if she were her own, but a turn of events eventually led Deokman into finding out her real identity – only to be abandoned once again by her family in order to save the throne from Mishil’s hand, with the exception of her twin sister Cheonmyeon, who ended up losing her life while trying to help Deokman escape. Out of hatred, Deokman set out to take back what was taken from her and avenge her sister by bringing Mishil down and becoming the first female king of Silla with the help of her trusted friend, Yushin and troubled rogue Bidam, who eventually led a rebellion near the end of her reign.
Excerpted from: Wikipedia
Words from Me:
I wasn’t actually planning on watching this drama but my parents started it when it was aired in our local channel back in 2010 since they loved saguek. This is the second long running sageuk drama I’ve ever seen, next to Dae Jang Geum. Since this was depicted from Korea’s own history, I tried to research a bit while I was watching the whole thing. That’s when I discovered that the drama was very far from reality or even from its original history. Just like Dae Jang Geum, it was altered a lot.
The drama’s setting was when Silla (post Goryeo period and pre Jeoson period) was a broken country, it was during 57 BCE–935 CE within the Korean timeline. I’m a bit confused with regards to Korean history since there are a lot of Kingdoms that has risen before it was known as Jeoson which was the most popular setting for saguek dramas and has the most historical documentation in Korean history. There were so few historical records pre-Jeoson period so the drama producers had to do with what they have. During that time, Silla was always at war with its neighboring countries and at the same time had internal conflicts within its own regions. People were still ignorant about science and had firm belief in myths. The main character Seon Duk or first known as Deokman was born during those times of conquering kingdoms and ignorance. She had to be separated with the royal family right after birth due to the nation’s cruel beliefs . It was then, a prophecy was given that a chosen one will unite the kingdom of Silla. Though, never in their wildest dreams did they think it would be a Queen and a twin nonetheless. Twins were actually seen as an abomination back in those days that’s why one of the twins was supposed to be killed but instead, that specific twin was stowed away by the kings’s faithful servant, who grew up as Deokman. That’s why Deokman’s journey from being a poor traveler, to a soldier then finally to being a queen called Seon Duk was an epic one. During her growth, she had a handful of help from different people she get to meet along the way. Her perseverance, wit and loyalty has touched people’s heart around her and because of this, they become loyal to her in return.
What I liked about the drama was the political conflicts in every aspect. The more problem there is on the top of the ladder, the larger the problem becomes at the bottom. Politics has always been a mar in society due to the scoundrels who take advantage of their power. It’s sad that if one person tries to be righteous in his ways, a flock would try to bring him down. Solving political problems was never easy to begin with, but this drama, even the antagonist named Mishil had the same thoughts as on how to control the government properly. She was one of the reasons why I liked this drama, I had this love-hate relationship with her character because the even though she is the bad guy, she had good intentions for the betterment of the country but unfortunately she executed her awesome plans horribly which turned the table around in favor for the Seon Duk. Though Mishil is very much witty like Seon Duk she chose the fastest way to conquer and make people follow and that’s fear. By killing anyone who gets in her way, she got to do what she had to do. The show got more interesting because two great female minds collided head on with their own tactics.
Inserted along the way is a love triangle within the story line. I can’t believe that the producers just wouldn’t let romance get away in sageuk dramas! In the story, there is the ever loyal Kim Yu Shin from Seon Duk’s childhood days to her puberty up until she was the queen and then later on comes in the feisty Bidam. This part of the story isn’t your average love story, there were so many twist and turns that in the end it just made me pull out my hair and cry out loud for all the things these three people had to go through. I had laid out my cards for Bidam when his character came up, but my heart was just torn into pieces because of him.
I am recommending this drama, because it is a good watch. An eye opener when it comes to political aspects. It made me think how the rulers of my country are running things behind the scene. The actors were also top notch, they portrayed their roles with superb acting skills that it’s hard not get carried away. OST was also unforgettable as they have used different music scores to accentuate important scenes. I may rewatch this drama in the future if only to see Bidam’s character once again.