Kingdom of the Wind (2008)

Korean title: 바람의 나라
Episodes: 36
Also known as: The Kingdom of the Winds / Country of Wind / The Land of Wind
Broadcast period: 10 Sep 2008 to 15 Jan 2009 (in South Korea)
Director: Kang Il Soo 강일수
Scriptwriters: Choi Wan Gyu 최완규, Jung Jin Ok 정진옥, Park Jin Woo 박진우
Author: Kim Jin (adapted from the manhwa of the same name)
Official website: http://www.kbs.co.kr/drama/baram/

Cast:

  • Song Il Gook as Prince Muhyul / Daemusin
  • Choi Jung Won as Princess Yeon
  • Park Gun Hyung as Do Jin
  • Jung Jin Young as King Yuri

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I have decided to do the recaps for this historical drama. The recaps are not detailed, but will be enough for you to follow the story. Call it episode guides if you will. This first entry will summarize episodes 1 – 4. Your comments are most welcome! 🙂

EPISODE 1

The drama begins in the year 4 AD, 23rd year of warrior King Yuri‘s (Jung Jin-yeong) reign in the Kingdom of Goguryeo. King Yuri is out in the frontier at war. The Chieftains (chiefs of each clan in the land) in his kingdom plan a treason and one of his generals stabs him with a knife.

Back at Gungnae Fortress where King Yuri resides, the Queen is going through a difficult labor, giving birth to the King’s third child.

The Queen in a most difficult labor – giving birth to King Yuri’s third child


King Yuri
already has a son (Prince Hae-myeong) and a daughter (Princess Seryu).

The Cheiftain’s (headed by Sangganim of the Biryu clan) raid the palace, thinking that the King is dead. King Yuri wounded by the stab, returns and thwarts the Chieftains’ devious plan.

King Yuri makes a decree to forgive the evil Chieftains but demands that the firstborn son of each Chieftain be brought to him to be raised. This is to prevent another rise of treason attempt.

The Queen gives birth to a healthy baby boy.

The Sorceress kidnaps the baby prince and brings him to her shrine. She plans to kill the baby as he would be destructive to the Kingdom of Goguryeo. She predicts that the baby will kill his own father and mother and bring devastation to the land.

The Sorceress prophecies that King Yuri’s
newborn
son will bring the downfall of Goguryeo
and attempts
to murder the child


King Yuri finds his son with the Sorceress and the latter relates the prophecy to the agonized King. The only way to stop this from happening is that “the son of heaven” (the King himself) kills the child. The Sorceress asks the King himself to kill his own son, but he can’t bring himself to do it. Seeing this, the Sorceress kills herself instead.

EPISODE 2

The evil Sangga (Kim Byung Gi) of the Biryu clan derives a plan. They poison farm animals and make it look like the newborn prince is a bad omen to the Kingdom. On top of that, the Queen falls ill and dies.

Sorceress:His Highness was born under the ominous fate of causing this country’s downfall. He will kill his brethren, cause his mother and father’s deaths and in the end, even kill his own son!

The King is haunted by the sorceress’ revelation about the newborn prince and decides to sacrifice his own son. Upon hearing this, Crown Prince Hae-myeong (Lee Jong Won) strongly refuses his father’s decision and is put behind bars.

Oblivious to what’s happening, little Princess Seryu visits her baby brother and promises to take care of him just like a mother. The King enters and tells Seryu that her brother will be taken away to a faraway place. The Princess gives her baby brother a necklace so that she will recognize him when he grows up (oh how sweet).

Princess Seryu promises to care of her little brother
just like a mother would.
She gives him a necklace
as King Yuri approaches.

The necklace Princess Seryu gave her little brother


The King sacrifices his son and places the baby in a box and drives a sword through it. Upon the death of the baby, unrest among the people cease.

A solemn moment when King Yuri sacrifices his own child to appease the heavens

But a father cannot kill his own son! In the dead of the night, the King and his confidants rescue the baby from the wooden box. King Yuri releases Prince Hae-myeong and asks him to take the child to Jolbon where he would be raised as a commoner. From that night onwards, the child will be called Muhyul for he no longer has a beating heart nor warm blood in his veins.

The King disowns his son to save him. Prince Hae-myeong brings the baby to his friend Chief Decorator Hye Ap (Oh Yoon Ah) and asks her to raise the baby.

Song Il Gook plays young Muhyul – all grown up now


Muhyul
(Song Il Gook) was raised by Hye Ap and grew up painting murals in a cave. The cave is the sacred tomb of His Majesty Emperor Jumong.

EPISODE 3

King Daeso of Buyeo, a neighboring nation sends his Black Shadows (special army) to hunt down the Heavenly Sword which is kept in the late Emperor Jumong‘s tomb. They find the Chief Decorator Hye Ap and threatens to kill her if she does not lead them into the tomb / shrine.

They want to get their hands on the Heavenly Sword which is kept in the tomb, at all costs. In order to safe the Chief Decorater’s life, a young Muhyul (Song Il Gook) ventures into the sacred shrine. Many dare not enter as those who go in do not come out alive.

Muhyul finds the Heavenly Sword and retrieves it!


However Muhyul enters the shrine and finds Jumong’s Heavenly Sword. It is obviously a magical sword and Muhyul retrieves it and comes out of the tomb unscathed.

Meanwhile, Prince Hae-myeong and his men arrive to rescue the Chief Decorator. Upon hearing the news that many of his Black Shadows men have perished and that they did not get their hands of the Heavenly Sword, King Daeso (Han Jin Hee) is angry and declares war against Goguryeo!

The one who has the Heavenly Sword would rule the entire Northern territory.

A livid King Daeso. No heavenly sword and all my
Black Shadows dead?
This means WAR!!!

Since the death of the Queen, King Yuri now keeps company with his consort Lady Miyu (Kim Hye Ri). They have a son called Yeojin (Kim Hye-sung) who much prefers crafting ornaments in the royal workshop rather than practice swordsmanship. Much to his mother’s dismay, Yeojin took the sword his father gave him to the workshop to have it smelted down and made ornaments out of it.

King Yuri, Yeojin and Lady Miyu


Lady Miyu has ambitions that her son successes King Yuri’s thrown thinking that Prince Hae-myeong, who is the Lord of Jalbon Fortress and is at the forefront protecting Goguryeo might be killed at any fights.

Prince Hae-myeong and Chief Decorator Hye Ap have a special relationship. Hye Ap was Prince Hae-myeong’s deceased brother’s girlfriend. Prince Hae-myeong was a great comfort to Hye Ap after his brother’s death and is often accused of stealing his brother’s girl. Hye Ap asks the Crown Prince Hae-myeong about Muhyul‘s true identity.

Chief Decorator Hye Ap and the Crown Prince Hae-myeong are more than friends…


She has a hunch that Muhyul is no commoner as he was able to enter Jumong’s shrine with all the obstacles it had and emerging from the tomb with the Heavenly Sword without so much as a scratch.
Hye Ap tells Prince Hae-myeong that she cannot keep Muhyul with her in the caves any longer as the young lad is eager to see the world. She entrusts Prince Hae-myeong with Muhyul.

Muhyul and his sidekick Maro leave Hye Ap’s care for new adventures


Muhyul and his sidekick Maro (Jang Tae Sung) leave their jobs as decorator of the cave and join the Jolbon soldiers.
Muhyul is tenacious and wants to learn how to fight and defeat one of the best fighters in Gorguyeo – their trainer Gweyu.

Much to Prince Hae-myeong’s shock and dismay, he discovers that Baeguek (Jung Sung Mo), the adopted son of scheming chieftain Sangga has been appointed Ubo (high ranking officer who has control of military resources) by King Yuri.

Power hungry King Daeso assumes that he is the ruler of the Northern territory and summons King Yuri to Buyeo. After deliberating with his officials and wanting to prevent a war, King Yuri obliges and agrees to call Buyeo a brother nation and moreover bows to Daeso. King Daeso is happy to hear those words from Jumong’s son.

Rival Kings taking a bath together. King Yuri (left) agrees to call King Daeso’s Buyeo a brother nation. They exchange gifts in the shape of precious jade.

Muhyul and Maro are transfered to frontier defence – stationed at the frontier between Goguryeo and Buyeo. Muhyul catches some smugglers (who stole his precious necklace earlier) trading at the border and follows them, trespassing to Buyeo soil. Buyeo frontier guards find them and Muhyul is taken prisoner. Considered a spy, Muhyul is beaten and interogated.

EPISODE 4

A mysterious lady in green takes a liking to the prisoner Muhyul and attends to his wounds.

Prince Hae-myeong attackes Buyeo frontier camp to rescue Muhyul and in the frenzy, Muhyul and the smugglers work together and manage to escape. Through his noble and sacrificial act, Muhyul has found respect in the eyes of the smuggler and the latter returns Muhyul’s necklace.

When King Daeso hears of this, he orders to capture King Yuri (who is visiting him) and launch war against Goguryeo. After he has calmed down, King Daseo decides to release King Yuri on the basis that he is willing to forget what happened at the Buyeo frontier because they have become uncle and nephew.

Despite the gravity of the mistake Muhyul made trespassing over to Buyeo soil, Prince Hae-myeong does not heavily punish him. Instead, Muhyul is sent back to the caves with Hye Ap.

A reluctant Muhyul goes back to the caves and ponders over why the Crown Prince came to his rescue and risking war between Goguryo and Buyeo. Muhyul begins to question his own identity.

King Yuri is mad at his son for attacking the Buyeo frontier
which almost caused a war and demands an explanation!


Meanwhile, a livid King Yuri upon returning from Buyeo, stomps into Jalbon Fortress and demands an explanation from his son Prince Hae-myeong.

Oh no…King Yuri strips Prince Hae-myeong of the Crown Prince title and even takes away Jolbon Fortress from him. King Yuri then names Ubon the new Lord at Jolbon Fortress. A humiliated Prince Hae-myeong is now a subordinate to the Ubon and is supposed to learn from Baegeuk about politics and diplomacy.

King Yuri admires the beautiful murals painted on
the walls of Jumong’s shrine
by the decorators.


King Yuri then visits Jumong’s shrine and is impressed by the murals painted on the walls. The King wants to meet the person who has such great artistic skills. Muhyul steps forward and that was the first time King Yuri laid eyes on an adult Muhyul, not knowing that the latter is his own flesh and blood. The King rewards all the decorators for their labour.

In a quiet moment by the stream, King Yuri asks Prince Hae-myeong what happened to the baby boy whom he gave away. Prince Hae-myeong lies and tells him that he left the baby with some village people which he could not locate again later. The King looked sad for one brief moment but told Hae-myeong to not look for the child as he is still haunted by the Sorceress’ prophecy. The King then promised to make Hae-myeong his glorious successor, but is now stripping him of authority only to protect him.

Relieved of his responsibilities as the Crown Prince and Lord of Jolbon Fortress, Prince Hae-myeong now has the freedom to do as he wishes. He decides to show Muhyul the world. A foursome is formed – Hae-myeong, Gweyu, Muhyul and Maro. They travel incognito into the heart of Buyeo. Prince Hae-myeong asks them to address him not as “Your Highness” but “hyungnim” (older brother).

Princely brothers. Estrange Prince Muhyul and his brother
Prince Hae-myeong talks about their grandfather Jumong’s fatherland

Hae-myeong is delighted to hear Muhyul (his real younger brother) call him that. Hae-myeong tells Muhyul of the “fatherland”. The empire that their grandfather, the late Emperor Jumong owned and controlled. Hae-myeong’s ambition is to regain the “fatherland”. He sees a valiant warrior in young Muhyul and hopes to fulfill this dream of his together. Muhyul’s face lights up upon hearing this and it seems that he has just found his purpose in life and vows to aid Hae-myeong in fulfilling that dream.

Travelling buddies (from left): Gweyu, Hae-myeong, Muhyul and Maro


They travel to Buyeo and meet up with the follicle challenged (read balding) man from the Biryu clan. Hae-myeong and Gweyu go into the Black Shadows camp on the pretense of bringing in supplies and spies on them.

Muhyul is smitten by the beautiful nurse who
treated his wounds at the Buyeo frontier.


Meanwhile, Muhyul is up to his own antics and goes to visit the beautiful nurse who attended to him at the Buyeo frontier. He gets in line to be treated and when she asks him where does it hurt, Muhyul lays his palm on his heart (cute).
Later, we find out that the beautiful nurse dressed in green is Princess Yeon (Choi Jung Won).

I foresee a romance torn between two rival nations coming up! An estranged Prince Muhyul of Goguryeo falls in love with the Princess Yeon of Buyeo!

Muhyul gets into trouble with Buyeo guards
as he chases after Yeon.
A mere commoner after a beautiful Princess? tsk tsk tsk


COMMENTS

This is my first time seeing Song Il Gook in a historical drama role. I am impressed that the 38 year-old actor can play a teenage Muhyul so convincingly. Song Il Gook managed to capture the mannerisms of a young brat even down to the way he stands and walks! I can’t wait to see how Song brings the young lad into ‘The God of War’ – Daemusin.

Fans of Coffee Prince‘s waffle boy Kim Jae-wook are in for a treat as he plays the smuggler who steals Muhyul’s necklace. =)

Special thanks to WITH S2, The Heavens Subbing Squad and team.

Next:
Kingdom of the Wind (Episode 5 – 8)


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