|Created by||Studio Dragon|
|Directed by||Kim Won-seok|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||18|
|Camera setup||Single camera|
|Running time||70 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||June 1, 2019 – July 7, 2019|
September 7, 2019 – September 22, 2019
Arthdal Chronicles (Korean: 아스달 연대기; RR: Aseudal yeondaegi) is a 2019 South Korean television series directed by Kim Won-seok written by Kim Young-hyun and Park Sang-yeon, starring Jang Dong-gun, Song Joong-ki, Kim Ji-won and Kim Ok-vin. The series aired every Saturday and Sunday on tvN at 21:00 (KST) starting from June 1, 2019. It premiered internationally on Netflix.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Reception
- 5 Ratings
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In a mythical land called Arth, the inhabitants of the ancient city of Arthdal contend with power struggles, while some encounter love along the way.Eunsom goes through hardships to bring his tribe back alive and learns about his true origins in the process 
- Son of Asa Hon and Neanthal, Ragaz. A member of the Wahan tribe of Iark, a foreigner to Arthdal. Ta-gon’s most powerful enemy, in the days to come.
- The offspring of an alien relationship not accepted in Arthdal. Eun-seom is a mixed race of the Saram (human race) and the Neanthal, an Igutu born during the Great War. An old Arthdal prophesy says that.
- "The child born on the day when the blue comet appears will bring calamity."
- And so it is, on the day Eun-seom was born, a bright blue streak lit across the sky. Eun-seom’s mother, Asa Hon, willing to do anything to keep Eun-seom alive, escapes Arthdal and heads to Iark. But Asa Hon meets her death in the voyage to Iark.
- Young Eun-seom was raised in the Wahan tribe of Iark. The Wahan got used to Eun-seom’s dissimilar purple lips, and the scars on his torso, but Eun-seom was more unique than just his appearance. He can copy any maneuver after seeing it just once, no matter how complicated. Thus, he was teaching Tan-ya the intricate dance of the Great Spiritual Mother, that she was supposed to be mastering. In addition, Eun-seom was a better hunter than his peers, as he is extraordinarily strong and fast. Although not comparable to the Neanthal, an average man cannot keep up with an Igutu’s strength and speed. Eun-seom’s abilities were strange to the Wahan.
- Despite being raised in Wahan, Eun-seom was still an outsider. His only confidant was Tan-ya, a Wahan girl of his same-age who he grew up with. To Eun-seom, Tan-ya is his family who has been there for him since he was young. Tan-ya is a thoughtful girl who always took care of the lonely Eun-seom. Eun-seom loved Tan-ya for this.
- Ultimately, Eun-seom’s outstanding abilities and personality created a big problem, and Eun-seom is on the verge of banishment from Wahan. At the same time of Eun-seom’s crisis, a danger also approaches the land of Iark. Following the orders of San-ung, the leader of the Arthdal Union, who wants to conquer Iark, Ta-gon and the Daekan troops descend the Great Black Cliff. The Wahan tribe were trounced. And thus, Tan-ya and the Wahan are taken to Arthdal. To save them, Eun-seom heads to Arthdal, the root of his secret.
- The first son of San-ung, leader of the Arthdal Union.
- Blessed with both intelligence and physicality, he’s a genius strategist and warrior, the head of the Daekan troops. A hero who triumphed over the Neanthals in the Great War through his war strategy. After the Great War, San-ung declared the Great Hunt, and ordered the genocide of the Neanthal. Ta-gon was in the front lines of the Great Hunt, proving his ability. Under leadership of Ta-gon, the Daekan troops not only enforced the Great Hunt, but also pacified rebelling tribes that attempted to riot against the Arthdal Union. Ta-gon’s reputation in Arthdal continued to rise.
- As Ta-gon became a hero for all Arthdal tribes, one person watched with wary eyes - his own father, San-ung. Although he was initially pleased with Ta-gon’s cunning strategies, as Ta-gon’s eminence rose, San-ung became uneasy. Overcome by power-lust, San-ung tries to take down Ta-gon by trapping him. This incites a war between father and son, and Ta-gon leaps over the mountain of his father, and takes control of Arthdal. Ta-gon finally becomes the Hero of Arthdal. Ta-gon is also Igutu (mixed blood of human and Neanthal); nobody in Arthadal is aware of that except San-ung, Eun-seom and Tae Al-ha.
- Daughter of Yeol-son, the anointed successor of the next Great Spiritual Mother of the Wahan. The prophesied child of the blue comet.
- On the day that Tan-ya was born, her mother passed away before being able to meet her beloved daughter. Tan-ya was born on the same day as Eun-seom, the day the blue comet crossed the sky. But, the Wahan prophesy of the blue comet differed from that of the Arthdal.
- "The one who will break the shell will arrive on the day of the blue comet, accompanied by death. Wahan will ceased to be Wahan."
- Tan-ya is a clever, bright Wahan girl, destined to be the next Great Spiritual Mother. In Iark, a land where the bow and arrow has not even been invented, she uses a sling as her hunting tool. She is a warrior capable of taking an adult’s life.
- The Saram race cannot dream, but priestesses must be able to dream to qualify as a spiritual mother. In order to have dreams, Tan-ya is burdened with training and practice, but she has yet to meet a dream. Moreover, she has not been able to master the spiritual dance of generations of spiritual mothers. As Tan-ya becomes more frustrated and pressured, one day, Eun-seom secretly watches and learns the spiritual dance, and teaches Tan-ya. She finds out that Eun-seom has dreams, and at first, Tan-ya is suspicious. At the same time, she feels jealous. But without knowing, she begins to have feelings for Eun-seom.
- The days were peaceful, until the Arthdal Daekan troops arrived in the Wahan Village. Tan-ya ends up being captured with the Wahan people, and taken to the faraway Arthdal land. Bit by bit, she feels her destiny and her anointed mission as the child of the blue comet approach her, along with the truth of the Wahan Tribe.
- Daughter of the Hae Tribe Chief, Mi-hol. A scientist, warrior, and ambitious politician.
- The Hae people are foreigners to Arthdal who arrived from far far away, crossing the oceans. It has not been long since the Hae settled in Arthdal. The Hae chief, Mi-hol, used the exceptional technology of the Hae as a means to survive in Arthdal. As Mi-hol’s daughter, Tae Al-ha realized at a young age, that if you do not become strong, you die. If you can not be a strong person, you must stand on the side of a strong person. Correct judgment about who is strong is the only thing that matters. This was carved deep into her heart. Descendants of the Hae are raised to be experts in various fields of science, and Tae Al-ha is no exception. But her interest is in power, not science. Rather than mastering the science, she would rather control the scientists. She believed that the one who could influence the people to lead the direction of history would be the person at the apex of power.
- With insight and analytical power that’s comparable to her father, Tae Al-ha predicts early on that Arthdal is on the verge of change. Although she did not experience it, she knows from history. The explosive growth of Arthdal’s agriculture and production will ultimately lead to the birth of a nation. Believing that nations are born in the midst of clashing storms and desires, Tae Al-ha finds Ta-gon.
- And so, Ta-gon becomes the Hero of Arthdal. Everything seemed to follow Tae Al-ha’s desires and plans. She enjoys great power as Ta-gon’s political comrade. Tae Al-ha had no fears, Arthdal was as good as hers. However, a strong rival appears from an unexpected place.
Arthdal (Saenyeok Tribe, Daekan Forces)
- Ta-gon’s father, Chief of the Saenyeok Tribe. Leader of the Arthdal Tribal Union. The brave San-ung, who rose to the position of Arthdal Tribal Union Leader at a young age, has an ability to embrace and include others that made people want to follow him. He is intelligent and fair when solving problems. He achieved a triumphant victory in the Great War against the Neanthal, but the hero of this war was not him, but his son, Ta-gon. San-ung’s jealousy towards his son was only a small inconvenience then. But when Ta-gon’s eminence climbed to threaten his position as Tribal Union Leader, San-ung made a terrible determination in his heart.
- Son of San-Woong, half brother of Ta-gon. The current general of Arthdal’s guards force. Successor of the Chief of Saenyeok tribe. Dan-byeok was recognized as the successor of the Saenyeok Tribe Chief early on. Although Ta-gon was older, since no one knew who Ta-gon’s mother was, Dan-byeok felt no need to be vigilant against him. He does not understand why his father was hateful towards Ta-gon and guarded against him from a young age. And so, he always felt sorry for Ta-gon and had much sympathy for him. With superior swordsmanship and physicality, his reputation amongst the Saenyeok and the Union Tribes was high.
- Park Hyoung-soo as Gil-sun
- Originally a member of the Daekan troops, he is currently a troop leader of the Guard Forces. Born of the White Mountain Tribe, after he fought alongside Ta-gon in the Great Hunt of Neanthal. He was the first to return to Arthdal, and is charged with keeping the peace within Arthdal as a member of the Guard Forces. A soldier who understands politics, he works under high-ranking leaders. He is quick to catch on to the interests at stake and changing political tides.
- as Yeon-bal
- A Daekan warrior. As a Saenyeok tribesman and out of loyalty to Ta-gon, he performs his tasks as ordered. With Mu-baek and Gil-son above him, and Mu-gwang, and Kitoha below him, he is often the one who is picked on and often feels unfairly treated. Free-spirited and friendly, he is clever unlike his appearance.
- Lee Ho-cheol as Kitoha
- A Daekan warrior from the White Mountain Tribe with good fighting skills and almost unhumanly powerful strength. He has a wild personality, and loves to drink and gamble, but unfitting to his appearance and abilities, he is very superstitious, even getting scared out of his wits at the slightest sign of misfortune.
- Hwang Hee as Mu-gwang
- A Daekan warrior, younger brother of Mu-baek. He performs cruel and dirty tasks with no moral consideration. If it’s Ta-gon’s orders, he obeys without remorse. He feels frustrated towards his older brother, Mu-baek, who cares not for power and is unwavering in his loyalty only towards the Union. He was most brutal in his treatment of the Iark people, killing them without hesitation.
- Ki Do-hoon as Yang-cha
- A Daekan warrior who is adept at using bronze weapons. He always wears a mask over his mouth, as he is serving a punishment of silence for something that happened in the past. Ta-gon gave young Yang-cha a secret order in the past. Ta-gon also reveals to Yang-cha his true feelings. Within the Daekan troops, he is reputed to be comparable to Mu-baek, seen as the best Warrior of the next generation.
- as Park Ryang-poong
- A Daekan Warrior from a small minority tribe who was able to receive a leadership appointment. Unlike his appearances, he is intelligent and quick-witted, being able to accurately complete his given tasks.
- Lee Hwang-eui as Dae-dae
- The Chief historian of the Tribal Union Castle. The head of all the scribes who record the happenings in the castle, and an administrative officer. But Dae-dae’s role doesn’t just stop there, he serves at the side of the Union Tribe Leader. He passes no judgment on the tides of power, but is a scholar who pledges loyalty firmly to the Union itself.
- as So-dang
- as Pyeon-mi
Arthdal (White Mountain Tribe)
- Lee Do-kyung as Asa Ron
- The Chief Elder of White Mountain Tribe, he controls the religious rites and ceremonies. As the Chief Elder who heads the Great Temple which serves the Eight Gods of Arthdal, he is at Arthdal’s apex of power. However, Asa Ron has one thing lacking, he descends from only a branch house of the Great Mother Asa Shin, and not her direct line. He can communicate the wills of God, but he cannot meet the Gods himself. Thus, Asa Ron leads his clan not by the strength of his innate abilities, but by his outstanding political judgment.
- Son Sook as Asa Sakan
- A member of the Asa clan, the mother of White Mountain Tribe. The greatest Elder of the White Mountain Tribe who protects the sacred caves of White Mountain Tribe, who has the great influence to sway the decisions of the Great Temple. She believes it’s her mission to protect the divine power of the Asa clan and the Arthdal Union.
- Seo Eun-ah as Asa Mot
- A member of the Asa clan, chief priestess, she orchestrates the rites and ceremonies of Arthdal under Asa Ron. She is also trusted by Asa Ron to manage the Great Temple. She believes that her body belongs to Airuzu, her heart to Isodunyong, she is unwavering in her faith and principles, an even more stout fundamentalist than Asa Ron.
- Jang Yool as Asa Yon
- A priest of the Asa Clan, he originally served in the Sacred Caves of White Head Mountain, following Isodunyong. However, he was noticed by Asa Ron and was transferred to the Great Temple, becoming a priest who serves the Eight Gods. Intelligent and a realist at times he clashes with Asa Mot.
- as Asa Moo
- A beautiful priestess of the Asa Clan who communicates the words of Isodunyeong. She always appears drunk, with a dazed appearance and slurred words. She dances inside the Great Temple and raises cries as she receives messages from the Gods.
- A member of the Asa Clan, Eun-seom’s mother. She was tasked to deliver gifts to the Neanthal, and at a burning Atturad, she witnessed the cruelty of the Saram race. After, she escaped with the Neanthal, Ragaz and giving him her heart, eventually conceiving Eun-seom. Being chased by the Daekan Troops, Asa Hon takes young Eunsom to the Great Black Cliff, attempting to head towards Iark.
Arthdal (Hae Tribe)
- Chief of Hae tribe, Tae Al-ha’s father. The master of Arthdal’s science and information, the proprietor of the fortress of fire. Around 50 years ago, Mi-hol arrived in Arthdal as a young child. But he helped the adults of the Hae tribe to begin a large scale farming operation. He made bronze instruments, and brought upon abundance to Arthdal, allowing the Hae to reach their current status. Mihol observed the rapidly changing Arthdalian politics, while calculating his steps. He strategized and planned meticulously to ensure the Hae tribe’s mission and survival. But the one thing that he did not account for was his daughter Tae Al-ha.
- as Hae Tu-ak
- A Hae warrior, Tae Al-ha’s closest attendant. Although she appears gregarious and clumsy, she is Tae Al-ha’s right hand woman. Her appearance may suggest she’s has a big body and moves dully, but she is a female warrior who is skilled in martial arts. Hae Tu-ak’s appeal is that she will crush the arms of those who attack her while speaking innocent words through her mouth.
- as Hae Yeo-bi
- Mi-hol’s closest retainer who has devoted her life to the survival of the Hae Tribe. Under Mi-hol’s direction, she currently closely monitors Tae Al-ha, who she raised with her own hands. With no emotion, she strictly reprimands and incenses Tae Al-ha. Skilled in martial arts, she at times clashes with Hae Tu-ak, who is her complete opposite.
- as Hae Heul-lip
- A Hae Historian, Mi-hol’s information gatherer. To him, Mi-hol’s word is Law. Clever with an ability to act quickly, he holds Mi-hol’s trust. He is entrusted with the task to record information on Arthdal and all the tribes on Arth Lands.
- as Hae Al-yong
- Hae tribe’s Chief historian. He maintains the library of the Fortress of Fire, which holds 5000 volumes of bamboo and leather books. Although only 5000, at that time, this is equivalent to all the books of the Arth Land and Aniachu land. Al-yong who maintains and publishes these books is called Al-yong the Sage by the people of the Arthdal Tribal Union.
- as Hae Ga-eun
- Hae tribe’s agricultural technologist whose brain is so superior that she is knowledgeable of the species and breeds of all the plants.
- as Hae Kka-dak
- Hae tribe’s Bronze technologist. Although he usually is lazy and ignorant, he is the best bronze maker in all of Hae Tribe.
- as Hae Ddae-mun
- Hae Kka-dak’s young son. Just by listening to them talk, you might get confused of who is the father and who is the son. He will snark you when you least expect it
- as Ha-rim
- Arthdal's medicine man. Born in the White Mountain Tribe, he is Arthdal's premier medicine man. Other than his technical skills in surgery, he can also recognize any medicinal herb at one glance. His outstanding medical skills contributed to bring Ta-gon's strategy to reality. If there was no Ha-rim, Arthdal would not have won the Great War against the Neanthal. He carries with him the burden of guilt, knowing that numerous Neanthal died in the Great War, and that Asa Hon who did not know of the conspiracy, has since gone missing, with no one knowing whether she's dead or alive.
- Ko Bo-gyeol as Chae-eun
- A medicine woman, Ha-rim's daughter, who naturally learned medicine by watching her father since she was young. Intelligent and bright, if the Union Tribes cannot find Ha-rim, they'll look for Chae-eun. Ha-rim finds much support from Chae-eun. She has no prejudice against the Neanthal or Igutus, and she helps Eun-seom when he arrives from Iark.
- as Nun-byeol
- Chae-eun's little sister, Ha-rim's second daughter who he saved from the battlefields and raised as his own, actually an adopted war orphan. Fearing for her naturally weak constitution, Ha-rim taught Nun-byeol swordfighting. She copies the movements, but has no strength behind them, and tires easily from even a little practice. For all her weakness, Nun-byeol has Chae-eun, her strong and clever sister who is her protector.
- as Su-chin
- A retainer of the medicine temple who was originally from a small minority tribe. He will follow any orders from Ha-rim and Chae-eun.
- as Mu-Myung-jin
- A artisan who works in the fabric-dye quarters, originally of the White Mountain Tribe.
- as Ul-baek
- The chief of the Bachi guild (merchant union), originally of the Saenyeok tribe, he has the most influence in the markets of Arthdal
- as Turihan
- A member of the Bachi guild who holds great pride in being from the White Mountain Tribe. He is a follower of the Asa Clan.
- as Ra-im
- A member of the Bachi guild who was not born on Arth continent, but takes great pride in being a part of the Arthdal Union.
Iark (Wahan Tribe)
- Jung Suk-yong as Yeol-son
- The Wahan Clan Chief, Tan-ya’s father. He has crafty hands and uses them to skillfully make small sculptures, furniture, or weapons. His inventions are rare items that have never been seen by the surrounding clans, and are highly coveted in bartering. One day, the warriors of Arthdal arrived in Iark, and Yeolson was kidnapped to Arthdal. In Arthdal, where civilization is progressing, a handy, quick learner like Yeolson is valued. The innocent Yeolson adapts to the ways of a civilization, and plays an important part in the history of Arth.
- Wahan clan’s Great Spiritual Mother, who is as a noble existence in the clan. She took Tan-ya, the child of the blue comet under her wing, as her next successor. As a priestess, she has felt that a tremendous change is upon the land of Iark and the Wahan Clan. She also guessed that Tan-ya will be the center of that change. She is always anxious that the unpredictable Eun-seom and Tan-ya share a close relationship. Looking back upon the forbidden rules of Wahan that were passed through generations of Wahan’s Great Mothers, Eun-seom’s existence is a danger to the Wahan Clan.
- Shin Joo-hwan as Dal-sae
- Wahan’s greatest hunter and warrior, the successor of the Clan, but once he was kidnapped to Arthdal, that was quickly forgotten, and surviving was the only thing left in his mind. In Iark, Dal-sae was always picking on Eun-seom, as his rival, but becomes Eun-seom’s closest comrade in the future.
- Park Jin as Moong-tae
- A Wahan warrior who has many fears, he makes many mistakes while hunting as he was born without agility. However, he bears great strength that it’s hard to believe it belongs to a human. This strong but timid young man was quick to yield to the cruel military power of Arthdal.
- Yang Kyung-won as Teo-dae
- A pure and thick-skinned Wahan Warrior who is the next skilled hunter after Dal-sae amongst the Wahan.
- Kim Choong-gil as Book-soe
- A Wahan Warrior who may look like he’s the eldest brother, but he has the fragile heart of a child. He likes to eat, and when he was in Iark, he always had a piece of jerky in his mouth.
- Go Na-hee as Do-ti
- A Wahan child who survived the day of the Wahan tribe massacre. She goes with Eun-seom to Arthdal afterwards, and experiences a shocking world. Although she nags Eun-seom sassily, her existence itself gives strength to Eun-seom.
- Shin Mun-sung as Doon-ji
- Song Jae-ryong as Gum-bool
- Park Ok-chool as Agaji
- Kim Bi-bi as Wooroomi
- Do-ti’s mother, the best sling-shot in Wahan.
- Yoo Tae-oh as Ragaz
- Eun-seom's father
- Moon Jong-won as Raknrup
- as Muteurubeu
- Song Jong-ho as Yiseuroobeu
- Choi Ro-woon as Rottip
- The cast and crew attended a workshop in Yangju, Gyeonggi-do, on August 21, 2018.
- The first script read was held on August 26, 2018.
- Filming officially started on December 5, 2018 with the opening ceremony of the set, whose construction took place for eight months.
- The drama serves as a reunion project for Song Joong-ki and Kim Ji-won who both starred in the 2016 hit drama Descendants of the Sun.
- The drama was filmed overseas in Brunei. Song Joong-ki went first on February 24, 2019.
The drama received mixed reviews. It was criticized for sharing many similarities to Game of Thrones and other films, poor use of CGI, formulaic plot, and slow-paced storyline which makes viewers lose interest. It received lower-than-expected viewership ratings, in comparison to its massive budget.
The production team was criticized for mistreatment of its production staff. The production team was accused of violating labor laws from local civic groups, including the Seoul-based Hanbit Media Labor Rights Center and Hope Solidarity Labor Union, as the drama crew had been subject to a “murderous” working environment that made them work up to 150 hours a week. The organizations reported Studio Dragon to the Seoul Employment and Labor Administration. The standards were agreed upon and announced by the studio last September to enhance the labor environment of its staff. Studio Dragon responded to the allegations, saying they abided by its own labor rules, but admitted that they had filmed for 113 hours during the week they went to Brunei in order to make the most out of their time shooting overseas. The studio denied reports that an injured staff member was ignored and told to continue working.
In this table, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
|Ep.||Broadcast date||Average audience share|
|Part 1: The Children of Prophecy (예언의 아이들)|
|1||June 1, 2019||6.729%||7.736%||7.501%|
|2||June 2, 2019||7.310%||8.222%||7.399%|
|3||June 8, 2019||6.435%||6.454%||N/A|
|4||June 9, 2019||7.705%||8.952%||7.719%|
|5||June 15, 2019||5.787%||5.955%|
|6||June 16, 2019||7.226%||7.757%|
|Part 2: The Sky Turning Inside Out, Rising Land (뒤집히는 하늘, 일어나는 땅)|
|7||June 22, 2019|
|8||June 23, 2019|
|9||June 29, 2019|
|10||June 30, 2019|
|11||July 6, 2019|
|12||July 7, 2019|
|Part 3: The Prelude To All Legends (아스, 그 모든 전설의 서곡)|
|Special||May 26, 2019||2.290%||2.804%||N/A|
Awards and nominations
|2018||Korea First Brand Awards||Most Anticipated Drama of 2019||Arthdal Chronicles||Won|||
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- "Cast, producer nervous, excited ahead of 'Arthdal Chronicles' premiere". The Korea Times. May 30, 2019.
- "Arthdal Chronicles' to explore fabled, first monarchy on Korean Peninsula [VIDEO]". The Korea Times. April 14, 2019.
- "'Arthdal Chronicles' is a big-budget fantasy epic: Set in ancient Korean history, humans and other races strive for power". Korea JoongAng Daily. May 30, 2019.
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- "Netflix Boards Korean Fantasy 'Arthdal Chronicles'". Variety. April 29, 2019.
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- "Song Joong-ki to Exude 'Primitive' Masculinity in Upcoming TV Series". The Chosun Ilbo. April 20, 2019.
- "'Arthdal Chronicles' features Song Joong-ki as half-neanderthal hero in antiquity". The Korea Herald. 29 May 2019.
- "Song Joong-ki Returns to TV with New Epic Series". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 June 2019.
- "[단독]정제원부터 박해준까지 '아스달' 캐스팅 완료(종합)". Ilgan Sports (in Korean). August 27, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
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- "'아스달 연대기' 장동건X송중기, 12人 메인 포스터 공개". entertain.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-05-21.
- "[단독] 조성하·최무성·박병은, 장동건·송중기 '아스달 연대기' 합류". News1 (in Korean). August 27, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- "Choo Ja-hyun set to appear in tvN drama". Korea JoongAng Daily (in Korean). August 28, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- "조성하, '아스달연대기' 출연 확정..'백일의 낭군님' 이어 열일中[공식입장]". Osen (in Korean). September 28, 2018.
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