Dong Yi (TV series)

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Dong Yi
Dong Yi.jpg
Promotional poster for Dong Yi
Written byKim Yi-young
Directed by
Opening theme"Walking on a Dreamy Road" by Jang Na-ra
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes60
Executive producer(s)
  • Kim Ho-young
  • Ahn Seung-gak
Producer(s)Lee Se-joong
Production company(s)Lydus Contents Company
Original networkMunhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Original release22 March (2010-03-22) –
12 October 2010 (2010-10-12)
External links
Korean name
Revised RomanizationDong-i

Dong Yi (Korean동이; Hanja同伊) is a 2010 South Korean historical television drama series, starring Han Hyo-joo in the title role.[1] The series centers on the love story between King Sukjong and Choi Suk-bin; it aired on MBC from 22 March to 12 October 2010 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 60 episodes.[2][3]

Dong Yi was a hit across Asia and recorded the highest ratings for Korean dramas on Japanese network NHK.[4] It also recorded solid viewership ratings in the mid-20% to 30% range in South Korea,[5] and Han won acting awards for her performance including "Daesang (Grand Prize)" at the MBC Drama Awards.



Set during the reign of King Sukjong in the Joseon dynasty, the series is based on real-life historical figure Choi Suk-bin.

Dong-yi became an orphan after her father (the chief of the sword fraternity and a corpse handler) and brother (a member of the fraternity) was killed after they were accused of killing the nobles. To hide her identity, Dong-yi adopted the surname Chun, becoming a maid and working in the Bureau of Music. She had an exceptional mind that helped her in solving difficult cases.

As a court lady inspector[edit]

While solving a case, she meets the king who introduces himself as a court judge. He enjoys her treatment of him as an ordinary person, and falls in love with her. She also gains the favour of Queen Inhyeon and becomes her trusted confidante, then meets Jang Hui-bin, a concubine who was first her ally but later a bitter enemy.

In her quest to survive in the court and bring justice to lowborn commoners like herself, she makes many allies such as her devoted protector Cha Chun-soo (whom she considers an older brother despite not being blood-related), the police chief Seo Young-gi (who was her father's friend), and the court ladies Jung and Bong.

As a royal consort[edit]

The new Sword Guild and the past exposed[edit]

Rumor regarding the Sword Guild being resurrected, but this time fighting for a wicked cause. Numerous nobles were assassinated, posting fears and uncertainty in the capital. Dong-yi and Chun-soo, feared that their past would be exposed, set to solve the mysterious dying message from the old man as well as finding whom framed the former Sword Guild in the 1681 massacre. The new Sword Guild's marshal, whom none other than Dong-yi childhood's friend Ge Dwo-ra, decided to assassinate Consort Chun without realizing she was his childhood friend. Dong-yi only escaped death by exposing identity to the killers and rushed them into hiding when the police guards were investigating her residence.

Her actions, while well covered, could not escape the eyes of her opponent, now including Jang Mu-yeol, an old classmate of Seo Young-gi and a talented Viceroy for the Southerns. He quickly realized the unusual connections between Dong-yi and the Sword Guild. It now became a race against time between Dong-yi's camp to figure out the past cases and Jang Mu-yeol's camp to expose her identity and eliminate the Sword Guild. Eventually, Dong-yi solved the riddle: the mastermind of the past cases was Oh Tae-suk, whom murdered his competitor in the Southern faction and then framed the Sword Guild. But while she was getting evidence to arrest Oh Tae-suk, her opponent was one step further: Jang Mu-yeol staged an assault to kill Oh Tae-suk and framed the new Sword Guild, while letting a wounded Ge Dwo-ra escape. Dong-yi, in a desperate attempt to help Ge Dwo-ra escape, fell into Jang Mu-yeol's trap and exposed her identity and her past to the King.

Facing with inevitable evidence, the King was forced to punish Dong-yi for her crimes. Ge Dwo-ra was executed, and so would be Dong-yi if not for her son's untimely death. Nevertheless, Dong-yi was banished from the palace, never to be seen by the King again.

In exile[edit]

The King, sending Dong-yi away with a heavy heart, couldn't forget her. One night, in a drunken state, he wandered to Dong-yi's residence and spent the night with her. This gave Dong-yi her second child, named Yi Geum.

Fast forward by six years. Yi Geum showed his prodigious talent, being able to quote not just "Basic Concepts" but also Doctrine of the Mean and Great Learning, books that even scholars have trouble memorizing. Meanwhile, the King, through an incident, recognized Geum without the kid's knowledge that the former was his dad. Like the old days, the King posed himself as an administrative officer to spent time with his son.

Meanwhile, inside the palace, Jang Hui-bin and co, while enjoying the temporary relief, still grew wary about Dong-yi and her son as a threat for her crown price. Jang Hui-bin's mother, once again decided to hire assassins to kill Dong-yi and Geum, setting their residence on fire and locked the door to prevent them from escaping. The plan only failed by the last minutes when the royal guard spotted the fire and rescued them.

It turned out, the King, while not seeing them for six years, always missed them and requested the guards to secretly secure Dong-yi's residence without them being seen. He was biding the time to bring them back, which finally came when Geum turned seven and by law was required to receive royal education. Once again, Dong-yi and her son returned to the palace to face her friends and enemy for one more time.

Return to the palace[edit]

Dong-yi and Geum returned to the palace, with the later now named Prince Yuning. Geum's prodigious talent soon broke out and the palace knew he was no ordinary prince. Meanwhile, rumors had started that Crown Prince Yun might be infertile, ringing the possibility that Prince Yuning might replace him as the King's heir. However well covered by Jang Hui-bin's camp, news gradually leaked out and her bases started abandoning her, from Jang Mu-yeol now pledged allegiance to Dong-yi and the Chancellor withdrawing his support. In desperate situation, Jang Hui-bin and her brother attempted to assassinate Dong-yi and Prince Yuning; the assassins almost succeeded if not for Chun-soo's quick thinking and reaction. Jang Hui-bin and co were arrested and eventually executed.

Facing with the chance to become the Queen and her son replacing Crown Prince Yun as heir, Dong-yi declined both, rejecting the pledges from Jang Mu-yeol. But she and the King knew the only way for Prince Yuning to survive was to become king. The King, after serious contemplation, made preparations for the unthinkable: abdication, which would put Prince Yun as King and Yuning as Crown Prince, thus protecting both princes. Unable to comprehend the terms, Jang Mu-yeol and co attempted to eliminate Dong-yi and her son by staging an ambush against Crown Prince and framing Dong-yi. However, their plan was seen through by then Queen Inwon and they were arrested, eventually executed. King Sukjong finally announced his intention to abdicate, but saved by the last minute with Queen Inwon finally adopt Prince Yuning, ensuring the way for both princes to enthrone in the future.

A new king[edit]

Dong-yi's son, under her tutelage, later becomes the 21st king of Joseon, Yeongjo, the father of Crown Prince Sado and grandfather of Yi San.[6]





Dong Yi was written by Kim Yi-young and directed by Lee Byung-hoon. Lee previously directed the hit 2003 period drama Jewel in the Palace.[10]

It was filmed at MBC Dramia located at Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si in Gyeonggi Province, where other historical dramas such as Moon Embracing the Sun, Jumong and Queen Seondeok were also filmed.[11]


In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.

Date Episode TNmS Ratings[12] AGB Nielsen[13]
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide Seoul
2010-03-22 1 11.4 (15th) 12.9 (8th) 11.6 (16th) 12.8 (11th)
2010-03-23 2 11.5 (12th) 12.6 (10th) 11.6 (13th) 13.1 (10th)
2010-03-29 3 11.8 (14th) 12.9 (12th) 12.7 (13th) 13.7 (12th)
2010-03-30 4 12.3 (11th) 13.4 (10th) 13.6 (9th) 15.2 (8th)
2010-04-05 5 15.3 (6th) 16.4 (4th) 14.7 (7th) 15.6 (6th)
2010-04-06 6 14.2 (7th) 15.2 (6th) 15.7 (7th) 17.4 (5th)
2010-04-12 7 17.2 (5th) 18.9 (2nd) 17.9 (4th) 20.1 (4th)
2010-04-13 8 17.2 (5th) 18.5 (2nd) 18.8 (4th) 20.4 (4th)
2010-04-19 9 19.0 (4th) 20.4 (2nd) 19.2 (3rd) 20.9 (1st)
2010-04-20 10 19.7 (1st) 21.3 (1st) 18.2 (4th) 19.7 (4th)
2010-04-26 11 21.6 (2nd) 23.5 (2nd) 21.0 (3rd) 24.0 (1st)
2010-04-27 12 22.5 (2nd) 24.5 (2nd) 21.6 (2nd) 23.9 (2nd)
2010-05-03 13 22.9 (1st) 25.2 (1st) 20.0 (3rd) 22.0% (3rd)
2010-05-04 14 20.4 (2nd) 21.9 (1st) 19.9 (2nd) 22.6 (1st)
2010-05-10 15 25.8 (1st) 27.9 (1st) 25.1 (1st) 28.1 (1st)
2010-05-11 16 28.5 (1st) 30.8 (1st) 26.2 (1st) 30.2 (1st)
2010-05-17 17 25.0 (1st) 27.1 (1st) 25.0 (1st) 28.0 (1st)
2010-05-18 18 25.6 (1st) 27.3 (1st) 25.0 (1st) 25.9 (1st)
2010-05-24 19 24.1 (2nd) 26.2 (2nd) 24.6 (2nd) 28.1 (2nd)
2010-05-25 20 23.8 (1st) 26.0 (1st) 22.4 (2nd) 25.3 (1st)
2010-05-31 21 25.1 (1st) 27.7 (1st) 23.0 (2nd) 25.5 (1st)
2010-06-01 22 26.6 (1st) 29.3 (1st) 24.2 (1st) 26.9 (1st)
2010-06-07 23 28.1 (1st) 30.9 (1st) 23.9 (1st) 27.2 (1st)
2010-06-08 24 30.3 (1st) 33.2 (1st) 25.8 (1st) 29.7 (1st)
2010-06-14 25 31.0 (1st) 33.3 (1st) 27.4 (1st) 30.1 (1st)
2010-06-15 26 33.1% (1st) 35.6% (1st) 29.1% (1st) 32.3% (1st)
2010-06-21 27 29.1 (1st) 31.0 (1st) 26.9 (1st) 29.8 (1st)
2010-06-22 28 30.1 (1st) 32.6 (1st) 28.0 (1st) 30.6 (1st)
2010-06-28 29 31.1 (1st) 32.8 (1st) 28.0 (1st) 30.4 (1st)
2010-06-29 30 31.9 (1st) 33.8 (1st) 28.7 (1st) 31.5 (1st)
2010-07-05 31 30.8 (1st) 33.3 (1st) 26.1 (1st) 28.6 (1st)
2010-07-06 32 31.3 (1st) 33.8 (1st) 27.5 (1st) 30.4 (1st)
2010-07-12 33 29.1 (1st) 31.1 (1st) 26.3 (1st) 29.1 (1st)
2010-07-13 34 29.7 (1st) 31.7 (1st) 27.4 (1st) 30.6 (1st)
2010-07-19 35 27.6 (1st) 30.0 (1st) 24.3 (1st) 27.0 (1st)
2010-07-20 36 29.4 (1st) 32.0 (1st) 25.3 (1st) 27.9 (1st)
2010-07-26 37 28.8 (1st) 31.2 (1st) 24.4 (1st) 26.8 (1st)
2010-07-27 38 30.6 (1st) 33.3 (1st) 25.7 (1st) 28.3 (1st)
2010-08-02 39 23.9 (1st) 25.8 (1st) 21.5 (1st) 23.3 (1st)
2010-08-03 40 23.1 (1st) 25.0 (1st) 21.9 (1st) 25.1 (1st)
2010-08-09 41 23.7 (1st) 25.9 (1st) 22.7 (1st) 24.8 (1st)
2010-08-10 42 23.2 (1st) 25.2 (1st) 21.3 (3rd) 23.3 (2nd)
2010-08-16 43 23.3 (1st) 25.0 (1st) 22.7 (1st) 25.2 (1st)
2010-08-17 44 24.8 (1st) 26.6 (1st) 21.6 (2nd) 23.6 (2nd)
2010-08-23 45 24.7 (1st) 26.5 (1st) 24.3 (1st) 27.7 (1st)
2010-08-24 46 26.8 (1st) 29.3 (1st) 25.1 (1st) 28.1 (1st)
2010-08-30 47 30.7 (1st) 33.0 (1st) 27.3 (1st) 29.9 (1st)
2010-08-31 48 30.3 (1st) 32.5 (1st) 27.4 (1st) 30.0 (1st)
2010-09-06 49 29.5 (1st) 31.8 (1st) 27.7 (1st) 30.1 (1st)
2010-09-07 50 28.6 (1st) 30.7 (1st) 25.3 (1st) 27.3 (1st)
2010-09-13 51 26.4 (1st) 28.8 (1st) 24.5 (1st) 26.5 (1st)
2010-09-14 52 27.0 (1st) 29.8 (1st) 24.5 (1st) 26.4 (1st)
2010-09-20 53 23.0 (1st) 25.5 (1st) 22.7 (1st) 24.4 (1st)
2010-09-21 54 20.2 (1st) 21.1 (1st) 19.7 (1st) 21.9 (1st)
2010-09-27 55 25.7 (1st) 28.3 (1st) 24.4 (2nd) 26.7 (1st)
2010-09-28 56 23.6 (3rd) 25.7 (1st) 24.4 (2nd) 26.7 (2nd)
2010-10-04 57 20.9 (2nd) 23.2 (1st) 22.2 (2nd) 24.3 (1st)
2010-10-05 58 20.3 (2nd) 22.2 (1st) 22.6 (2nd) 24.7 (2nd)
2010-10-11 59 24.9 (2nd) 27.9 (1st) 24.4 (2nd) 27.4 (2nd)
2010-10-12 60 22.3 (3rd) 24.2 (1st) 24.3 (1st) 26.4 (1st)
Average 24.5% 26.6% 23.0% 25.4%


2010 3rd Korea Drama Awards
2010 MBC Drama Awards[14]
2011 1st Hong Kong Cable TV Awards
2011 47th Baeksang Arts Awards[15]

International broadcast[edit]

Country Network(s) Series premiere Title
 Hong Kong HONG KONG OPEN TV October 11, 2010 同伊 (Tong Yi)
 Canada Fairchild TV AUGUST 20, 2011 同伊 (Tong Yi) [Broadcast in Cantonese dubbing language for overseas Hong Kong and Chinese Cantonese viewers in Canada.]
 Vietnam VTV3 July 4, 2011 Dong Yi
 United States SBTN July 4, 2011 Dong Yi [Broadcast in Vietnamese dubbing language for overseas Vietnamese viewers in the US.]
 Canada SBTN July 4, 2011 Dong Yi [Broadcast in Vietnamese dubbing language for overseas Vietnamese viewers in Canada.]
 Thailand Channel 3 November 2011 ทงอี จอมนางคู่บัลลังก์ (Dong Yi)
 Myanmar Myanmar National TV September 2017 သားေတာ္အိမ္ေရွ႕စံ
TRT 1 February 2012 Sarayın İncisi
 Mongolia TV5 (Mongolia) November 2012 Дун-И (Dun-i)
 Sri Lanka Rupavahini February 2013 අභිත දියණිය (Abhitha Diyaniya)
 Iran Channel 3 2012 دونگ یی (Dong Yi)
 Philippines GMA Network November 2011 Dong-Yi
GMA News TV February 25, 2019
 Singapore Oh!K October 2014 Dong Yi: The Jewel in the Crown
 Indonesia Indosiar 2011
 Malaysia Channel 8TV 2016


  1. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (7 May 2010). "Han Hyo-joo says she "hold fast" to her role in Dong Yi". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  2. ^ Han, Sang-hee (21 March 2010). "Will Dong-yi Become Next Jewel in the Palace?". The Korea Times. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  3. ^ Oh, Jean (22 March 2010). "Upbeat rom-com vs. court romance". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Hong, Lucia (13 October 2010). "Giant places on top and Dong Yi finishes run". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  6. ^ wikipedia
  7. ^ "Han Hyo-joo Changes Tack in Costume Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  8. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (7 May 2010). "Ji Jin-hee says "happy to break stereotype" as a king". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  9. ^ Kim, Jessica (5 January 2010). "Bae Soo-bin joins cast of drama Dong Yi". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  10. ^ Kim, Jessica (9 June 2010). "INTERVIEW: Dong Yi director says Ji Jin-hee "mischievous"". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  11. ^ Lee, Cin Woo (16 March 2012). "Beyond Seoul: 19 reasons to explore Korea". CNN Go. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  12. ^ "TNMS Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  13. ^ "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  14. ^ Hong, Lucia (31 December 2010). "Kim Nam-joo, Han Hyo-joo win grand prize at MBC Acting Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  15. ^ Hong, Lucia (27 May 2011). "Hyun Bin, Lee Byung-hun win top prizes at Paeksang". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.

External links[edit]