Jump to content

Dong Yi (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Dong Yi (Korean drama))

Dong Yi
Promotional poster
Written byKim Yi-young
Directed by
Opening theme"Walking on a Dreamy Road" by Jang Na-ra
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes60
Executive producers
  • Kim Ho-young
  • Ahn Seung-gak
ProducerLee Se-joong
Running time70 minutes[1]
Production companies
Original release
NetworkMBC TV
Release22 March (2010-03-22) –
12 October 2010 (2010-10-12)

Dong Yi (Korean동이; Hanja同伊) is a 2010 South Korean historical television series starring Han Hyo-joo in the title role, along with Ji Jin-hee, Lee So-yeon and Bae Soo-bin.[2] The series centers on the love story between King Sukjong and Choe Suk-bin. It aired from 22 March to 12 October 2010 on MBC TV's Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 time slot for 60 episodes.[3][4]

Dong Yi was a hit across Asia and recorded the highest ratings for Korean dramas on Japanese network NHK.[5] It also recorded solid viewership ratings in the mid-20% to 30% range in South Korea,[6] 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 Choe Suk-bin.

Dong-yi's father and brother are members of the Sword Fraternity, which is wrongfully accused of murdering noblemen. She hides her identity and enters the palace as a servant for the Bureau of Music, determined to reveal her family's innocence and find the true orchestrators of the noblemen's deaths.

As a court lady inspector[edit]

Dong-yi rises from the humble position of a servant to a court lady inspector through her shrewd investigative skills and relentless drive for justice.

The court is split between the Westerners faction (backed by the Queen Dowager and Queen Min) and the Southerners faction (backed by the King's favored concubine, Jang Ok-jeong). Unaware of his true identity, Dong-yi befriends the King and becomes his trusted confidante.

Originally, Dong-yi admires Ok-jeong on the basis that both are clever, ambitious women from the common classes. However, she is horrified to realize that Jang Ok-jeong and her brother, Jang Hee-jae, are poisoning the Queen Dowager for refusing to acknowledge Ok-jeong as a royal concubine. They also frame the innocent Queen Min for the Queen Dowager's death with false proof.

Queen Min is stripped of her title and exiled to the countryside. Jang Ok-jeong takes her place as the Queen, and her son, Yi Yun, is declared Crown Prince. The Southerners are more powerful than ever. Dong-yi vows to find the evidence that proves the Deposed Queen's innocence and bring her back into the palace.

While investigating the Royal Treasury, Dong-yi discovers proof that Jang Hee-jae bribed officials and apothecaries to frame Queen Min. Before she can bring this evidence to the King, Dong-yi is gravely injured by Jang Hee-jae's assassins.

She hides in a distant province as she recuperates her health. There, she discovers that Jang Hee-jae is involved in a conspiracy with the Qing envoys: in exchange for the Emperor's approval of Crown Prince Yun, Hee-jae will give them military records of the Joseon border.

Dong-yi escapes Hee-jae and returns to the capital with proof that he planned to expose matters of state interest to a foreign government. The King is overjoyed to see her again, and he realizes that he is in love with her.

As royal consort[edit]

Despite her commoner status, Dong-yi is brought into the court as the King's concubine. Through her new position, she exposes that Queen Jang, her brother and the Southerners faction had contrived to sell state secrets to the Qing envoys to strengthen the position of Crown Prince Yun. Jang Hee-jae and the majority of the Southerners are stripped of their courtly titles and exiled. Ok-jeong should also be exiled; however, as the mother of the Crown Prince, she is merely demoted to her previous rank of concubine of the first class (Hui-bin). Lady Min is declared innocent and returns to the inner court as Queen.

Dong-yi is highly favored by the Queen for proving her innocence and convincing the King to reinstate her to her former position. She declared Dong-yi a concubine of the fourth junior rank and an official member of the royal family. Dong-yi gives birth to the King's second son, Prince Yeongsu.

The new Sword Guild and the past exposed[edit]

The Sword Fraternity is resurrected. Unlike their former iteration, they are violent and murder nobles who are involved in corruption and cause the commoners to suffer. Dong-yi fears that her identity as a traitor's daughter will be exposed, and she decides to investigate. She learns that the leader of the fraternity is her old childhood friend, Gae-dwo-ra. She realizes that Lord Oh Tae-suk had murdered his fellow Southerners in order to consolidate power and had blamed the Sword Fraternity, resulting in the death of her father and brother.

Jang Mu-yeol, a Southerner police chief, realizes the unusual connection between Dong-yi and the Sword Fraternity, and uses it to supplant Oh Tae-suk as the head of the Southerners faction and remove Hui-bin's enemy, Dong-yi. He murders Oh Tae-suk and blames the Sword Fraternity for his death, and sets a trap for Dong-yi into trying to help the injured Gae-dwo-ra.

The King and the court realize Dong-yi's true past and identity. She is charged with being a traitor's daughter, hiding her identity, and helping a rebel group. The Southerners petition to have her executed; however, in light of the death of Dong-yi's newborn son, Prince Yeongsu due to smallpox, the King exiles her from the palace.

In exile[edit]

The King is heartbroken by his separation from Dong-yi. Despite being forbidden to do so, he goes to her residence and spends the night with her. She gives birth to her second child, Yi Geum.

The six-year-old Geum is bright and intelligent, but he longs to meet his father. On an undercover outing, the King recognizes Geum as his son and befriends him, posing as an administrative officer.

Hui-bin learns about the King's secret meetings with Yi Geum and his lingering affection for Dong-yi. Her mother hires assassins to burn Dong-yi's residence in order to kill her and her son. The royal guards, who were instructed to watch over the residence, rescue both mother and son from the fire.

The King has been waiting to bring Dong-yi and her son to court. When Geum turns seven, he is required to receive royal education. However, the King uses the failed assassination attempt on the pair's lives as a pretext to bring both into the palace early.

Return to the palace[edit]

Many members of the court seek to promote Geum (now titled Prince Yeoning) as Crown Prince, replacing Hui-bin's son. Queen Min, who has no children of her own, adores him and supports his claim. However, she suddenly dies of an illness.

Rumors spread throughout the palace that Crown Prince Yun is infertile due to an undisclosed condition. If so, Prince Yeoning would be the natural alternative to be the King's heir. Hui-bin's supporters begin to abandon her and the Crown Prince in favor of Dong-yi and her son.

Desperate to retain her son's position, Hui-bin attempts to assassinate Dong-yi and Yeoning. Dong-yi is injured, but the prince is unharmed.

The King executes Hui-bin for using black magic to kill the Queen, hiding Crown Prince Yun's infertility, and attempting to kill Dong-yi and Prince Yeoning. Before her execution, Hui-bin acknowledges her wrongs and begs Dong-yi to protect the Crown Prince.

The king offers for Dong-yi to become Queen and Geum to become the Crown Prince. However, Dong-yi refuses. She cites all the chaos Hui-bin has caused in court, and she asks the King to create a law preventing concubines from becoming Queen in hopes that similar power struggles do not occur. The King agrees and appoints Lady Kim as Queen.

The King knows that Crown Prince Yun will always regard his half-brother Prince Yeoning as a threat. For both to survive, both must become Kings. Because the Crown Prince is infertile, he will rule first after the King; Geum will follow him. Because Geum has a commoner mother, the King knows that the courtiers will not respect his position, so he decides to abdicate so that Yi Yun would become King and Yi Geum will be cemented as the Crown Prince. However, Queen Kim adopts Yeoning, giving him royal protection and ensuring that he will follow Crown Prince Yun to the throne after his death.

Dong-yi decides to leave the palace so that she can help the poor commoners.

A new King[edit]

Dong-yi's son later becomes the 21st monarch of Joseon, King Yeongjo, the father of Crown Prince Sado and grandfather of Yi San.





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 Yongin Daejanggeum Park located at Cheoin District, Yongin 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.

Broadcast date Episode TNmS[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]


  1. ^ "Dong Yi". MBC Global Media. Archived from the original on 8 September 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (7 May 2010). "Han Hyo-joo says she "hold fast" to her role in Dong Yi". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  3. ^ Han, Sang-hee (21 March 2010). "Will Dong-yi Become Next Jewel in the Palace?". The Korea Times. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  4. ^ Oh, Jean (22 March 2010). "Upbeat rom-com vs. court romance". The Korea Herald. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. ^ "'Always' Han Hyo Joo, 'Hallyu Queen'?". 9 June 2012.
  6. ^ Hong, Lucia (13 October 2010). "Giant places on top and Dong Yi finishes run". 10Asia. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  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]