Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth

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Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
Hwarang Poster.jpg
Created byHan Suk-won
Park Sung-hye
Written byPark Eun-yeong
Directed byYoon Sung-sik
Kim Yeong-jo
StarringPark Seo-joon
Go A-ra
Park Hyung-sik
Choi Min-ho
Theme music composerOh Joon-sung
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes20 + 4 specials
Executive producer(s)Jung Hae-ryong
Producer(s)Kim Sang-hee
Kim Hyung-suk
Lee Yeong-bum
CinematographyJang Byung-wook
Choi Ki-ha
Editor(s)Kim Tae-yeong
Song Eun-jung
Running time60 mins
Production company(s)Hwarang SPC
Oh!Boy Project
KBS Media (Worldwide)
Original networkKBS2
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
First shown inSouth Korea
Original releaseDecember 19, 2016 (2016-12-19) –
February 21, 2017 (2017-02-21)
External links

Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (Korean화랑; Hanja花郞; lit. Hwarang) is a South Korean television series starring Park Seo-joon, Go A-ra, and Park Hyung-sik.[1] It evolves around an elite group of young men called "Hwarang" who discover their passions, love and friendship in the turmoil of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC–AD 935).[2] The series aired every Monday and Tuesday at 22:00 (KST) on KBS2, from December 19, 2016 to February 21, 2017.[3][4][5]

Despite being fully produced before its premiere with an ensemble cast, the series was a commercial failure and averaged single-digit audience rating of 8.4% in its run.[6][7][8][9] It was criticized for its distracted storytelling, inappropriate use of background music and unnatural acting of lead actors.[10][11][12]


Jisu has ruled the Kingdom of Silla as regent since King Beopheung died, keeping her young son Sammaekjong hidden outside of the capital Seorabeol and safe from enemies and assassins. As Sammaekjong comes of age, nobles, citizens, officials and Sammaekjong himself have all grown impatient for her to cede power. However the powerful nobles that tried to usurp power in the Kingdom continue to eye the throne and Ji-so fears the consequences of her ceding it.

In order to break the power of the nobles, who have grown accustomed to their privileges under the bone rank system, Jiso plans to create a new elite, the Hwarang, that will cut across the existing power factions, and to bind them to Sammaekjong and the throne. As this new elite of male youths bond and grow[13] they are unaware that within their number is their future king, Sammaekjong, and Kim Sun-woo, a commoner with a secret even he is not aware of.



A young man of low birth who rises above his situation in life to become a legendary hwarang warrior. He assumes the identity of his best friend Kim Sun-woo, Ah-ro's biological brother, after he is killed by one of the Queen Dowager's men. It is revealed that he is the son of Prince Hwi-kyung, making him King Jinheung's cousin.
A "half-breed" (derogative term for aristocrat (jin-gol)—lower class offspring) with a cheerful and straightforward personality, whose father is of jin-gol birth while her mother a servant. She works multiple part-time jobs to support her family; in particular as physician to the Hwarang. She easily make friends. Later she fell in love with Sun-woo.
A young and distrustful king who goes into hiding due to assassination attempts and secretly becomes a hwarang warrior, gaining strength and leadership ability in the process. He joins the hwarang under the assumed identity Kim "Ji-dwi" as the Hwarang Chief Kim Wi-hwa's fake "nephew."



The first Chief (pungwolju) of the hwarang who acts as a fatherly figure towards the boys. Secret adviser of Ji-dwi.
A jin-gol aristocrat born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Hot-blooded and chivalrous, he aces in swordplay and is seen as a shameless playboy but is devoted in love. Kim Soo-yeon's overprotective brother.
Having been taught politics (by his two fathers – Park Young-shil and Park Ho as his adoptive and biological fathers respectively) from an early age, he is a cold-blooded jin-gol, who is competitive and seeks for more power. He takes interest in Soo-ho's younger sister, Soo-yeon.
A man who "has a gender-neutral charm and loves dressing up more than most women," but is also extremely thoughtful and caring. Hence, beautiful and mysterious, he possesses a sharp tongue. His mother is the sister of the previous king while his jin-gol father's identity still remains as a mystery, which makes him a half seong-gol, but he takes no interest in the throne.
The youngest hwarang of the lot who has a warm personality and gets along well with everyone. He is a bright and innocent boy who carries a heavy burden as the last jin-gol of his clan, Wolseong. Dan-se's younger half brother. He treats Sun-woo as his brother.
Part of Soo-ho's clique.
  • Jun Bum-soo as Kim Shin
Part of Ban-ryu's clique.
Part of Ban-ryu's clique.
  • Park Ki-hoon as Joo Ki
  • Lee Do-hoon
  • Kim Hyeon-jun as Suk Dan-se 석단세
22 years old, part of Soo-ho's clique. He is Han-sung's elder half-brother of the same father but different mothers, who is powerless due to his "half-breed" status and is always looked down by their grandfather. Assigned as Sun-woo's trainee.
Sammaekjong's personal bodyguard who cares for him like a father, as well as "Ji-dwi"'s assigned trainee.
  • Jang Se-hyun as Kang Sung
Part of Ban-ryu's clique. Originally one of the hwarang rejects, scouted by Park Young-shil to undermine the Hwarang. Assigned as Ban-ryu's trainee.

Royal Family[edit]

Silla's acting Queen Regent for 10 years in the name of her son Sammaekjong, whom she has hidden ever since the death of her father the previous king 11 years ago. She is the founder of the Hwarang and has many dark secrets within.
Sammaekjong's maternal half-sister, as well as future consort. She is interested in Sun-woo. Momentarily residing with the hwarang under the Queen Mother's orders.
  • Song Young-kyu as Lord Kim Hwi-kyung
The Queen Mother's elder brother and originally the Crown Prince of Silla, his name was removed from the royal family records due to polio. Sun-woo (Moo-myung)'s biological father.

Royal Capital citizens[edit]

A jin-gol who was driven to poverty and was separated from his only son Sun-woo 12 years prior. Works as a physician aided by his daughter Ah-ro dispensing free aid to the people.
Owner of the store Dayiseo, as well as its subsidiary tea house Sutabaksu.
Younger sister of Soo-ho; Ah-ro's only friend; In love with Ban-ryu.

Makmangchon people[edit]

Moo-myung's best friend. Originally named "Sun-woo", he was separated from his family for 12 years by the Queen Mother's men and ended up at Makmangchon. Killed because he saw the King's face; even before he was even reunited with his family.
Refugee from the conquered Daegaya. Renowned musician and inventor as well as master of the gayageum, he becomes the music and dance teacher of the hwarang. Mak-moon & Moo-myung's care-taker/foster father in Makmangchon, who (along with Kim Hwi-kyung) holds the secret to Moo-myung's true identity.

Ministers of Silla[edit]

Ban-ryu's adoptive father. A cruel and cunning leader of the opposition who yearns for more power, and would do anything to overthrow and kill the king.
Ban-ryu's biological father. Member of the opposition due to indebtedness to Park Young-shil.
  • Ko In-bum as Kim Seup
Soo-ho and Soo-yeon's father. Main supporter of the royal family.
  • Kim Jong-goo as Suk Hyun-jae
Han-sung and Dan-se's grandfather. Member of the opposition.


  • Kang Dong-woo as Mu-cheol
  • Kim Dae-hoon
  • Yoon Jin-ho
  • Song Min-hyung as Kim Hyung-won
  • Baek Jae-jin as Yang Jo-jang
  • Ban Min-jung as Mi Roo-hyang
  • Lee Kwan-hoon as A-chu
  • Song Bo-eun
  • Lee Kyu-hyung as Do-go
  • Cha Oh-bin
  • Lee Min-ho as So-gam
  • Park Ha-yan as Yoo-ji
  • Jang Yoo-tae
  • Oh Eun-ho as Mo-yeong
  • Han Jeong-hun

Special appearance[edit]


The series reunited Sung Dong-il and Go Ara who previously worked together as father and daughter in tvN's Reply 1994 (2013) as well as Sung and Yoo Jae-myung who both starred in the hit series Reply 1988. It also serves as a reunion to Park Hyung-sik and Choi Won-young who worked together in the 2013 SBS hit drama The Heirs. It also reunited Park and Kim Won-hae who worked together on Nine: Nine Time Travels.

The first script reading took place in March 2016. Filming began on March 31 and finished on September 1, 2016.[20][21]

Original soundtrack[edit]

Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
OST Album
Soundtrack album
GenreK-Pop, Soundtrack
LanguageKorean, English
LabelOh!Boy Project, Sony Music
ProducerPark Sung-hye (executive)

OST Part 1[edit]

1."Anywhere" (그 곳이 어디든)Kim Jin-ahOh Joon-sungHan Dong-geun04:48
2."Anywhere" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:48
Total length:09:36

OST Part 2[edit]

1."It's Definitely You" (죽어도 너야)Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungV, Jin (BTS)03:50
2."It's Definitely You" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 03:50
Total length:07:40

OST Part 3[edit]

1."Dream" (드림)JuneOh Joon-sungBolbbalgan404:26
2."Dream" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:26
Total length:08:52

OST Part 4[edit]

1."I Can Only See You" (너만보여)JuneOh Joon-sungSeulgi, Wendy (Red Velvet)03:19
2."I Can Only See You" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 03:19
Total length:06:38

OST Part 5[edit]

1."Our Tears" (서로의 눈물이 되어)Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungHyolyn (Sistar)04:23
2."Our Tears" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:23
Total length:08:46

OST Part 6[edit]

1."A Move of God" (신의 한 수)Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungYoseob (Highlight)04:08
2."A Move of God" (Acoustic Ver.)Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungKim Juna03:55
3."A Move of God" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:08
4."A Move of God (Acoustic Ver.)" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 03:55
Total length:18:12

OST Part 7[edit]

1."I'll Be Here"Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungPark Hyung-sik04:18
2."I'll Be Here" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:18
Total length:08:36

OST Part 8[edit]

1."Memories of Miracle" (주문을 외우다)Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungJeon Woo-sung (Noel)04:00
2."Memories of Miracle" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:00
3."Hwarang The Beginning" Oh Joon-sung 01:41
4."Hwarang Spirit" (Opening Title) Oh Joon-sung 01:37
5."Cloud Of Love" (Main Theme) Oh Joon-sung 02:11
6."Night Story Princess" Oh Joon-sung 02:01
7."Open The Gate" Oh Joon-sung 01:48
8."Victory March" Oh Joon-sung 01:40
9."Blossom" Oh Joon-sung 01:56
10."Chorus Of Hwarang" Oh Joon-sung 01:40
Total length:22:34

OST Part 9[edit]

1."Our Tears" (서로의 눈물이 되어)Kim Yoo-kyungOh Joon-sungPark Seo-joon04:23
2."Our Tears" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 04:23
Total length:08:46

OST Part 10[edit]

1."Don't Leave Me Alone" (날 혼자 두지마)JuneOh Joon-sungJung Dong-ha03:50
2."Don't Leave Me Alone" (Inst.) Oh Joon-sung 03:50
Total length:07:40

Charted Songs[edit]

Chart Performance
Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Remarks
"It's Definitely You"
(V, Jin (BTS))
Part 2
54 Part 3
"I Can Only See You"
(Seulgi, Wendy (Red Velvet))
2017 80 Part 4
"Our Tears"
(Hyolyn (Sistar))
50 Part 5
"A Move of God"
(Yoseob (BEAST))
68 Part 6


  • In this table, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • NR denotes that the drama did not rank in the top 20 daily programs on that date.
Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
TNmS[27] AGB Nielsen[28]
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide Seoul
1 December 19, 2016 7.9% (18th) 8.5% (11th) 6.9% (NR) 6.8% (NR)
2 December 20, 2016 6.9% (19th) 6.5% (18th) 7.2% (16th) 6.7% (17th)
3 December 26, 2016 11.1% (6th) 11.0% (4th) 13.1% (5th) 13.8% (4th)
4 December 27, 2016 7.4% (19th) 7.8% (15th) 7.5% (17th) 7.2% (17th)
5 January 2, 2017 7.4% (18th) 7.6% (14th) 7.6% (19th) 7.4% (20th)
6 January 3, 2017 7.6% (18th) 8.0% (16th) 8.0% (16th) 7.2% (18th)
7 January 9, 2017 7.2% (19th) 7.5% (17th) 6.9% (NR) 7.2% (18th)
8 January 10, 2017 7.2% (20th) 8.0% (15th) 7.6% (19th) 7.7% (15th)
9 January 16, 2017 6.2% (NR) 6.8% (20th) 6.7% (NR) 7.2% (NR)
10 January 17, 2017 7.1% (18th) 7.5% (18th) 8.3% (12th) 8.2% (12th)
11 January 23, 2017 9.3% (14th) 9.8% (7th) 11.0% (5th) 11.1% (5th)
12 January 24, 2017 8.7% (15th) 8.9% (11th) 10.5% (5th) 10.2% (5th)
13 January 30, 2017 6.9% (NR) 7.9% (NR) 9.7% (16th) 9.1% (16th)
14 January 31, 2017 7.0% (NR) 7.6% (17th) 9.1% (12th) 8.8% (12th)
15 February 6, 2017 6.8% (20th) 6.9% (18th) 8.6% (14th) 8.2% (15th)
16 February 7, 2017 6.4% (18th) 5.8% (NR) 7.9% (13th) 7.4% (14th)
17 February 13, 2017 6.2% (20th) 6.7% (20th) 8.2% (17th) 8.6% (13th)
18 February 14, 2017 6.4% (20th) 6.5% (20th) 7.7% (17th) 7.6% (15th)
19 February 20, 2017 6.0% (NR) 6.8% (NR) 7.6% (19th) 7.4% (17th)
20 February 21, 2017 6.2% (20th) 5.9% (20th) 7.9% (16th) 8.0% (16th)
Average 7.4% 7.7% 8.4% 8.3%
Special December 16, 2016 2.6% (NR) (NR) 2.0% (NR) (NR)
December 26, 2016 4.2% (NR) (NR) 4.6% (NR) (NR)
January 30, 2017 2.2% (NR) (NR) 2.5% (NR) (NR)
3.0% (NR) (NR) 3.2% (NR) (NR)
  • On January 30, 2017 at 12:35 (KST), KBS2 aired a 'Lunar New Year' two special episodes condensing the first 12 episodes of the drama into 150 minutes episode.[29]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
31st KBS Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor Park Seo-joon Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Go Ara Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Choi Won-young Won
Kim Won-hae Nominated
Netizen Award Park Seo-joon Won
Park Hyung-sik Nominated

International broadcast[edit]

  •  Malaysia8TV, April 18, 2017 – June 13, 2017, 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm, original Korean
  •  PhilippinesABS-CBN, October 30, 2017 – January 5, 2018, 10 pm to 11 pm and it had its re-run on Asianovela Channel October 22, 2018.
  •  RomaniaNational TV
  •  ThailandChannel 3 in Thai title (Th: ฮวารัง อัศวินพิทักษ์ชิลลา), June 11, 2018, 19.15 pm to 20.15 pm
  • Serbia – RTS 3 in Serbian title (Hvarang: Cvet viteštva), start at September 22, 2019.


  1. ^ "Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik and Go Ara to star in 'Hwarang'". The Korea Times. January 5, 2016. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  2. ^ "Beautiful men come of age in new KBS period drama". Yonhap News Agency.
  3. ^ '화랑' 측 "오늘(31일) 첫 촬영 시작..하반기 방송". Star News (in Korean). Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  4. ^ '화랑' 측 "오늘(1일) 촬영 종료…12월 19일 첫방 예정"[공식입장]. TV리포트 (in Korean). Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "KBS "'화랑: 더 비기닝', 오는 12월 방송 예정…월화 편성은 논의 중"". TV Daily (in Korean). Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  6. ^ 꽃미남 통할까…‘화랑’ 첫 시청률 6.9% [Hwarang premieres with 6.9%]. Biz Center (in Korean). December 20, 2016.
  7. ^ [사전제작드라마①] '태후'빼고 전멸, 사전제작 위기론 [Pre-Production Crisis]. Sports Chosun (in Korean).
  8. ^ "[3분 Talk]'화랑'→'사임당', 사전 제작 드라마의 추락은 어디까지" [Hwarang to Saimdang: The Fall of Pre-produced Dramas]. News1 (in Korean).
  9. ^ "[TV:스코어] '화랑', 종영 시청률 7.9%로 퇴장…동시간대 꼴찌" [A Lonely End: "Hwarang" Finishes Last with 7.9%]. XSportsNews (in Korean).
  10. ^ "Star-studded KBS drama 'Hwarang' falls flat". Korea Times. December 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "3 reasons why 'Hwarang' did not meet expectation". Korea Herald.
  12. ^ "'Hwarang': Idol-studded show offers bland taste". Yonhap News Agency. February 21, 2017.
  13. ^ hajima. "New Character Stills and Details Released For "Hwarang: The Beginning"". Soompi. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Idols explain their roles in drama 'Hwarang'". Yonhap News Agency.
  15. ^ "Go A-ra to Stand Out in Ancient Knight-Themed Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  16. ^ Kim Young Shin (February 24, 2016). "SHINee's Minho to Appear in Drama 'Hwarang: the Beginning'". BNT News. CJ E&M. Archived from the original on February 29, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  17. ^ Ahn Sung-mi (March 7, 2016). "Kim Ji-soo confirmed to star in 'Hwarang'". K-Pop Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  18. ^ "Lee Kwang-soo gets key role in historical drama". The Korea Times. February 24, 2016.
  19. ^ '화랑' 김민준, 오늘부터 본격 등장…美친 존재감 [공식]. Sports Donga (in Korean). Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  20. ^ "'화랑' 측 "오늘(31일) 첫 촬영 시작..하반기 방송"". Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  21. ^ '화랑' 측 "오늘(1일) 촬영 종료…12월 19일 첫방 예정"[공식입장]. TV리포트 (in Korean). Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  22. ^ Cumulative sales for "It's Definitely You":
  23. ^ Cumulative sales for "Dream":
  24. ^ *"Gaon Download Chart – Week 1". gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  25. ^ *"Gaon Download Chart – Week 2". gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  26. ^ "2017 Gaon Download Chart – Week 3". Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  27. ^ "TNmS Daily Ratings". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  28. ^ "Nielsen Korea". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  29. ^ "시청률 사냥 위해…KBS '화랑' 1~12회 150분 압축 방송". Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). Retrieved January 27, 2017.

External links[edit]