Legend of the Blue Sea

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Legend of the Blue Sea
Legend of the Blue Sea Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Based onEou yadam
by Yu Mong-in
Developed byPark Young-soo (SBS Drama)
Written byPark Ji-eun
Directed by
Composer(s)Ryo Yoshimata
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes20 + 1 special
Executive producer(s)Kim Sun-jung
Jinnie Jin-hee Choi
Lee Ji-hyun
Production location(s)
CinematographyChoi Sang-muk
Editor(s)Lee Hyun-mi
Running time60 mins
Production company(s)
BudgetUS$19 million[1]
Original networkSBS TV
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseNovember 16, 2016 (2016-11-16) –
January 25, 2017 (2017-01-25)
External links

Legend of the Blue Sea[2] (Korean푸른 바다의 전설; RRPureun bada-ui jeonseol) is a 2016–2017 South Korean television series starring Jun Ji-hyun and Lee Min-ho.[3][4] Inspired by a classic Joseon legend from Korea's first collection of unofficial historical tales about a fisherman who captures and releases a mermaid, this drama tells the love story of a con-artist and a mermaid who travels across the ocean to find him.[5] It aired on SBS every Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00 (KST) time slot starting from November 16, 2016 until January 25, 2017.


The series centers on the love story of a mermaid named Shim Cheong (Jun Ji-hyun), and Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min-ho), the son of a rich businessman who becomes a clever con-artist after his parents' divorce. Focusing on rebirth, fate, and unrequited love, their tale is juxtaposed with the parallel story of their Joseon era incarnations, the mermaid, Se-hwa and town head, Kim Dam-ryeong.

Dam-ryeong and Se-hwa[edit]

During the Joseon era, a mermaid saves the son of a nobleman, Kim Dam-ryeong, from drowning. Following the incident, the two children become close friends and Dam-ryeong names her Se-hwa, meaning 'a bright, shining child', after his deceased younger sister. Despite being from two different worlds, they fall in love until Dam-ryeong is forced to take up an arranged marriage. Se-hwa plans to live up on land with Dam-ryeong, but she cannot turn her fishtail into a pair of human legs yet due to having not reached adulthood. Devastated by the news of Dam-ryeong's marriage, she decides to leave him forever. Nevertheless, Dam-ryeong's love for Se-hwa forces him to leave his wife on their wedding night and jump into the ocean to look for her. A distraught Se-hwa rescues him from drowning, and promptly erases his memories of her and their love so that he may not look for her again.

After years of separation, their paths cross again when they are adults as Se-hwa is found by town folks trapped in a cave after a storm, and brought before Dam-ryeong, now a widowed town official. While Dam-ryeong does not remember Se-haw, he takes pity on her and sets her free. This angers the town-inn head, nobleman Yang, who had plans of exploiting Se-hwa for his own monetary desires. Yang plots to overthrow Dam-ryeong, with the help of his materialistic concubine, as he murders those in his way and spreads a rumour that Dam-ryeong is unfit to rule as he is bewitched by a wicked mermaid, allowing him to capture Se-hwa as the village falls into panic. Dam-ryeong rescues Se-hwa, who has been tortured by Yang and his concubine to extract her tears, which turn into rare sea pearls. Yang and his concubine are arrested, while Dam-ryeong returns Se-hwa to the sea so that she can recuperate.

Dam-ryeong, who has been experiencing dreams of himself, Se-hwa, and their foes in the future, fears that the same ill-fate that afflicts himself and Se-hwa will replay itself. To warn his future self, he commissions a soon-to-be artifact that will be discovered by conservation-scientists in the future - a time capsule containing a portrait of himself with a message to his future self that “everything is repeating itself” and he has to protect the reincarnation of Se-hwa from danger, particularly due to the reincarnations of Yang and anyone related to him.

A furious Dam-ryeong is determined to kill Yang and expose all his crimes, until he is exiled and removed from his position by the court due to the rumours. While Dam-ryeong is being escorted on a boat for his exile, Yang and his associates renew their search for Se-hwa by setting a trap using lanterns, and she is lured up to the surface thinking it is Dam-ryeong's signal. Se-hwa comes under attack by nets, arrows, and harpoons from Yang's men. Urged by his suspicions after noticing the floating lanterns from afar, Dam-ryeong requests for the boat to turn around and a fight ensues between the guards and Yang's men. Dam-ryeong plunges into the water just as a harpoon, hurled by Yang's son, impales him from behind, saving Se-hwa. As Dam-ryeong dies in her arms, Se-hwa thrusts the harpoon deeper through his body and stabs herself. The boats sink, carrying Dam-ryeong's belongings with them, and Dam-ryeong's jadeite bracelet, which he gifted Se-hwa earlier, slides off from Se-hwa's hand as she dies and is lost to the ocean.

Yang and his concubine are executed, for their crimes, by sword and monkshood poison, respectively, after the officials who survived from the fight clear Dam-ryeong of the false accusations. It turns out that Yang had extorted and poisoned a merchant; the merchant's son Park Moo avenges his father.

Joon-jae and Shim Cheong[edit]

In modern day, young Heo Joon-jae runs away from home after the divorce of his parents and his father obtaining the rights to raise him. His father Heo Il-joong (Choi Jung-woo) adopts stepson Chi-hyun (Lee Ji-hoon) after his marriage with Kang Seo-hee (Hwang Shin-hye). Joon-jae's mother Mo Yoo-ran (Na Young-hee), after the divorce, works as a housekeeper after running out of money following the divorce. During his search for his mother, Joon-jae becomes a con-artist, using his good looks, wits, and skills in hypnotism in conducting scams with his mentor, Jo Nam-doo (Lee Hee-joon) and computer hacking genius, Tae-oh (Shin Won-ho). His affections are chased after by his college classmate, Cha Shi-ah (Shin Hye-sun).

Using the money earned from his scams, Joon-jae flies to Spain for a vacation. There he meets a mysterious woman with an unusual demeanor who breaks into his hotel room. He calls the police who take her as a suspect for recent thefts in the local area but Joon-jae retrieves her after being curious about the jadeite bracelet he saw on the woman's arm. Nam-doo receives a photo of the woman with the jadeite from Joon-jae and confirms over the phone that the jadeite is genuine and of unimaginably high price due to its quality. Meanwhile, Joon-jae is being chased by gunmen hired by a rich businesswoman who had fallen for Joon-jae's scams. He brings the mysterious woman with him throughout the pursuit, until they end up cornered on a cliff facing the sea. They jump into the water and the woman, revealed to be a mermaid unbeknownst to Joon-jae, kisses him to erase his memories of her but promises to follow him to Seoul.

Joon-jae returns to Seoul and is tormented by the gaps in his memories and by Jo Nam-doo's claims of him being with a girl with an expensive jadeite. After three months of travelling, the mermaid also arrives in Seoul, wandering around the city for days, until she runs into Joon-jae. He recognizes her to be the woman Nam-doo is referring to from the pictures he sent to Nam-doo and interrogates her on her identity and why he cannot remember her, although she hesitates to answer. He brings her to his home and names her Shim Cheong. He allows her to stay at his home for several days to recollect and sort out his memories of her but makes her leave as she is reluctant to help him remember anything significant. That evening, she accidentally gets hit by Chi-Hyun's car, after which Joon-jae decides to take her back to his house. After this, they steadily grow close to each other.

Linked by dreams, mysterious artifacts, including the jadeite bracelet, a vase with an image of a mermaid kissing a man in modern-day clothes, and the portrait of Kim Dam-ryeong with the inscription “everything is repeating itself", Joon-jae learns of Dam-ryeong's world and his own fate, concluding that he and Shim Cheong are reincarnations of Kim Dam-ryeong and Se-hwa. Through his consultations with Professor of Neuropsychiatry Jin Kyung-won (Lee Ho-jae), he is able to retrieve his lost memories and the full rendering of his dreams about Kim Dam-ryeong and Se-hwa. He can also hear Shim Cheong's inner voice; he learns that she is indeed a mermaid and that, unless she returns to the ocean, her heart will harden and eventually stop if he will not love her.

Kang Seo-hee, Joon-jae's step-mother, hires the fugitive, Ma Dae-young (Sung Dong-il) to kill Joon-jae as a part of her scheme to inherit Heo Il-joong's fortune. She also has secretly introduced Heo Il-joong with small yet potent doses of anticholinergic and monkshood extract, contributing to his failing health, particularly his vision. Chi-hyun dutifully nurses him, completely unaware of his mother's treachery. Ma Dae-young attempts several times to murder both Joon-jae and Shim Cheong but fails. During an attempt to murder her, Ma Dae-young is surprised by Shim Cheong after which she erases Ma Dae-young's memories and, in the process, she also learns the fate of their Joseon era incarnations Kim Dam-ryeong and Se-hwa.

Joon-jae and Shim Cheong live comfortably with each other despite conflicts and the fear of the impending ill-fate. Thanks to Shim Cheong, Joon-jae also reunites with his mother Mo Yoo-ran, who quit her job as a housekeeper. On the other hand, Chi-hyun learns that his real father is Ma Dae-young who has been Kang Seo-hee's longtime partner. He also learns of Kang Seo-hee's crimes and reluctantly consents to them. Kang Seo-hee finally kills Heo Il-joong, using a strong dose of monkshood as she becomes aware of Heo Il-joong's suspicions. Joon-jae, with the help of Shim Cheong, Jo Nam-doo, Tae-oh, and police officer-detective Hong Dong-pyo (Park Hae-soo), busts Kang Seo-hee, revealing her real name to be "Kang Ji-hyun" and her schemes. A maddened Chi-hyun grabs a police officer's gun as he's being arrested and shoots at Joon-jae but Shim Cheong takes the shot to save him. Kang Seo-hee and Chi-hyun are both arrested, and while in custody Chi-hyu commits suicide monkshood poison. Shim Cheong, being a mermaid, survives the fatal injury and makes a miraculous recovery that astonishes hospital staff.

Joon-jae learns that Ma Dae-young is visiting Professor Jin Kyung-won. As Joon-jae, Jo Nam-doo, and Officer Hong Dong-pyo rush to get him, Ma Dae-young recovers his memories of his past life again and learns that the executions of his incarnation, Yang, and his concubine, were carried out by the Park Moo, Jo Nam-doo's incarnation. Just as Professor Jin Kyung-won was about to be murdered, Joon-jae arrives with the police who arrest Ma Dae-young.

Shim Cheong is discharged from the hospital afterwards, however she is still in recurring pain since she was shot at her heart. After noticing Cheong's discomfort several times in the absence of a complete recovery, Joon-jae decides to let go of Cheong so she can go back into the ocean to regain her health. Before leaving, Shim Cheong erases Joon-Jae's memories of her as the uncertainty of her return is huge, even after he disagrees with the idea and later, of everyone who knew her, except that of her friend, Yoo-na (Shin Rin-ah), an elementary school student who is the reincarnation of a daughter of a mermaid and human fisherman.

Three years later, Joon-jae becomes a prosecutor, Jo Nam-doo works as a lecturer, and Tae-oh, now working as a white hacker, is engaged to Cha Shi-ah (Shin Hye-sun). Shim Cheong fully recovers and returns to Seoul to meet Joon-jae. Despite his lost memories, Joon-jae recognizes Shim Cheong and it is revealed that he recorded his life with Shim Cheong, in case his memories are lost again. They move to a house near the sea and Shim Cheong becomes pregnant. Joon-jae ultimately evades the ill fate that had been in store for them with Kim Dam-ryeong's visions.



A mermaid in the Joseon era who falls in love with Dam-ryeong as a child after saving him, and is named as Se-hwa by Dam-ryeong after his late sister. As they are initially unable to stay together due to his arranged marriage and Se-hwa's inability to turn her tail into legs without reaching adulthood yet, she erases his memories. The two meet again and suffer a tragic fate together, beginning the first omen that will tie their reincarnations.

In the modern-day, she follows Joon-jae to Seoul after developing feelings for him in Spain. He names her Shim Cheong, after a folklore character who is known for being extremely stupid, as she is highly ignorant about the common things on land. Like her Joseon-era incarnation, she has super strength and the ability to read and erase one's memory.

The town head and son of a magistrate in the Joseon era who falls in love with a mermaid as a child, and names her Se-hwa after his late sister. As he begins to dream about the tragic fate of their modern-day reincarnations, he commissions a time capsule to warn his future self.

Joon-jae, his future self, is a con-artist who uses wits and looks to conduct scams on people of the privileged class of the society. He meets Shim Cheong, a mermaid and ultimately falls in love with her, thus being able to read her thoughts. After conceiving dreams about their Joseon era incarnations and receiving Dam-ryeong's time capsule, he sets out to change the ill-fate that chased Dam-ryeong and Se-hwa.


A con-artist and Joon-jae's mentor. He trains Joon-jae and turns him into a skilled con-artist. His Joseon incarnation is Park Moo, who worked with Yang's son. It is later revealed that his loyalty towards Dam-ryeong and Joon-jae prevails throughout, in both the Joseon era and modern day.
Joon-jae's university junior who works as a researcher in conservational science, who has feelings for him. Through her job, she discovers Dam-ryeong's time capsule from the Joseon era and helps Joon-jae learn about Dam-ryeong. She is revealed to be the deceased wife of Dam-ryeong in the Joseon era.
A genius hacker and a con-artist working with Joon-jae and Nam-doo. He is a quiet person who likes to play computer games. He initially has a secret crush on Shim Cheong, but ends up falling for Cha Shi-ah.
Joon-jae's stepbrother. He tries to be a dutiful son as he stays by his stepfather's side after Joon-jae left home but turns against Joon-jae and his stepfather eventually due to his unrequited love for his stepfather. His Joseon incarnation was Yang's son, who kills Dam-ryeong and Se-hwa by impaling them with a harpoon.
Joon-jae's mother. She works as Cha family's housekeeper.
Chi-hyun's mother and Joon-jae's stepmother. She does anything to provide a luxurious life for her son. She dispatches Ma Dae-young to kill Joon-jae to make Chi-hyun the definite heir of Heo Il-joong's fortunes. Her real name, Kang Ji-yeon, is revealed in the latter part of the series when police discover that she inherited fortunes of her two former husbands following their mysterious deaths. In the Joseon era, she is Mr. Yang's concubine.
A corrupt nobleman during the Joseon era who attempts to capture the mermaid. In the modern day, he is a murderer and fugutive who dispatched Ji-yeon to kill Joon-jae. He is later revealed to be Chi-hyun's father. Ji-yeon and Dae-young are partners since childhood.
Joon-jae's father, and a property agent. After the success of his business, he divorces Yoo-ran and marries Ji-hyun.
Shi-ah's sister-in-law, a Daechi-dong madam who is vain and haughty. In her past life, she is revealed to be Yoo-ran's servant.


A modern-day detective who is investigating Dae-young's crimes as well as Joon-jae's scams. Later, he sides with Joon-jae in investigating the death of Heo Il-joong by the hands of Ji-hyun. In Joseon era, he is a government official who is indebted to Dam-ryeong after the latter clears the former's father's name of false accusations
  • Park Ji-il as Manager Nam
Il-joong's secretary and Joon-jae's friend in the present time. He takes care of young Joon-jae when he's lonely after his parent's divorce. In Joseon era, he is Dam-ryeong's loyal friend.
  • Shin Rin-ah as Seo Yoo-na
Shim Chung's young friend. Apart from Dam-ryung/Joon-jae, she is the only one who can hear Se-hwa/Shim Chung's inner voice during both the Joseon era and modern day. In the Joseon era, she was a daughter of a fisherman and a mermaid.
A beggar whom Shim Cheong always seeks when she has problems and needs life advice.
  • Lee Jae-won as Cha Dong-shik
Shi-ah's brother and Jin-joo's husband.
  • Lee Ho-jae as Professor Jin Kyung-won
A modern-day neuropsychiatrist who is also Joon-jae's professor in KAIST. He helps both Heo Joon-jae and Ma Dae-young recover the memories of their Joseon-era incarnations.

Special appearances[edit]

A merman working for the Han River coast guard. Initially shocked to encounter another of his kind in Seoul, he mentors Shim Cheong about survival on land. (ep.7-8)[20]


Filming began on August 19, 2016 in Goesan, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea. The production team then flew to Palau to film underwater scenes.[22] The cast and crew flew to Spain on September 11 where they filmed in A Coruña, Ribadeo, Lugo, Tossa de Mar and Castell de Santa Florentina[23][24][25] in Canet de Mar, as well as Begur (Es Cau Swimming Pool), Sitges (Town Hall and other backdrops) and Barcelona (exteriors of Palau de la Música Catalana, etc.),[26][27] among other places in Catalonia and Galicia (Spain).[28][29] The first script reading was held on October 8, 2016, two months after production began, due to the busy schedules of the actors. It lasted three hours and covered the first four episodes.[30]

This drama served as a reunion for Lee Min-ho and Kim Sung-ryung, who had son and mother relationship in the 2013 SBS hit drama across Asia, The Heirs, for Lee Ji-hoon and for Shin Hye-sun who debuted together in the 2012 KBS2 hit school drama School 2013[31] as well as Jun Ji-hyun, Hong Jin-kyung, and Na Young-hee who previously worked together in the 2013 SBS hit drama My Love from the Star.[32]

Original soundtrack[edit]

Legend of the Blue Sea
Original Soundtrack
Legend of the Blue Sea (Original Soundtrack Album).jpg
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedJanuary 20, 2017 (2017-01-20) (digital)[33]
January 24, 2017 (2017-01-24) (2CD)[34]
ProducerHwang Se-jun (executive)

Part 1[edit]

1."Love Story[35]"
  • Kim Jang-woo
  • Kim Ji-hyang
  • Kim Ji-hyang
2."Love Story" (Inst.) 
  • Kim Ji-hyang
Total length:6:48

Part 2[edit]

1."A World That Is You" (그대라는 세상)Han JooLee Yoo-jinYoon Mi-rae3:37
2."A World That Is You" (그대라는 세상 (Inst.)) Lee Yoo-jin 3:37
Total length:7:14

Part 3[edit]

1."Lean on You" (너에게 기울어가)Kim Ji-hyangMELODESIGNJung-yup (Brown Eyed Soul)3:46
2."Lean on You" (너에게 기울어가 (Inst.)) MELODESIGN 3:46
Total length:7:32

Part 4[edit]

1."Shy Boy[36]" (설레이는 소년처럼)Shin Hae-chul
  • Glory Face
  • Jo Yong-ho
Ha Hyun-woo (Guckkasten)3:31
2."Shy Boy" (설레이는 소년처럼 (Inst.)) 
  • Glory Face
  • Jo Yong-ho
Total length:7:02

Part 5[edit]

1."Somewhere Someday[37]" (어디선가 언젠가)Kim Eana
  • Sung Si-kyung
Sung Si-kyung4:32
2."Somewhere Someday" (어디선가 언젠가 (Inst.)) 
  • Sung Si-kyung
Total length:9:04

Part 6[edit]

1."Wind Flower" (바람꽃)
  • Hana
  • Tom & Jerry
Tom & JerryLee Sun-hee4:11
2."Wind Flower" (바람꽃 (Inst.)) Tom & Jerry 4:11
Total length:8:22

Part 7[edit]

1."Fool" (바보야)Honey PotHoney PotKen (VIXX)3:14
2."Fool" (바보야 (Inst.)) Honey Pot 3:14
Total length:6:28

Part 8[edit]

1."Why Would I Do Like This" (내가 왜 이럴까)Noh Ah-ram (Coffee Boy)Noh Ah-ramCoffee Boy3:14
2."Why Would I Do Like This" (내가 왜 이럴까 (Inst.)) Noh Ah-ram 3:14
Total length:6:28

Part 9[edit]

1."Day By Day[38]" (하루에 하나씩)
  • ZigZag Note
  • Kang Myung-shin
  • ZigZag Note
  • Kang Myung-shin
Park Yoon-ha3:09
2."Day By Day" (하루에 하나씩 (Inst.)) 
  • ZigZag Note
  • Kang Myung-shin
Total length:6:18

Part 10[edit]

1."If Only" (만에 하나)
  • Min Yeon-jae
  • Lee Dae-sung (BIGTONE)
  • KingMing
  • Kim Dong-hwi
Se-jeong (Gugudan)4:16
2."If Only" (만에 하나 (Inst.)) 
  • KingMing
  • Kim Dong-hwi
Total length:8:32

Part 11[edit]

1."Love Road" (사랑길)Kim Ji-hyangMELODESIGNMin Chae3:54
2."Love Road" (사랑길 (Inst.)) MELODESIGN 3:54
Total length:7:48



1."Sound Of Ocean"Ryo YoshimataRyo Yoshimata 
3."The Last Time"YoshimataYoshimata 
Total length:8:21


1."Hidden Story" (숨겨진 이야기)Second MoonSecond MoonSecond Moon feat. Han Ah-reum 
2."My Name" (나의 이름) Second MoonSecond Moon feat. Han Ah-reum 
3."The Way to Meet You" (너를 찾아 가는길)Second MoonSecond MoonSecond Moon 
4."At This Time" (다음 이시간에)Second MoonSecond MoonSecond Moon 
Total length:9:45

Charted songs[edit]

Chart Performance
Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Remarks
"Love Story"
Part 1
"A World That Is You"
(Yoon Mi-rae)
10 Part 2
"Lean on You"
(Jung-yup (Brown Eyed Soul))
46 Part 3
"Shy Boy"
(Ha Hyun-woo (Guckkasten))
64 Part 4
"Somewhere Someday"
(Sung Si-kyung)
11 Part 5
"Wind Flower"
(Lee Sun-hee)
27 Part 6
(Ken (VIXX))
78 Part 7
"If Only"
Se-jeong (Gugudan)
2017 35 Part 10


The show started with a strong 16.4% viewership rating nationwide, reaching as high as 20.7 percent for certain scenes, according to Nielsen Korea and surpassed the 20% mark in the metropolitan area by its sixth episode.[47][48] The series maintained the first-place ranking for its timeslot suring its airing and surpassed 20% viewership ratings.[49][50] The series also fared well overseas, having been exported to all major regions around the world, including Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe.[1] After the release of director's cut for the first two episodes which included additional scenes, it was acclaimed to be good and many felt that these episodes would've done much better than the previous cuts.

Jun's performance as a mermaid was met with overall high praise; with The Straits Times saying that she is "brilliant as the otherworldly goofball who is blissfully unaware of the mission to save her self-worth" and Yonhap News Agency highlighting her "trademark lanky, slender yet at times powerful and dramatic performance".[51][52]


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

Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
AGB Nielsen[53] TNmS
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide Seoul
1 November 16, 2016 16.4% (4th) 18.0% (2nd) 15.4% (4th) 18.9% (3rd)
2 November 17, 2016 15.1% (4th) 16.4% (4th) 16.2% (4th) 20.1% (3rd)
3 November 23, 2016 15.7% (4th) 17.2% (4th) 18.6% (4th) 19.6% (2nd)
4 November 24, 2016 17.1% (4th) 18.4% (3rd) 17.9% (4th) 21.3% (3rd)
5 November 30, 2016 16.8% (3rd) 20.5% (1st) 16.4% (4th) 20.4% (2nd)
6 December 1, 2016 18.9% (2nd) 22.1% (1st) 18.1% (2nd) 20.2% (1st)
7 December 7, 2016 17.4% (2nd) 19.2% (1st) 15.8% (4th) 18.1% (2nd)
8 December 8, 2016 17.4% (2nd) 19.1% (2nd) 17.4% (3rd) 19.7% (1st)
9 December 14, 2016 16.6% (2nd) 18.8% (2nd) 14.8% (5th) 16.4% (2nd)
10 December 15, 2016 17.5% (2nd) 19.3% (2nd) 16.8% (4th) 19.2% (2nd)
11 December 21, 2016 16.7% (3rd) 18.1% (2nd) 17.7% (3rd) 20.1% (2nd)
12 December 22, 2016 17.3% (3rd) 18.7% (2nd) 16.3% (4th) 18.0% (2nd)
13 December 28, 2016 16.0% (4th) 17.2% (3rd) 15.8% (4th) 18.4% (2nd)
14 January 4, 2017 17.8% (3rd) 18.7% (2nd) 15.1% (4th) 18.1% (3rd)
15 January 5, 2017 18.3% (3rd) 20.1% (2nd) 15.9% (3rd) 19.4% (2nd)
16 January 11, 2017 18.9% (3rd) 20.7% (2nd) 15.1% (4th) 19.0% (2nd)
17 January 12, 2017 20.8% (2nd) 23.0% (2nd) 18.9% (3rd) 22.2% (2nd)
18 January 18, 2017 18.3% (3rd) 19.9% (2nd) 16.5% (3rd) 18.4% (2nd)
19 January 19, 2017 21.0% (2nd) 22.2% (2nd) 18.7% (3rd) 20.4% (2nd)
20 January 25, 2017 17.9% (3rd) 18.8% (2nd) 16.2% (4th) 18.4% (2nd)
Average 17.6% 19.3% 16.7% 19.3%
Special December 29, 2016 11.2% (7th) 12.3% (4th) 14.5% (8th) 13.3% (4th)
  • On December 29, 2016, SBS aired a movie-like special episode summarizing the first half of the drama focusing on the relationship between Shim Cheong and Heo Joon-jae.[54]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
24th SBS Drama Awards[55]
Grand Prize (Daesang) Jun Ji-hyun Nominated
Lee Min-ho Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Genre & Fantasy Drama Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Genre & Fantasy Drama Jun Ji-hyun Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Fantasy Drama Lee Hee-joon Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Fantasy Drama Shin Hye-sun Nominated
Hwang Shin-hye Nominated
Special Award, Actor in Fantasy Drama Sung Dong-il Won
Lee Ji-hoon Nominated
Special Award, Actress in a Fantasy Drama Oh Yeon-ah Nominated
K-Wave Star Award Lee Min-ho Nominated
Jun Ji-hyun Nominated
Best Couple Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun Won
Top 10 Stars Lee Min-ho Won
Jun Ji-hyun Won
Idol Academy Award – Best Eating (Meokbang) Won
9th Melon Music Awards
Best OST Sung Si-kyung (Somewhere Someday) Nominated

International broadcast[edit]

  • In Cambodia, the series was dubbed in Khmer language by Hang Meas HDTV as ទេពមច្ឆាឆ្លងជាតិ. It aired sometime in the second half of 2017.[56]
  • In Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Brunei, the series aired exclusively on ONE TV Asia, within 24 hours of its original telecast.[57][58]
  • In Vietnam, it premiered on November 17, 2016 on HTV2's YouTube channel. Each episode was available to stream 12 hours after the original South Korean broadcast under the title Huyền thoại biển xanh with Vietnamese subtitles.[59][59]
  • In Hong Kong, the drama aired on myTV SUPER. It premiered on November 17, 2016.[60]
  • In the Philippines, the drama is available to stream on Iflix 24 hours after its original South Korean broadcast with English subtitles.[61][62][63] ABS-CBN aired on May 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm PST, replacing Minute To Win It: Last Duo Standing its Kapamilya Gold block. Meanwhile, the network's regional stations will air the drama at 9:30 am PST in order to avoid conflict with regional editions of its flagship evening newscast. On August 18, 2017, ABS-CBN confirmed that Legend of the Blue Sea will re-air on the network's Primetime Bida 10:00 time slot. It was re-aired for all of the nation on September 4, 2017, replacing Weightlifting Fairy. It will be dubbed in Filipino.[64][65][66] It was also re-aired on its sister channel Asianovela Channel starting on September 3, 2018.
  • In Sri Lanka, the drama is available to stream on-demand on Iflix with English and Sinhalese subtitles. During its original run, Iflix exclusively streamed episodes of the drama 24 hours after its original South Korean broadcast with English subtitles between November 17, 2016 and January 26, 2017.[67]
    A Sinhalese dubbed version of the series is schedule to be broadcast from 11th of July 2020 on every Saturday and Sunday at 07:30 PM as "සසර කින්නරාවී" (Sasara Kinnaraavee) lit. Mermaid that came from Saṃsāra on Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation[68]
  • In the Los Angeles DMA, US the drama aired every Wednesday and Thursday with English subtitles, free over-the-air on Asian American-oriented channel, LA18 (channel 18) from December 7, 2016 to February 9, 2017.[69]
  • In Canada, the drama aired on Korean Canadian-oriented channel, All TV.[70]
  • In Thailand, it premiered on True4U in January 2017, dubbed as ngeụ̄xk s̄āw tạw r̂āy kạb nāy t̂m tǔn ("เงือกสาวตัวร้ายกับนายต้มตุ๋น"; literally: Sassy Mermaid & Mr. Fraud).[71]
  • In Taiwan, episodes of the drama were available to stream on iQiyi.[72] It also premiered in China on TVC in February 2017.[needs update][73]
  • In Japan, the series aired on Eisei Gekijo & Mnet Japan (a cable TV channel) from February 26, 2017.[74]
  • The drama is available for streaming on Netflix and Hulu.
  • The drama is also available to stream on Viki with subtitles in a variety of languages created by a volunteer community.[75]
  • In Indonesia, the series currently airs on the channel "SBS In" (upcoming).
  • In Jordan, it aired on Roya TV.
  • In Pakistan, it will air on "h now" (upcoming).
  • In Indonesia, the series currently airs on Indosiar.


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  40. ^ Cumulative sales for "A World That Is You":
  41. ^ Cumulative sales for "Lean on You":
  42. ^ Cumulative sales for "Shy Boy":
  43. ^ Cumulative sales for "Somewhere Someday":
  44. ^ Cumulative sales for "Wind Flower":
  45. ^ Cumulative sales for "Fool":
  46. ^ Cumulative sales for "If Only":
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External links[edit]