Moon Embracing the Sun
|Moon Embracing the Sun|
|Based on||Moon Embracing the Sun|
by Jung Eun-gwol
|Written by||Jin Soo-wan|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||20 (+2 specials)|
|Production company||Pan Entertainment|
|Original network||Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation|
|Original release||January 4 –|
March 15, 2012
|Revised Romanization||Haereul Pum-eun Dal|
|McCune–Reischauer||Haerŭl P'umŭn Dal|
Moon Embracing the Sun (Korean: 해를 품은 달; RR: Haereul Pum-eun Dal, also known as The Moon that Embraces the Sun or The Sun and the Moon) is a 2012 South Korean television drama series, starring Kim Soo-hyun, Han Ga-in, Jung Il-woo and Kim Min-seo. It aired on MBC from January 4 to March 15, 2012, on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 20 episodes.
The historical-fantasy drama is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Jung Eun-gwol. It tells of a secret, poignant love story between a fictional king of the Joseon Dynasty and a female shaman against the backdrop of a Korean traditional palace; and the conflicts and conspiracy of vying political powers.
The drama reached a peak rating of 42.2%. It won the Best Drama and Best Actor awards in the television category at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards, and multiple awards at 2012 MBC Drama Awards, including Drama of the Year.
The Queen Mother orders the assassination of her stepson to protect her own son's ability to become king. Ari, a shaman of the Royal Star Mansion (Royal Astrology House), witnesses the murder. The pregnant wife of the palace's Chief Scholar helps her escape, and Ari vows to protect her unborn child, who has a "noble fate."
Ari is arrested, tortured, and imprisoned. She tells her friend and fellow shaman, Jang Nok-yeong, to look after the unborn child in her stead. Ari is declared guilty of treason and killed.
Yeon-woo, the unborn child Ari swore to protect, and Crown Prince Lee Hwon fall in love. Prince Yang Myung, the Crown Prince's half-brother, has also fallen in love with Yeon-woo, who does not reciprocate his feelings.
The Queen Mother seeks to promote Bo-kyung, the daughter of the Prime Minister and her blood relative, to be the Crown Princess in order to maintain her clan's power. However, the King is impressed by Yeon-Woo's intelligence and chooses her to be Crown Prince Lee Hwon's wife over Bo-Kyung, infuriating the Queen Mother and Prime Minister Yoon.
The Queen Mother secretly orders Nok-yeong to cast a deadly curse on Yeon-woo so that Bo-kyung can take her place.
Yeon-woo is diagnosed with an unidentifiable illness, expelled from the palace, and loses her title as Crown Princess. She "dies" from this illness and is buried. Nok-yeong digs Yeon-woo out of the grave; the spell is temporary and only mimics the appearance of death. However, Yeon-woo is so traumatized by being buried alive that she has lost all of her memories. She and Nok-yeong leave the capital.
Crown Prince Lee Hwon is unwillingly married to Bo-kyung. He refuses to consummate the marriage by citing an unnamed illness; he broods over his "dead" first love, Yeon-woo.
Eight years later, Lee Hwon is now king. Yeon-woo is now Shaman Wol (which means "moon"); unaware of Wol's true identity, the Queen Mother calls her to the palace so that she can cure the King's "illness." The King is struck by Wol's unmistakeable resemblance to Yeon-woo, and he quietly launches an investigation into Yeon-woo's death. Meanwhile, Wol struggles to understand the strange memories of her life as Yeon-woo, which she interprets as shamanic visions. Wol must fight Queen Bo-Kyung, the Queen Mother, and Prime Minister Yoon in order to reclaim her rightful place as the Queen of Joseon. Political intrigue continues to build and comes shockingly to a head as King Lee Hwon fights for his throne and the woman he loves.
- Kim Soo-hyun as Crown Prince / King Lee Hwon (李暄) / King Taejong
- Yeo Jin-goo as 15-year-old Lee Hwon
- 'Sun Reaching for the Moon': Lee Hwon is the intelligent and kind Crown Prince of Joseon. He falls in love with Yeon-woo; even after her sudden death, he remains devoted to her memory. When he meets Wol, he has doubts about Yeon-woo's death and begins an investigation, unearthing political machinations and dark secrets.
- 'Moon Embracing the Sun': Although she is destined to be the Queen of Joseon, Yeon-woo is cheated out of her fate by the scheming Queen Mother and Prime Minister Yoon. She is appointed Crown Princess, but she mysteriously dies before the wedding. In reality, she loses her memory and becomes a shaman. Eight years later, she returns to the palace as Shaman Wol and is struck by her inexplicable attraction to the king and her strange "visions" about the king's mysterious first love.
- 'Overshadowed by the Sun': Yang Myung is Lee Hwon's half-brother. Although he is the elder brother, he is the son of the king's concubine and therefore ineligible for the throne. He struggles to reconcile his lifelong, unrequited love for Yeon-woo, his fraternal love for his brother, and his attraction to Shaman Wol.
- 'A Mirror longing to be the Moon' Bo-kyung is used by the Queen Mother and her father, Prime Minister Yoon, in order to maintain their clan's power. After Yeon-woo's death, she becomes Lee Hwon's queen. She remains in love with Lee Hwon all her life, but he still loves Yeon-woo.
- Sunwoo Jae-duk as Heo Young-jae
- Yeon-woo and Yeom's father. He is King Sungjo's trusted advisor and an enemy to Prime Minister Yoon.
- Yang Mi-kyung as Shin Jung-kyung/Madam Heo
- Yeon-woo and Yeom's mother. She grieves over her daughter and husband's deaths.
- Yeon-woo's older brother and Hwon's tutor. After Yeon-woo's death, his family falls from grace, and he marries Princess Min-hwa.
- Yeon-woo's personal servant. She protects Yeon-woo during her time as Shaman Wol.
- Kim Young-ae as Queen Dowager Jung-hui
- Queen Mother: she is the mother of King Sungjo and grandmother of Lee Hwon. She kills Prince Uiseong in order to ensure that her son will become king; she attempts to kill Yeon-woo in order to appoint her own relative to be Lee Hwon's wife and future queen. She and Prime Minister Yoon work together to protect their family's interests.
- Ahn Nae-sang as King Sung-jo
- Father of Hwon, Yang-myung, and Min-hwa. He is haunted by his beloved half-brother's death and the knowledge that his own mother killed him. In order to prevent such conflict between his own sons, he hides his love for Yang-myung.
- Kim Sun-kyung as Queen So-hye
- Mother of Lee Hwon
- Kim Ye-ryeong as Lady Park
- Mother of Yang-myung. King Sung-jo's concubine. She has no political ambition and retires to a Buddhist monastery.
- Lee Hwon's younger sister. She falls in love with Yeom and is determined to marry him at all costs.
- Lee Hwon's loyal bodyguard. His loyalty to Lee Hwon strains his friendship with Yang-myung.
- Jung Eun-pyo as Hyung-sun
- Chief Eunuch Hyung-sun is Lee Hwon's trusted confidante and friend.
- Kim Min-kyung as Court Lady Min
- Coming from Yeom's family in Bukcheon, she serves as lady-in-waiting to Princess Min-hwa.
- Chu Gwi-jung as Court Lady Jo
Star Mansion (Seungsucheong)
- Jeon Mi-seon as Jang Nok-young
- Nok-young is the head shaman. She is forced to obey the Queen Mother's order to curse Yeon-woo, but she secretly saves her and raises her as Shaman Wol.
- Kim Ik-tae as Hye Gak
- A Taoist priest who helped Nok-young escape with Yeon-woo.
- Bae Noo-ri as Jan-shil
- Jo Min-ah as young Jan-shil
- A shaman with powerful visions; she ultimately succeeds Nok-young as the head shaman.
- Jang Young-nam as Ari (cameo, ep 1)
- A shaman who vows to help Yeon-Woo from beyond the grave.
Yoon clan and officials
- Kim Eung-soo as Yoon Dae-hyung
- Prime Minister Yoon is the father of Bo-kyung and the leader of the Yoon clan. He is a greedy politician who seeks to expand his family's wealth and power.
- Jang Hee-soo as Mrs Kim
- Wife of Prime Minister Yoon and mother of Bo-kyung.
- Seo Hyun-chul as Shim San
- Deputy minister of personnel, who was later elected to Chief Royal Secretary.
- Lee Seung-hyung as Han Jae-gil
- Mayor, who was later elected to Minister of Defense.
- Kim Seung-wook as Yoon Soo-chan
- Ministry of Taxation who was promoted to Minister of Personnel.
- Yoon Hee-seok as Hong Gyu-tae
- Guru at Uigeumbu (royal guard and secret police), formerly President of the student body at Sungkyunkwan. He is favored by King Hwon and becomes the king's secret investigator.
Based on the novel by Jung Eun-gwol, the screenplay was written by Jin Soo-wan (writer of Capital Scandal) and directed by Kim Do-hoon (who previously directed Royal Family) and Lee Seong-jun (who previously directed Gyebaek).
This production marked Han Ga-in's first historical drama and return to television since Bad Guy in 2010. It is also Jung Il-woo's second historical drama following The Return of Iljimae in 2009.
In February 2012, there were talks of an extension of four episodes to the 20-episode drama. The production company, Ten Entertainment later confirmed that there would be no extension and the series was to end on its original date of March 8, 2012. However it did not end till March 15, 2012, because director Kim Do-hoon joined the MBC strike leading to the last two episodes being delayed for a week, and replaced with two special episodes.
The shooting period spanned over the cold months in Korea, which added to the actors' difficulties as there were quite a number of outdoor scenes. The actors' breath can often be seen as they speak.
Most of the royal palace scenes were filmed on location at MBC Dramia located at Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si in Gyeonggi Province, where other historical dramas such as Dong Yi, Jumong and Queen Seondeok were also filmed. The House of Choi Champan was used as Yeon-woo's childhood home, and the Korean Folk Village was used for local markets, private residences of commoners, and night scenes.
In March 2012, the drama's broadcast rights were sold to eight Asian countries, including Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. At that time it set the record as the most profitable drama for MBC, which was later surpassed by Arang and the Magistrate in August 2012. It was made available on Netflix in 2015 in the US, later also in other territories.
|Moon Embracing the Sun: |
Original Sound Track
|Soundtrack album by |
|Genre||Pop, K-pop, soundtrack|
OST Part 1
|1.||"The Moonlight is setting" (달빛이직)||Heora||3:40|
|2.||"The Moonlight is setting" (Inst.)||3:40|
OST Part 2
|1.||"Back in Time" (시간을 거슬러)||Lyn||3:31|
|2.||"Back in Time" (Inst.)||3:31|
OST Part 3
|1.||"Path of Tears" (눈뭄자)||Wheesung||3:50|
|2.||"Path of Tears" (Inst.)||3:50|
OST Part 4
|1.||"Shadow" (그림자)||Monday Kiz||3:56|
OST Part 5
|1.||"I hope It isn't" (아니기를)||Lee Ki-chan||3:47|
|2.||"I hope It isn't"||3:47|
OST Part 6
|1.||"The One and Only you" (그대안사람)||Kim Soo-hyun||3:52|
|2.||"The Only and Only you" (Inst.)||3:52|
|1.||"The Moon that embraces the sun (Opening Title)"||Various Artists||2:05|
|2.||"The Sorrow Song of Love"||Various Artists||2:40|
|3.||"Song of the moon"||Various Artists||1:45|
|4.||"Dance of butterflies"||Various Artists||2:15|
|5.||"The Morning of Palace"||Various Artists||2:32|
|6.||"Misty rain falls"||Various Artists||3:25|
|7.||"Hidden Court Room"||Various Artists||2:22|
|8.||"Long Love Wisp"||Various Artists||2:47|
|9.||"Two Suns And One Moon"||Various Artists||2:11|
|10.||"Markets Street"||Various Artists||1:56|
|11.||"Like petal,Like a flame"||Various Artists||4:06|
|12.||"Tears of the Sun"||Various Artists||2:27|
|13.||"Hidden Moon"||Various Artists||3:02|
|14.||"Spirit Appeasement Ceremony"||Various Artists||3:02|
|15.||"Black Magic"||Various Artists||1:46|
|16.||"Song of the Moon"||Various Artists||1:45|
|17.||"Assuage Grief Stone"||Various Artists||1:51|
|18.||"Vortex of Fate"||Various Artists||2:47|
|19.||"Revolt Plan"||Various Artists||3:24|
|21.||"Bloody Precursor"||Various Artists||2:43|
|22.||"Flowery Moon"||Various Artists||2:49|
|23.||"Stick playing game"||Various Artists||3:11|
|24.||"Moonlight Mist"||Various Artists|
|25.||"Determination of the Sun"||Various Artists||3:20|
|26.||"Identity of Moon"||Various Artists||3:45|
|27.||"Pean of the Monarch"||Various Artists||2:13|
|28.||"The Sun embracing the Moon"||Various Artists||3:49|
- In this table, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
- According to AGB Nielsen Media Research, the premiere episode achieved a nationwide rating of 18 percent and by the third episode the series was ranked first with a nationwide rating of 23.2 percent in viewership, ahead of its rivals Take Care of Us, Captain on SBS and Wild Romance on KBS. The series finale recorded its highest ratings with a viewership of 42.2 percent nationwide, and an average of 45.8 percent in the Seoul National Capital Area.
|Ep.||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|1||January 4, 2012||18.0%||19.7%||15.0%||16.9%|
|2||January 5, 2012||19.9%||22.2%||17.3%||20.8%|
|3||January 11, 2012||23.2%||26.1%||19.4%||22.3%|
|4||January 12, 2012||23.4%||26.0%||20.6%||25.1%|
|5||January 18, 2012||24.9%||28.3%||21.6%||24.9%|
|6||January 19, 2012||29.3%||32.9%||25.9%||28.6%|
|7||January 25, 2012||29.7%||33.8%||25.5%||28.8%|
|8||January 26, 2012||31.7%||35.3%||26.2%||29.4%|
|9||February 1, 2012||34.5%||38.9%||28.4%||32.3%|
|10||February 2, 2012||37.1%||40.5%||30.5%||35.1%|
|11||February 8, 2012||37.1%||41.7%||34.3%||38.6%|
|12||February 9, 2012||37.1%||40.8%||33.7%||37.8%|
|13||February 15, 2012||38.4%||42.9%||34.6%||39.3%|
|14||February 16, 2012||37.6%||42.1%||37.2%||42.0%|
|15||February 22, 2012||39.1%||43.1%||37.7%||42.6%|
|16||February 23, 2012||41.3%||46.1%||39.8%||45.5%|
|17||February 29, 2012||36.0%||39.7%||33.3%||36.1%|
|18||March 1, 2012||41.2%||45.8%||40.7%||47.0%|
|19||March 14, 2012||38.7%||41.8%||38.9%||42.9%|
|20||March 15, 2012||42.2%||45.8%||42.3%||46.5%|
|Special||March 7, 2012||24.5%||26.9%||24.7%||26.0%|
|Special||March 8, 2012||19.2%||20.1%||19.8%||21.7%|
Awards and nominations
|2012||Best Drama||Moon Embracing the Sun||Won|
|Best Director (TV)||Kim Do-hoon & Lee Seong-jun||Nominated|
|Best Actor (TV)||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Best New Actor (TV)||Yeo Jin-goo||Nominated|
|Best New Actress (TV)||Kim Yoo-jung||Nominated|
|Most Popular Actor (TV)||Kim Soo-hyun||Nominated|
|Most Popular Actress (TV)||Han Ga-in||Nominated|
|20's Drama Star – Male||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Upcoming 20's||Yeo Jin-goo||Won|
|Best Actor||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Silver Award for Best Foreign TV Series||Moon Embracing the Sun||Won|
|Outstanding Korean Drama||Nominated|
|Outstanding Korean Actor||Kim Soo-hyun||Nominated|
|Outstanding Korean Actress||Han Ga-in||Nominated|
|Best Original Soundtrack||Back in Time - Lyn||Nominated|
|Best Child Actor||Yeo Jin-goo||Won|
|Best Child Actress||Kim Yoo-jung||Won|
|Grand Prize||Kim Soo-hyun||Nominated|
|Best Drama||Moon Embracing the Sun||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress||Jeon Mi-seon||Nominated|
|Best New Actor||Yim Si-wan||Nominated|
|Best Young Actor/Actress||Kim Yoo-jung||Nominated|
|Best Original Soundtrack||Back in Time - Lyn||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actress||Han Ga-in||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Acting Award, Actress||Jeon Mi-seon||Nominated|
|Best Young Actress||Kim Yoo-jung||Won|
|Best Achievement for a Production, Drama category||Kim Sun-il, Jung Seung-woo||Won|
|Grand Prize||Kim Soo-hyun||Nominated|
|Drama of the Year||Moon Embracing the Sun||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Han Ga-in||Won|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Jung Il-woo||Nominated|
|Golden Acting Award, Actor||Kim Eung-soo||Nominated|
|Golden Acting Award, Actress||Yang Mi-kyung||Won|
|Best New Actor||Yim Si-wan||Nominated|
|Best New Actress||Kim Min-seo||Nominated|
|Best Young Actor||Yeo Jin-goo||Won|
|Best Young Actress||Kim Yoo-jung||Won|
|Writer of the Year||Jin Soo-wan||Won|
|Popularity Award||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Best Couple Award||Kim Soo-hyun & Han Ga-in||Nominated|
|Kim Soo-hyun & Jung Eun-pyo||Nominated|
|Yeo Jin-goo & Kim Yoo-jung||Nominated|
|2013||Special Jury Award||Moon Embracing the Sun||Won|
A stage musical adaptation was performed at the Seoul Arts Center from July 6 to 31, 2013, with succeeding runs in 2014. Kim Da-hyun, Jeon Dong-seok and Cho Kyu-hyun alternated as Lee Hwon, and Jeon Mi-do, Ahn Shi-ha, Lina, Jung Jae-eun and Seohyun alternated as Yeon-woo.
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