The Blade and Petal

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The Blade and Petal
Blade and Petal-poster.jpg
Promotional poster for The Blade and Petal
Also known as Sword and Flower
Knife and Flower
Genre Historical
Written by Kwon Min-soo
Directed by Kim Yong-soo
Park Jin-seok
Starring Kim Ok-bin
Uhm Tae-woong
Choi Min-soo
Kim Yeong-cheol
Composer(s) Park Seong-jin
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 20
Executive producer(s) Lee Geon-joon
Producer(s) Yoon Jae-hyeok
Production location(s) Korea
Cinematography Lee Yoon-jung
Kim Gyeong-ho
Editor(s) Seon Han-saem
Bae Young-joo
Running time Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 (KST)
Production company(s) Love Letter
KBS Media
Blade and Petal SPC
Original network Korean Broadcasting System
Original release July 3 (2013-07-03) – September 5, 2013 (2013-09-05)
Preceded by The Fugitive of Joseon
Followed by Secret Love
External links

The Blade and Petal (Hangul칼과 꽃; RRKalgwa kkot; lit. "Sword and Flower") is a 2013 South Korean television series that aired on KBS2 from July 3 to September 5, 2013, on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 20 episodes. Kim Ok-bin and Uhm Tae-woong play star-crossed lovers doomed by their fathers' epic battle for political power during the Goguryeo dynasty.[1][2][3]


The period drama takes place in the twilight years of Goguryeo. Military general Yeon Gaesomun wants to go to war with the Tang Dynasty, but the pacifist King Yeongnyu opts for diplomacy and national stability, and in their battle of wills the palace council is divided between the "hawks" and the "doves."

Yeongnyu has two children, the princess So-hee, and the crown prince Hwangwon. The king is particularly proud of his older daughter So-hee for being intelligent, assertive, empathetic, and an excellent swordswoman, and he respects her opinion during their frequent discussions about matters of state and politics. Despite being the heir, the younger, more frail Hwangwon acknowledges that he isn't particularly suited to rule, and prefers to quietly read his books in his quarters. Nevertheless, the siblings share a close, loving relationship with each other and their father.

Meanwhile, hoping for an audience with his father, Yeon Gaesomun's illegitimate son Choong, born of a slave mother, arrives in the capital. While on the road, the crown prince and princess are attacked in their carriage; Yeon Gaesomun and his allies had hired assassins to fake a Tang attack, since this could become grounds for war. Observing this from a rooftop, the masked Choong uses his bow and arrow to kill the one surviving assassin in custody, to prevent him from implicating his father. Shortly after, Choong and So-hee meet in the marketplace and fall in love at first sight.

After his father rejects him, Choong decides to make something of his life and becomes a member of the royal guard, with So-hee ignorant of his paternity. When he foils another assassination attempt, Choong gets recognized by the king's nephew Jang as the masked archer, and he is sentenced to death. Yeon Gaesomun preys on Jang's ambitions, and together they plot to save Choong from hanging, unbeknownst to the grieving So-hee, who believes he has died. But Choong cannot resist revealing himself to her, and the lovers joyfully reunite.

Fearing that the general's power and influence are rapidly overtaking the throne's, Yeongnyu orders Yeon Gaesomun to oversee the construction of the defensive wall Cheolli Jangseong in a remote province, which would effectively exile him. In retaliation, Yeon Gaesomun and his co-conspirators plan a revolt; it fails because of Choong's intervention, but the crown prince becomes seriously injured after he falls off a poisoned horse. The king unexpectedly declares So-hee as his successor to the throne, dashing Jang's hopes and causing him to finally shift his allegiance to Yeon Gaesomun.

Yeongnyu asks the Geumhwadan, a secret group of warriors meant to protect the royal family and the citizens in times of uprising and war, to investigate. But they have difficulty finding unequivocal evidence linking Yeon Gaesomun to the failed rebellion. Seeing no other solution to their ideological impasse which is causing political unrest, Yeongnyu decides to have the general and his fellow traitors assassinated. But Yeon Gaesomun has his own carefully laid plans in place, and he warns Choong to correctly choose a side, with his family. He tells Choong to cut off the princess's head to prove his loyalty, and orders a soldier to kill Choong if he acts against them. Enormously conflicted yet unable to betray his father, Choong agrees to join the plot, but only because he's secretly planning to save So-hee from what's to come.

Thus, Yeon Gaesomun, his allies and their troops enter the palace, launching a bloody coup. The royal army stands down under Jang's orders, and the plotters massacre the ministers in the council and the remaining loyal soldiers. So-hee's brother the crown prince is murdered in front of her eyes. The Geumhwadan urge the king to escape, but he stands his ground in the throne room, facing his enemies with dignity. Truly believing that he is doing what's best for Goguryeo, Yeon Gaesomun commits regicide by stabbing Yeongnyu straight through the gut with his sword. Once she sees Choong there, the utterly devastated So-hee assumes the worst that he was part of the conspiracy, not realizing that Choong risked his life fighting his father's own soldiers to protect her.

Yeon Gaesomun installs Jang as the new king Bojang. But he is only a puppet king, and Yeon Gaesomun becomes the Dae Magniji ("Grand Prime Minister"), or the de facto ruler and dictator of Goguryeo. Believing that So-hee had died in the coup, Choong reverses his earlier stance and joins Yeon Gaesomun's cause in order to gain power, castigating himself that if only he hadn't been powerless, he might've been able to save her. But So-hee is alive, and being hidden by the Geumhwadan. She renames herself Moo-young (meaning "shadowless" because she no longer exists in the world), and vows to avenge the death of her family.


In one of the flashbacks, Yeongnyu asks his daughter which she thought was stronger — the sword or the flower. He tells her that the sword can easily cut off the flower, but the flower can bloom again after being cut. And in the constant cycle of cut-and-bloom, the sword would inevitably rust and give way. Yeongnyu concludes, "The sword is not to be used to cut the flower, but to protect the flower."

Conversely, according to another saying, "Flowers wither like love, only blades are eternal."[4]


Main characters[edit]

Daughter of the king. Proud, loyal and capable, the princess loses everything when her father and brother are assassinated. Vowing revenge, she cross-dresses as a male warrior to infiltrate the Choeuibu, Yeon Gaesomun's elite group of intelligence agents.
Yeon Gaesomun's illegitimate son. Despite his talent, he finds he cannot rise higher in the ranks because his mother was a servant. Choong wants nothing more than to be accepted and acknowledged by his father, so he joins the palace guard to prove his warrior skills and gets assigned as the princess's bodyguard.
A powerful military general who comes from a long line of political players. Because of the increasing frequency of Tang Dynasty's attacks against Goguryeo cities, he believes that swift and more aggressive retaliation is necessary. He wants the king to declare war in order to prevent a possible Tang invasion.
The 27th ruler of Goguryeo. A former soldier, he believes that war would ravage his country and that of neighboring kingdoms Silla and Baekje, and therefore diplomacy, not war, is the solution to their problem with the Tang. Yeongnyu tells his council, "It is not the strong who survive — it is those who survive who are strong."
The 28th, and last ruler of Goguryeo. The nephew of Yeongnyu, he betrays his family to side with Yeon Gaesomun, who places him on the throne as a puppet king.
Yeon Gaesomun's eldest legitimate son.
A female warrior on Yeon Gaesomun's side.
A master swordsman and the youngest of the princess's bodyguards.

Supporting characters[edit]


Episode # Original broadcast date Average audience share
TNmS Ratings[13] AGB Nielsen[14]
Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area
1 3 July 2013 7.0% 7.0% 6.7% 6.9%
2 4 July 2013 5.5% 5.8% 6.4% 6.6%
3 10 July 2013 4.3% 5.3% 5.4% 5.1%
4 11 July 2013 4.3% 4.7% 5.3% 4.9%
5 17 July 2013 5.0% 5.2% 4.5% 4.9%
6 18 July 2013 4.1% 5.0% 5.8% 5.4%
7 24 July 2013 3.8% 4.3% 5.6% 5.1%
8 25 July 2013 4.2% 4.9% 5.8% 5.6%
9 31 July 2013 5.1% 6.1% 5.5% 5.2%
10 1 August 2013 4.7% 4.7% 5.0% 5.0%
11 7 August 2013 5.1% 4.9% 6.3% 6.4%
12 8 August 2013 4.7% 5.5% 6.5% 6.3%
13 14 August 2013 4.9% 5.8% 6.4% 6.1%
14 15 August 2013 4.1% 4.4% 4.6% 4.4%
15 21 August 2013 4.4% 4.7% 5.7% 5.4%
16 22 August 2013 3.9% 4.7% 4.5% 4.7%
17 28 August 2013 3.3% 3.4% 5.0% 4.7%
18 29 August 2013 4.0% 4.3% 5.4% 5.1%
19 4 September 2013 3.0% 3.6% 5.0% 4.7%
20 5 September 2013 3.2% 3.4% 5.3% 5.5%
Average 4.4% 4.9% 5.5% 6.0%

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
KBS Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor Uhm Tae-woong Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Uhm Tae-woong Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Kim Ok-bin Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Choi Min-soo Nominated
Best Young Actress Hyun Seung-min Nominated
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards
Best Costume Drama The Blade and Petal Nominated

International broadcast[edit]

It began airing in Japan on cable channel KNTV on March 18, 2013.[15]

It began airing in Thailand on PPTV on October 12, 2014.[16]


  1. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (30 April 2013). "Uhm Tae-woong and Kim Ok-vin Cast in New Drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  2. ^ Jeon, Ji-young (28 June 2013). "Couple shot of Uhm Tae-woong and Kim Ok-bin revealed". KBS Global. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  3. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (28 June 2013). "Blade and Petal Unveils Dramatic Poster with Uhm Tae Woong and Kim Ok Bin". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  4. ^ "A trailer packed with action, romance and much more!". KBS Global. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  5. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (30 April 2013). "Kim Ok Bin to Play Uhm Tae Woong's Lover in Knife and Flower". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  6. ^ Son, Bo-kyung (1 July 2013). "Kim Ok Bin Says She's Worried About Her Small Screen Return with Blade and Petal". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  7. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (29 April 2013). "Uhm Tae Woong to Star in Upcoming KBS drama Knife and Flower". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  8. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (1 July 2013). "Uhm Tae Woong Says He'll Act With His Hair for Blade and Petal". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  9. ^ Jeon, Ji-young (28 June 2013). "First Script Reading Session Revealed". KBS Global. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  10. ^ Kang, Jung-yeon (10 May 2013). "CNBLUE Jungshin Cast in Historical Drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  11. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (9 May 2013). "CN Blue's Lee Jung Shin Cast in New Drama with Uhm Tae Woong and Kim Ok Bin". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  12. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (12 June 2013). "CN Blue's Lee Jung Shin Glares in Stills for Blade and Petal". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  13. ^ "TNMS Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  14. ^ "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Blade and Petal ลิขิตรักเจ้าหญิงมูยอง – ซีรีย์เกาหลี". 29 August 2015.  Thai: ภาษาไทย

External links[edit]